On June 14th, Sweden-India Business Council conducted its first Executive Roundtable on small enterprises in India. The first Executive Roundtable of the group had been held on August 27, 2015. The March 9th ERT took up the issues of culture, and inter-cultural challenges and opportunities as well as key points for selecting sites once in India.

Swedfund, an SIBC Gold Partner hosted the event at their offices. Swedfund’s SwedPartnership Staffan Ahl from Swedfund shared the company’s ongoing financial support of companies working to transfer knowledge to partners in India, including Antiphon and Solvina.

This is a summary of the full report sent to participants.

MAIN POINTS From June 14 Roundtable:

Antiphon and Solvina presented their experiences of developing presence in the Indian marketplace.

Although Antiphon currently are well placed in the Indian marketplace, with strong client profiles, their journey in India was time consuming. In addition to having to be present for a number of meetings, there was a requirement to also be comfortable with providing trial orders. Antiphon highlighted the importance of understanding local business culture as a key criterion for developing strong partners and smooth operations.

Solvina’s journey shared many elements with Antiphon, but as a service company there were specific challenges of creating the business case. Solvina travelled extensively to India, following their first engagement with a government business delegation from Sweden. Solvina’s sharing highlighted the importance of timing to develop market presence.

A common element for both companies was the importance of finding the right person. Oftentimes this is done through networks, and trust building. Support from the Swedish ecosystem actors for support to SMEs and their desire to export was also raised as a core element that can determine success / failure.

Despite the number of challenges in entering the Indian market, both Solvina and Antiphon reconfirmed their continued commitment to work with India, given the huge results that are possible and the tangible growth that is underway.

NEXT ROUNDTABLE – October 6th, 2016

The next Roundtable will be held on October 6th from 10.00 – 12.00. Topics to be discussed will include i) Constitutional Amendment Bill, paving the way for GST, ii) revised and consolidated FDI Policy (with rules for e-commerce), iii) New Bankruptcy & Insolvency Code, and iv) recent amendments to the Arbitration Act.

SIBC is proud to have, as guest and expert speaker Mr Ran Chakrabarti, Partner, IndusLaw.