India seen leveraging Solar Alliance meeting for foreign policy

download (3).jpgSource:, Jun 18, 2018

New Delhi: The first general assembly of the International Solar Alliance will be held in India this October. The historic event is expected to coincide with the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, signalling that New Delhi would employ the first treaty-based international government organization in India as a foreign policy tool.

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$11 billion investment committed during World Food India: Harsimrat Kaur Badal

indexSource:, Nov 05, 2017

New Delhi: Food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Sunday said $11.25 billion investments were committed in the country’s food processing sector during the World Food India event, and with government funds put together, the total investments signed have reached $18.84 billion.

Badal announced that a dedicated cell has been put in place to ensure each of the 50 memoranda of understandings (MoUs) signed materialise on the ground level and help boost food processing levels from the current 10%.

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Interview of Leonor Martínez, Director of SPRI India

INDOLINK_INDIA_SPRILeonor“There are about 60 Basque companies set up in India, and there are opportunities for many more.”

Leonor Martinez, born in the Basque Country came to India in 2006. So far the experience has been positive but recognizes that it is not easy to adjust in India, but interesting.

What do you do in India and for how long have you been here?

I first came to India in January 2006 with an internship program of the Basque Government to work for the Economic and Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy in Delhi; and later to work for Telvent, from Abengoa Group for 8 months. I was given the chance to select the destination and I decided to choose among the four options that were available in Asia (Delhi, Beijing, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur). China was my preferred choice, although I also had interest for India. Eventually I was selected for the OFECOMES of New Delhi, which scared me a little at the beginning because at that time I didn’t know anybody who had been in India before me and it was not a destiny as popular as it is today, at the business and touristic level.

The reason for my choice was a very powerful hunch for India that started in my childhood and the intuition as well that India would become one of the principal places for investment that would generate big business opportunities in the long term; thus the professional interest was high. My first stage in India developed in Delhi, where I lived for one year and a half; and the second one in Mumbai, where I live at present, since May 2008. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview to Peter Hansen, Director of CaixaBank in India

“India is much more and much less of what we often think”

Peter Hansen, Director of CaixaBank India

Peter Hansen, Director of CaixaBank India

Peter Hansen is the Director of CaixaBank office in India. Born in Mumbai, but Danish by descent and Spanish at heart, he has told us about his experiences and impressions of India; his adoptive country.

INDOLINK: What do you do in India and for how long have you been living here?

PETER HANSEN: I was born in Mumbai 53 years ago and I lived there until the age of 12. Then I was sent to Europe to study and I spent there half of my life. I came back to India in the late 90s as the Commercial Counselor of the Embassy of Denmark, because I have Danish nationality, although I am Spanish in my heart since my wife and sons are Spanish and I lived there for 23 years.

Afterwards, I was engaged in setting up the office of P4R in India and I was also the Managing Director of an important NGO in India.

In total I have lived for 23 years in different parts of India: Mumbai, Delhi, Orissa…

Currently, I am the Director of CaixaBank in India since 2008

IL: Tell us your story, how is it that you were born in India? Read the rest of this entry »

Interview with Xabier Eskibel, CEO of Rinder Pvt.Ltd

Xabier Eskibel,CEO Rinder India

European companies are still on time to grasp the opportunities of the Indian automotive sector. At present, India is still importing a large percentage of vehicle components, there is still scope for companies to be located in India, the sector needs good suppliers.”

Xabier Esquibel is CEO of Rinder India Pvt. Ltd, the Indian subsidiary of Rinder Industrial,  Spanish manufacturer of lighting equipment for the automative industry.

Rinder india Pvt.Ltd has three production plants in India, from which they supply to  YAMAHA, KAWASAKI, NISSAN, TATA. Rinder India’s turnover is 30 million euro per year and employs 500 people.

INDOLINK:  What are you doing in India and how long have you been here?

XABI ESKIBEL:  I work in the automotive industry providing lighting equipments for motorcycles and comercial vehicles. About how long I’ve been here some people say far too much. This is my second stage in this great country. In my first stay, I spent 3 years and after a period  of 2 years in Spain, I decided to come back. In the second stage I have been  one year already and i am  pleased to be here.

