India trade drive gathers pace

Two trade advisory firms have been recruited by Invest Northern Ireland to help local companies expand business opportunities in India. The appointment of Bangalore-headquartered Feedback Consulting Services and T&A Trade Consultants, which is located in New Delhi, was announced at a ‘Doing Business in India’ seminar in Belfast.

The new trade advisers, K Shankar of Feedback Consulting’s Mumbai office, and T&A’s Turan Gupta, will work alongside Barry Clarke, Invest NI’s Regional Director in India, to strengthen business with the sub-continent.

Mr Shankar, a senior executive with Feedback Consulting’s Mumbai Office and an electrical engineer by profession, has extensive experience in trade development projects for a broad range of companies from the UK and other regions. Mr Gupta, a mechanical engineer, is a co-founder of T&A Trade Consultants and has worked with many smaller companies aiming to grow business in India.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade Director, commenting on the appointments, said: “The trade advisers will provide expert guidance and support to local companies in the dynamic Indian marketplace. This will involve pinpointing new market opportunities for our companies and then helping them to take the necessary steps to bid for the business.

“They are an integral part of our network of trade advisers who are providing practical advice and support to help smaller companies in particular to increase export sales. This support network also includes the US, Europe, the Middle East and China,” he added.

Around 50 local companies took part in the seminar ahead of a forthcoming trade mission to the Indian business centres of Mumbai and Delhi, from 20-27 September. The seminar also heard presentations from two Northern Ireland companies which have successful joint venture manufacturing operations in India.

Philip Steele, Sales Director with Denman International in Bangor, outlined how the company, now a world leader in professional hair salon products including brushes, had joined forces with Brushman, an Indian business, to manufacture a range of brushes in a modern factory at Patnagar in the foothills of the Himalayas. In addition to its manufacturing tie-up, Denman is developing a retailing joint venture to grow sales of its salon products throughout India.

David Hutchinson, a Director of AESSEAL MCK in Lisburn, explained how the company has increased its competitiveness in key international markets by means of a manufacturing joint venture in Mumbai with ACW. The Lisburn company supplies mechanical seals for pressure containers and has teamed up with the Indian company to manufacture the containers.  The partners have also built a state-of-the-art factory on the outskirts of Mumbai.