The Embassy of India launched its Make in India in Switzerland program with the first brain -storming session on Make in India on December 5, 2016. A brilliant panel of speakers addressed the seminar.
Sri Bojjala Gopalakrishna Reddy, Andhra Pradesh Minister for Environment and Forests, Science & Technology, inaugurated the Invest in India panel. Shri J. Krishna Kishore, CEO, Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB), impressed everyone present with a brilliant presentation on the investment opportunities in Andhra and spoke about its business-friendly environment. He also painted a visionary picture touching not only upon manufacturing and infrastructure but also on skill development, healthcare, education, R&D and innovation. No wonder Andhra Pradesh is No. 1 in the Ease of Doing Business index in India.
Mr Francesco Gherzi, President, Swiss Indian Chamber of Commerce, Dr Frank-Jurgen Richter, Chairman, Horasis, Mr Himanshu Trivedi, Group Vice President, ABB, Mr Raoul Keller, Secretary General, Swissmem: Export Development-machine tools, Mr Ankush Vijayvergiya, Executive Assistant to Managing Director, Steiner, AG, and other Investors spoke of their experiences in India. A lively Q & A which followed.
Speakers described India as the new engine of globalization. The Vice President of ABB indicated the importance of India in his company’s investment portfolio. ABB spoke about its 12 manufacturing locations in India and 9000+ employees and said that Make in India would be for the world. They also set up an R&D centre in India which has more than 3000 employees. A lot of interest was expressed in the Make in India Mittelstand facility launched by our Embassy in Berlin. We had Shri Vikram Vardhan, Second Secretary in Embassy of India in Berlin addressing the gathering via skype and his presentation was deeply appreciated and generated enormous interest.
Swiss industry has invested widely in India and the leading sectors are precision manufacturing and industry. Many Swiss companies have developed specific products for the Indian market, customizing for local conditions. They also employ over 100,000 people in India and are driving the growth of vocational education and training in India, both through their operations and related NGOs. They have also set up R&D centres in India where they also test new products for export to Africa and South East Asia taking advantage of the lower costs and high quality that India has to offer.
The Steiner representative (Steiner has been taken over by HCC of India) spoke about the upbeat environment in India and gave some useful tips to Swiss companies to find the right mode of entry into India.
Stadler said that they were exploring India as a manufacturing location and bring state of the art technology for development to India. The Essar representative, the Swiss-Singapore trading company Trafigura has just invested $13 billion in Essar which is the largest ever FDI in India. He painted a glowing picture of business prospects in India and stated that refineries in India were built to the highest quality specifications at a fraction of the cost of the Middle East. He said that investment in India in manufacturing is a very positive proposition.
The seminar succeeded in conveying the message of a vibrant India and fresh opportunities.
In the Invest in Switzerland panel we heard from Mr. Marc Rudolf, Director Zurich Area, Head Economic Promotion, Canton of Zug, whose humorous and interesting presentation pointed out that from the point of view of quality and efficiency, no one could beat Switzerland as a location for doing business. Mr. Ankush from Steiner endorsed this and added that the feedback loop from acquiring Steiner had helped improve HCC, the parent Indian company’s best practices.
The seminar also had an R&D component as Switzerland is number one in innovation. The R & D panel - Collaboration between Indian and Swiss Public Research Institutions, Industry and Government to leapfrog 21st century technologies - featured brilliant speakers like Prof. Charles Dhanaraj, Professor of Strategy and Global Leadership, IMD Lausanne, Prof Ayodhya Nath Tiwari, Chairman, Flisom AG, a Skype presentation by Shri G S Madhusudan, IIT Madras, Dr Srinivas Madduri, Director, Centre for Bioengineering and Regenerative Medicine, Mr Ross Walker, Senior Manager Reinsurance Strategy, Swiss Re and Prof Thomas Boller, University of Basel on Indo-Swiss Research Collaboration in Bio-Technology.
Dr. Roger Moser, who directs the India Centre at St. Gallen University, spoke about technology collaborations with India. Prof. Ayodhya Nath Tiwari, who invented and then secured a large investment in flexible solar panels from Tata, also presented his discoveries and the flexible eco system in Switzerland which allowed his innovation to be immediately translated into product. Mr. Ross Walker from Swiss Re-insurance spoke about a start-up program program he was mentoring in Bangalore. They are helping companies build ideas into products useful for their clients, such as offering loans to the under-banked, apps to recognize mental health problems and other innovative areas.
Finally, we had an inspiring presentation by Shri G.S. Madhusudan, Scientist, IIT Madras, via skype. IIT Madras is working on open source hardware, safe and secure computing and cyber security. They are working with Indian agencies and also collaborating with Swiss universities of worldwide repute. He is also working on industrial controls, next generation computing systems and reinventing the network with security in mind.