IL:  What  made you come to India ? What are the main reasons and expectations that brought you here?

XE:  I always considered that having international experience  would open the doors for more opportunities and would give me  the chance to  learn  how to move around the world. India offered me a professional opportunity to do so and here I am.

IL:  Which were your main concerns?

XE:  My principal worry was not having the opportunity to go abroad. Going abroad means risk but I believe not going is even riskier.

IL:  And your concernes  when coming to India ?

XE:  I was worried about the idea of failing to connect with the people here,  not being able to understand them, the impossibility to communicate ideas, cultural barriers…

IL:  Is the experience being as expected?

XE:  Better than expected. I had a partial view of India. Now I´ve learned there are different Indias, within this subcontinent. In some of them you can lead a regular life, in others is difficult to survive a week.

IL:  What would you say is the most positive aspect?

XE:  The most positive thing is the optimistic attitude with which they face  the challenges  in this country. For Indian people nothing is impossible. This atmosphere of optimism helps to overcome difficult situations.

IL:  And the main difficulties? What was/is the hardest part?

XE:  The harder part was the physical adaptation to climate and food. It´s hot, you eat less , you lose weight ,the air condittioning is always very high. You must be very careful to keep healthy.

IL:  With what you know now, what would you change if you start over again?

XE:  Lots of things! During the first months, nothing seems to work. You are anxious, t your health is damaged… Finally you see that things gets sorted outwith time and that gives you confidence to face new challenges from a different perspective.

IL:  Plans for the future?

XE:  To continue learning how to do business in emerging countries. (this is just the beginning).

IL:  How´s Rinder’s project going?

XE:  It’s doing well. We are in a competitive and changing sector in which we must continuously reinvent the strategy. We have a good team and good ideas, that gives us a competitive advantage.

IL:  What are your (company´s) future plans in India?

XE:  Continue growing in the two wheelers industry, attracting new customers, being technology leaders…

IL:  Which  is the potential  the automotive sector has in India? Do you see opportunities for other Spanish companies?

XE:  The sector grows beetwen 15 and 20% per year. Pune is becoming what Detroit was previusly. Nowadays Volkswagen, Daimler, General Motors, Mahindra, Tata, Fiat…are already here, there is a growing market and plenty of business opportunities.

IL:  Do you think it may be too late for the Spanish automotive companies that have not entered this market yet or are they still on time?

XE:  Not at all, they are still on time. At present, India is still importing a large percentage of vehicle components, there is still scope for companies to be located in India, the sector needs good suppliers in industrial areas.. The best would be to come with a customer (assured sales) in order to minimize the risk of investment.

IL:  In your opinion, what is the key to success in India?

XE:  The key to success is the human team that you form. You must select and retain the best people, and get the best from them.

IL:  With the high attrition rate existing currently in India, could you give any advice on how to retain the human capital?

XE:  Setting up a good relationship with them, for this you require  to be physically present in this country.

IL:  What advice would you give a newly arrived  businessman in India who intends to set up a business?

XE:  I would tell him that his survival depends on his  level of flexibility and adaptability to this country. To be flexibly you need to take some risk and to come on your own (without an  Indian partner) and to adapt, it’s necessary to understand the indian way of thinking by living here.

IL:  Any book or website that you recommend?

XE:  The India Way (Harvard Business Press)

Interview with Iván Vázquez, Director of the Indian subsidiary of NETEX Knowledge Factory

“Perseverance and determination and a good deal of adaptation are the keys to success in India.” – Iván Vázquez

Iván Vázquez at home in Pune (India)

We wanted to start this round of interviews with Iván Vázquez, head of the India subsidiary of the Galician company NETEX, who has already been three years in Pune. Ivan has shared with us their experiences, learning and impressions of his Indian experience.

1. What are you doing in India and how long have you been?

I am Director of the Indian subsidiary of NETEX Knowledge Factory, a Spanish company dedicated to IT and e-learning. Here we have a software production team and the people working on business development for the Indian market. I arrived to India in May 2008, so I have been here for three and a half years already.

