Dear fellow members,

We apologise for not having sent out a newsletter for some time, but to put it simply, we have been very busy. Two top delegations in a row, followed by planning for India unlimited 17 August and the Make in India on October 12 and 13 has given us ideas, new contacts and also some clarity on what we need to do for our members. But first, please book those three dates mentioned above. It’s going to worth travelling to Stockholm those dates, for everyone. One major point, which became apparent during these delegations, and for all our sakes in Sweden, is to remember this: Sweden is NOT a small country!

For some reason, somewhere in between showing the relationship between large companies and having few inhabitants as a positive thing, Sweden became small. In the eyes of India, that’s not necessarily a good thing, especially if it’s not true. Sure, it can absolutely have its advantages, but in the larger picture, its not.

Sweden’s GDP is 1/3 of India’s, standing tall in the 22rd place in world ranking out of 191 countries. India stands on 7th place…and rising. Sweden is the 3rd largest country, area wise in Europe and yes, some of the worlds largest companies in world and especially leading companies resides and were born here, which per capita puts Sweden on top (large companies per capita). Sweden was industrialised over a hundred years from scratch, using mostly ingenious technology, which stayed and was subsequently developed in Sweden and then expanded abroad. Due to lack of alternatives during this period, Sweden had to develop its own eco system in many heavy industries, which means that building industrial eco systems something Sweden knows something about, involving government, large, small and medium size companies working in a great symbiotic relationship.

But let’s not forget the vibrant start up scene in Sweden giving Kista the name as the Silicon Alley of the world, all true and number 2 after the US in tech starts ups. Even though volume and size is important to India, so is technology and increasingly important is identifying a trust-worthy partner.

The two delegations that came to Sweden were the Minister of Transportation, Highways and shipping, Mr Nitin Gadkari, who visiting both Stockholm and Gothenburg for obvious reasons, and then the Additional Secretary for the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, DIPP, Mr Atul Chaturvedi, who was mainly here to evaluate Stockholm as a place for the large Make in India digital exhibition on 12-13 October. During these visits, SIBC was highly involved in the program, as well as organising a few roundtables with relevant parties. This government has really pushed for identifying the right people in the right places in the bureaucratic system. The new face of Indian bureaucrats at the top level is very impressive, they want to get down to business and listen to the non sugar-coated issues, and then make sure something is done about it. You can read a good article from the former head of DIPP, Amitabh Kant, here.

We wish you great summer holidays and a productive monsoon season in India!