By Rohit Vaid
New Delhi, (IANS) In spite of the headwinds of slowing growth, high inflation and other operational worries, Chinese entrepreneurs are keen to invest in India, where they see immense opportunities for not just trade but also manufacturing of products.
IANS caught up with a group of women entrepreneurs straddling diverse businesses such as home appliance, software and designer jewellery this week and found in them a common urge — to enter the huge Indian market.
“It’s an untapped market for us. We would like to introduce our products at a competitive price for the Indian market. But these are early days. Nonetheless we are hopeful of a successful venture here,” said Zhang Hong, chief executive of Beijing-based home appliance manufacturing firm Rikon.
Zhang said she has met Indian business partners and the process of negotiating a deal is on.
“We are meeting our Indian counterparts for the establishment of the brand here. Not just that, we are also trying to understand the Indian market, its dynamics and consumer preference in relation to pricing.”
So excited is Zhang about the Indian market that she is contemplating starting manufacturing in the country because of the advantage of lower production costs.
“As China becomes more and more costly, manufacturing of our products needs to shift to other locations like India for the competitive price advantage,” Zhang said.
With a combination of factors such as macro-economic stability, abundant skilled manpower, a well-developed banking and judicial system, a vibrant capital market and its large scale investment absorption capacity, India offered attractive returns to prospective Chinese investors.
Software entrepreneur Liu Xing is seeing opportunities galore in India’s information technology sector.
“We see the Indian IT sector as a platform for huge collaborations. We require software to help our companies do business in China, in India and elsewhere. We believe we can have a win-win partnership in this field,” said Liu, general manager of Beijing-based software firm New-Trend.
Liu says business-to-business contact is very important if the two Asian giants want to continue their economic growth.
“We need a platform where we can have business-to-business contact. Both the governments should promote that idea and take it forward. This way we can find areas in which we can collaborate,” Liu told IANS.
Jessica of Shenzhen-based designer jewellery firm Kela’s voiced similar views. She said business fairs and orientation trips should be encouraged between the two countries to familiarise customers about products from the two countries.
“We will use internet giants like Alibaba to promote our products here and in a later date may even want to enter the market directly. But for all that to happen potential customers need to be familiarised with products,” Jessica said.
The women entrepreneurs, who were here as part of the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) event, said they researched about Indian customers through the internet, social networking sites as well as Indian films.
“Indian films are a big hit in China. We have seen Three Idiots, My Name is Khan and Slumdog Millionaire,” Zhang told IANS.
Asked whether they will be comfortable in doing business in a country like India, the entrepreneurs shot back saying the only thing that women entrepreneurs have to do is “to be bold and go out there.”
India meanwhile is expecting a massive dose of Chinese investment in infrastrucutre. With about a trillion dollars of investments needed in the infrastructure sector in the next five-six years, there are a number of business opportunities for Chinese companies to invest in India.