Sydney Campus hosts proponents of business links between Australia and India
Published on 20 June, 2011
CQUniversity Sydney recently sponsored and hosted a panel discussion for the Young Professionals Chapter of the Australian Indian Business Council (AIBC) NSW, titled ‘Doing Business in Australia - India, A Panel Perspective'...
Story contributed by Dr Chris Keane.
A panel of industry experts were introduced by Ruchir Punjabi, Vice-Chair of the AICB NSW Young Professionals Chapter. The speakers included George Mathew, Senior Principal Business Consultant with Infosys Australia and Anil Behl, Business Development Executive at American Express Australia.
‘Your network is your network' was the motto for anyone seeking to build support and personal contacts in the Indian business community. Prospective investors were advised to find an ‘Indian partner' to help navigate the pitfalls of a complex culture where high turnover rates of company staff were the norm.
Participants discussed the stark contrast between India's educated middle class and the poor as a permanent reminder that India is not a ‘western style' market.
The audience also learnt that growing demands for energy, clean water, sanitation works and infrastructure provide real investment opportunities. Investment impediments also require business people to be inventive in finding solutions to supply chain bottlenecks.
In Bangalore, for instance, business enclaves provide hotel-style accommodation and all the necessary inputs for greenfield investment.
In contrast, India's educational, health care and financial services remain underdeveloped. The country needs to retrain millions of workers and reduce the rural-urban population drift. Regulatory reforms have opened the door to joint ventures between local polytechnics and foreign educational providers and further liberalisation of trade in educational services is expected to follow.
India and Australia share a common heritage including institutions such as the British legal system, the English language and parliamentary democracy. However, India only attained its political independence in 1947.
While the speakers noted that a Free Trade Agreement between Australia and India was not yet a reality, it remained an important goal which would further cement economic and trade relations between the two countries.
After question time, the guests were invited to network, discover the AIBC mentoring program and enjoy some snacks and refreshments. The positive feedback and social networking which ensued rounded off a very informative and enjoyable evening.
* The AIBC is a business association that exclusively promotes, develops and maintains bilateral trade and business relationships between Australia and India.