Engaging with Indian Companies Going Global
The Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, in partnership with the Indo-Canada Ottawa Business Chamber, hosted the Telfer India Forum on February 19, 2009. This half day event involving senior business and government leaders from Canada and India helped Canadian companies better understand how to engage with Indian companies as they play an ever growing role in the global marketplace.
Photo (L to R): Nishith Goel, Chair - Indo-Canada Ottawa Business Chamber & CEO Cistel Technology Inc, Marvin Hough, Executive in Residence, Telfer School of Management, Shashishekhar M. Gavai, High Commissioner of India to Canada, Micheál J. Kelly, Dean, Telfer School of Management.
Post event wrap-up, by Marvin Hough
2009 Telfer India Forum – Engaging with Indian Companies Going Global
By Marvin Hough,
Executive-in-Residence at the Telfer School of Management (University of Ottawa) and a former Trade Commissioner in India and Vice President, Asia at EDC.
With India increasingly integrating into the global economy and growing on the radar screens of Canadian companies across the country, an increased focus on this future economic super power is timely. Recognizing the emerging importance of the market, the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa convened a highly successful India Forum on February 19, 2009. This conference brought together over 125 Canadian and Indian companies, intermediaries, government officials and academics under the theme of “Engaging with Indian Companies Going Global.”
The event was the second annual Telfer India Forum and demonstrated the ongoing commitment of Telfer and its partner organizations to this priority market. Moreover, it clearly highlighted the importance for Canada of continually and diligently building on its approach to engaging with India.
Three broad messages emerged from the Forum and provided an umbrella for the proceedings.
India is on an irreversible path as it integrates into the global economy and it will continue to propel itself forward and become an economic superpower. India’s growing confidence in global commerce, its significant economic growth rates, its innovative private sector, growing intellectual power and youthful population will all help it steer the course and meet the various challenges going forward.
Now is the time for Canada to proactively engage with India and to build on both India’s emergence in global commerce and the recent momentum in Indo-Canadian commercial collaboration. Canada clearly needs to take a holistic approach in engaging with India and take advantage of recent trends including closer government to government exchanges, growing bilateral trade and the tripling of Canadian exports to the market in the last 5 years.
Indian companies going global will continue to expand their footprint around the world and represent significant and growing opportunities for Canada and Canadian firms. Developing relationships with these companies will position Canada and Canadian firms to achieve significant and growing results.
The Conference featured presentations from Shashishekhar Gavai, the Indian High Commissioner, Navin Dave, Managing Partner for Global Resource Leveraging at KPMG, Peter Nesbitt, Regional Vice President, South and South East Asia at Export Development Canada (EDC) and David Good, Chief representative, North America for Tata Sons Limited. The presentations served to underscore the degree to which India is going global and the emerging opportunities for Canadian firms, the value and cost effectiveness in leveraging human capital from India in today’s competitive environment and the significant steps being taken by Indian firms in investing globally and importance of developing relationships with these increasingly confident global players.
This year’s Forum also involved an interactive panel discussion with representatives of global Indian firms including ICICI Bank of Canada and Aditya Birla Minacs and Canadian firms who have successfully penetrated the Indian market including EION Wireless and Taraspan Group Inc. The panel discussion allowed for a candid exchange on key themes including the current business environment in India in the face of the global economic storm, recent terrorist attacks and the upcoming elections, the current state of Indo-Canadian commercial relations and steps needed to accelerate the pace of growth and to effectively engage with Indian companies going global. The discussions illuminated the resilient nature of the Indian market and the need for Canada to be much more proactive and holistic in its approach to partnering with India and Indian firms.
The Forum was also an opportunity for the Telfer School to launch its new Focus India initiative, a comprehensive executive learning program dealing with all key aspects of “doing business in India”. This program designed for senior executives of Canadian firms with a strong interest and commitment to the Indian market, will be rolled out in the fall of 2009. The initiative is being led by Marvin Hough, Executive in Residence at the Telfer School of Management and a former Trade Commissioner in India and Vice President, Asia at EDC.
The Telfer School’s collaboration with other key players with a commitment to the Indian market also moved forward through this year’s Forum. The Forum was organized in collaboration with the Indo-Canadian Ottawa Business Chamber and sponsored by KPMG, Gowlings and ICICI Bank Canada. Partners in the undertaking included OCRI, CATA, Ottawa Citizen, EDC, Tata Consultancy Services, and the Ontario Ministry of International Trade and Investment.