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Business opportunities – a growing market in India

While a lot of English and Indians were glued to the TV, watching the “Ashes” cricket, Accuride managed to have a brief catch-up with our local Indian distributor VRVS from Hyderabad. Mr V B Manoj gave us a brief update on the exploding market in India.

Mr Manoj, please tell us a brief history of your company; what sectors are you involved in and what products do you sell?

We have 3 divisions; firstly we distribute various electrical components. Secondly we do contract work and thirdly we have an operation and maintenance business. We provide technical services and employ about 500 people but I plan to take the business on a new level and hopefully have around 2000 people working for us.

Mr V B Manoj from Hyderabad with an Accuride member of staff in an interview.

That is very ambitious! What are the main growth industries and markets in India? Has there been a change in the past 5 years?

I think the current GDP growth is about 6%. The growing industries are power, consumer retail, white goods, infra-structure and housing. But I tell you - in India almost everything is growing! If you don't mind me saying, it is like a "New China" but most of the manufacturing is for the exploding local market and not just for exporting.

That leads me to the next question, that why would foreign companies come to India? Is it just about a cost effective labour?

Yes and no. The labour costs are obviously more attractive than Central Europe but as I said, most of the production is actually for providing the local market needs. The largest age group in India is between 25-40 years, which is obviously the most productive working age, so we have the right kind of people to do the work.

What are the biggest social and cultural differences lets say between India and Western Europe? Any examples?

Networking, networking, networking! Connections are important. I think India is actually extremely conservative. We have lots of manufacturing and are the world’s largest producers of steel.

Another difference is the use of internet which is not used as widely by everybody as in Europe. It is growing, but not everyone has access.

The most important household item in India is… a good old TV! People may be living in the poorest home but they have a TV in the corner. That brings me to the next huge difference between Europe and India - the B2B markets advertise themselves on TV but in Europe it is mainly aimed at the consumer market.

TV has also changed purchasing behaviour and as a result more and more people are using online shopping.

What advice would you, as a local, offer to Westerns companies who are interested in coming to trade in India?

We have a huge market potential and new markets. Why not produce a product for the local market that perhaps doesn’t exist in India yet? That is a great opportunity.

You are such an enthusiastic person, what is your motto in life?

Be good and do good!

VRVS Electrical Solutions Pvt Ltd