Arun Rana: To boost bilateral trade, Russia and India should stop focusing on the legacy of the past
You have been representing foreign companies, including Russian ones, in India for over two decades. In your opinion, will the post-pandemic scenario change this area of business, and how?
We have been helping many companies enter the Indian market and operate the business and services here for many years now. There are a variety of tactical and strategic necessities for companies to outsource specific foreign or offshore business tasks and processes like marketing and business development, business intelligence and strategic communication, contract and stakeholder management.
The logic is not only to acquire a ‘head start’ in regional language, culture and ethics, local policies and governance, existent procedures and compliances, but it is also equally important to economize capital costs including infrastructure set-up, staffing and expertise, taxation and insurances since there is technically higher business risk associated with a new foreign market entry, and particularly when it comes to diverse countries like India.
Over the past two decades, our domain-expert professional teams have been helping potential foreign partners understand and succeed in the Indian power generation, metallurgy, aerospace, technology and manufacturing market by providing end-to-end consulting and advisory services, right from the selection of complimenting Indian production agencies and partners for Maintenance TOT (Transfer of Technology) from the Foreign OEMs and Authorized Manufacturers to formalizing long-term win-win business partnerships and knowledge-based platforms with Indian industry partners.
As the world is going through a pandemic, we are already seeing business approaches adjusting to the ‘new normal’. Our business, for instance, has tripled over the past two years in terms of the number of companies that we are representing in India now. It spans across power generation, railways & transportation, smart cities and smart solutions, aviation, metallurgy, oil and gas, logistics, medical equipment and industrial machines industries.
Why should foreign companies entering India opt for outsourcing business representation?
Expanding business through the ‘business representation outsourcing’ offers the ideal platform for foreign companies and OEMs to launch and operate their businesses, as this affords an ideal operational-financial risk versus growth ‘balance’ for entering, capturing and expanding business in unexplored multi-cultural and multi-income markets.
Staffed with an industrially and managerially skilled and competitive team, working on time-tested work ethics, business understanding and market networks, a Business Representation firm provides unmatched advantages to the foreign companies that it represents in an ever-expanding and technology-savvy diverse market like India in terms of resource versus risk mix, when it comes to keeping up with its ‘base’ KPIs. Partnering such Business Representation firms allows foreign companies entering a new market to concentrate on their core business interests and success, with the Representation firm assuming major obligations such as handling day-to-day foreign business work operations, satisfying target or on-boarded customer service needs with ‘sharp’, ‘smart’ stakeholder management, and improving potential customer engagement with effective communication strategy and networking strength.
As a person with extensive experience in working in the Russian market, with Russian companies across aviation, technology and other industries, what is your take on the ways Russia-India bilateral trade should develop?
In my opinion, new business relations between India and Russia are actively developing, and I see great prospects ahead. However, both countries should focus not only on past successes and the legacy of Soviet-Indian friendship or those projects successfully implemented by both countries over the past decades, but should also explore new areas of cooperation and target emerging project areas. India’s rapid economic growth provides many opportunities for the same. Consider the ‘Make in India’ initiative designed to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure in India. It has already proven to have an enormous potential for foreign investors in various sectors.
No doubt, Russia and India have already achieved a lot in terms of bilateral trade and cooperation, but to reach new heights, it is necessary to change the spirit of nostalgia to a futuristic business-oriented, professional approach.
What is the key for making this transition happen?
We need to understand that culturally, Russia combines Asian and European sensibilities. Therefore, our cultures and traditions have certain similarities, but there are certain differences as well, and particularly in business ethics. Russians follow formalities more closely, while Indians often opt for conducting business meetings or even clicking the deals in more informal settings. That is why it is important to have ‘people’ who not only understand both nations well, but also the global business trends, to guide these interactions, providing efficient ways for delivering bilateral projects.
Interviewed by Natasha John