Venkat Raman –
India provides a challenging but exciting opportunity for New Zealand businesses.
That is a statement heard at every meeting, be it organised by the two respective governments, business and professional bodies or social and cultural organisations.
Figures are also habitually mentioned as ‘impressive, massive or growing.’
There is little doubt that New Zealand is keen to engage more closely with India and sees the world’s largest democracy as the fastest growing economy with immense potential for its exports and investment sectors.
The proposed visit of Prime Minister John Key to India early next year has given rise to new hope – not in terms of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which is become less and less relevant – but with increasing scope for business-to-business relationship, which can be more meaningful and practical.
We will look more into this in the New Year.
Back to the subject; Kevin McKenna, our affable Trade Commissioner based in Mumbai spoke to the members of the India New Zealand Business Council during his visit to Auckland fortnight. He honoured us with his presence along with other officials of New Zealand Trade & Enterprise at the Eighth Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards held on Monday, November 23, 2015 at Sky City Convention Centre.
“India has enormous potential as a major destination for premium New Zealand food and beverage products. The Indian market is characterised by varied taste preferences, challenges in distribution channels and fierce competition from well-established premium brands. India provides a challenging but exciting opportunity for New Zealand companies,” he said at the INZBC meeting held on December 2 at the office of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Auckland’s Central Business District.
He quoted from the findings of a research commissioned by NZTE to examine how New Zealand food and beverage companies could tailor and market their products to take advantage of India’s growing top-end consumer segment.
His presentation, jointly with NZTE (Mumbai) Business Development Manager Daljit Kohli Singh, reportedly provided some insights into the F&B business.
Not really Super
According to the findings, only 2% of Indians visited supermarkets in India for their weekly food. Indians in India love smaller test packs for new products, and F&B products tailored for special events and holidays are always big sellers.
“Our research outlines marketing tactics that can be used by companies to target 26 million wealthy Indians who purchase premium F&B products regularly,” Mr McKenna said.
Among the other figures made available are that India is New Zealand’s tenth largest export market with two-way trade of $1.9 billion in the year to June 2015 and that with a population of 1.27 billion, there is an opportunity for New Zealand companies to take advantage of this growing segment and meet the demand of India’s top-end consumers.
INZBC Chair Robert Barker said that the success and failure of entry into the Indian market depended on the strategy used and knowledge of the market.
Kevin McKenna speaking at the INZBC meeting