Summary of 1st meeting - Swiss Indian Round Table at St. Gallen
The regional round table took off on 26th April, 2012 in St. Gallen. A small group made it an interactive session and gave “food for thought” for many of the subsequent round tables. The round table had a good mix of sectors like Logistics, Education, IT, Construction ranging in their experiences with India.
The group brought together knowledge and experience of India like setting up warehouse operations in India, establishing Joint venture with Indian company, India as an IT outsourcing hub etc. Moreover, fresh perspective was added by the founder of a conflict management consulting company, who brought on the table deep cultural understanding on India due to her regular leisure trips to India and aspired to explore business opportunity in India for her company.
India is blessed with the demographic dividend for the next 30 years when most of the western developed world is aging, which means that India is going to be a country with a median age of 25 years as compared to 43 in Japan and 36 in the US. Education sector has finally caught the eye of the government and education reforms are expected and much needed in the coming years in India to feed good quality education to its demographic dividend to make the most of it. When asked the question on potential in education system in India, Dr. Roger Moser, who has been a professor at one of the most renowned universities in India seemed rather pessimistic on the statement and said that it would take many years to change the system in India. The key challenge is to find high quality faculty at the low salaries that are offered to assistant professors until they gain numerous years of experience in India.
A touch of academician always throws light on new concepts, Dr. Roger Moser mentioned about the new generation concept of “Intercultural Process Management” which much more crucial in today’s international environment than just “Intercultural Management”.
The future outlook on India states that GDP in India is expected to grow at 7.3% annually through 2025. Moreover, India is going to be the 5th largest consumer in the whole world by 2025. In order to at least achieve if not outrun these numbers, India needs to improve its infrastructure. This opportunity is rightly tapped by the round table member who is a project manager responsible for expanding operations in India for a German logistics group, which is investing big time in growing its footprint in India and its neighboring countries.
When asked across the table to suggest topics each one would like to discuss on the round table, I got a big list. To name a few –
- Rationale of DACH enterprises to choose between “Joint Venture” Versus “Fully owned subsidiary”
- Challenges that Small & Medium sized enterprises face in India and strategies that have worked to solve these challenges
- Negotiation in Swiss Indian Context
- What is the ideal management organization for India for a Swiss/German company
I invite you to send me your ideas on the topics that you like to discuss on the round table and get a fresh perspective of other industries, academicians and practitioners in an interactive round table session.
Our discussions didn’t see the time, and the piping hot butter chicken, mix veg accompanied by Dal makhni, rice and Nan bread added spice to the discussion. After long discussions, we winded up with a cup of Indian chai until the next round table!