2. Why did you come to India? Which were the main reasons and prospects that brought you here?

I came to India looking for a change, both personally and professionally. And I did find it! I was looking for a promotion inside of my company to get a higher responsibility position (I was in charge of services area) and at the same time, I was searching for a change in my life, a new place to live… a bit of fresh air, I guess.

3. Which were your main concerns?

The truth is that I never had too many concerns. I came here to start from scratch, my company had put its new venture on my hands, putting all their confidence on me. I suppose that shows a leadership attitude from NETEX’s directors who trusted me and my capabilities. On a personal level, starting from zero in a new country was just what I was looking for, so not without effort, I enjoyed a lot of my start up in India. Of course, all the great friends and good people that I have met along the way have helped without any doubt. We are quite a few expats in Pune and the close collaboration of “veterans” on a personal level, it shows! Now it is my turn to be the veteran helping out the new “freshers”.

4. Is the experience as you had expected so far?

Sure it is. Of course I have had tough moments where I felt I was better off at home, but in general, I would not doubt to repeat the experience again I and would recommend anyone to do it.

5. Which is the most positive aspect?

The professional development and the good friends that I found on the way.

6. And the main difficulties? Which are the negative aspects?

Well, it is not your culture, nor your country. Sometimes, as a good Galician (a North western region of Spain), I have nostalgia of my people, the food, the way we have fun in Spain during our free time, but most of all, I miss Galicia’s sea. It is the first time that I am not a stone’s throw away the sea. Even when I spent almost 7 years living in Bilbao, I did not hesitate to escape to the cost whenever I could.

7. Taking into account what you know now, what would you change if you started over again?

I think I would have adapted my company to the international production and development of foreign markets much faster. Getting adapted to this international expansion has not been easy. The unconditional support of the parent company and its ability to adapt to the new is essential. It is also necessary to change the mindset from a local company to an international company. The problems are not always derived from the subsidiary. Sometimes it is the parent company who blocks the process of internationalization due to the lack of that change in mindset. For example, something as simple as writing any documentation of general interest in English is not always easy to achieve. That’s what I mean by getting adapted faster.

Therefore, I think that a more agile decision making would be a major issue in case of starting again. In my personal life would not change anything.

8. Have you come with your family? How is it being for them?

Yes, I live with my girlfriend. I must admit that it is not an easy task. She left a good life to follow me to India and the job opportunities once you are in India, are hardly equal to what you can get in Spain. And of course, trying to combine a good professional and personal life is essential for any young person nowadays.

9. Any plans for the future?

Well, there’s nothing defined out of my current status. My idea is to definitively establish NETEX as a sound, competitive company in the Indian market while also improving the production process globally.

10. How’s the project doing?

Not without teething problems, I think now we are all very satisfied with the current development, both in Spain and in India. I’m proud that everyone is able to see with good eyes the good results we are getting.

11. What potential do you think that e-learning industry has in India? Do you see opportunities for other Spanish companies?

We could say that 3 years ago, the sector of e-learning in India based its production on the North American market needs. Today it is a boom in all sectors. The possibilities in a market as vast as India is immense, but also ensures a good number of local competitors.

12. In your opinion which are the keys to success in India

A friend would say “perseverance and determination” and a good deal of adaptation. India is another culture, another country. We can not expect everything to work like “at home”. You must have great patience when dealing with agencies, while adapting to the way of life of local people. Their customs, their way of working, their personality … it’s something to be worked out between all the manager and employees to become a good tandem.

13. What would you say / advise to a businessman who just landed in India with the idea of establishing a business.

Do your homework before you arrive. Clearly define your goals and examine in depth the markets and culture, better if accompanied by an expert in the area. Make sure your company is ready to change if they do not have a clear international experience; if it is hard on other markets, possibly more so in the Indian one. Above all, do not underestimate the potential of India neither as a market nor as production factory.

14. Any book or website that you recommend in particular?

I’m a real fan of Tom Peters, even though I admit that it becomes a bit sensationalist at times. Another book that has inspired me was “Critical Chain” by Eliyahu Goldratt, recommended to me by Mario Gil.