Doing business in India

19 August 2014
PG students in India
16 postgraduate students representing six universities across New Zealand at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

During April this year, 16 postgraduate students representing six universities across New Zealand embarked on an intensive two-week study programme at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) in New Delhi, India.

The Doing Business in India (DBI) Programme was funded by Education New Zealand with the intention of enhancing New Zealand’s trade and education links with this increasingly influential foreign market. However, the participants returned to New Zealand with much more than increased trade awareness.

University of Auckland honours student Scott Latham was selected as one of the 16 participants in the DBI programme. He was inspired by his experience in India to focus his honours dissertation research in an Indian context.

“Doing business in India is not easy,” says Scott. “It is a complex, contrasting and diverse business environment and yet there are huge opportunities for New Zealand firms. We experienced these challenges and opportunities first-hand in the programme and this has really brought my recent research to life.”

During the programme participants witnessed guest presentations by the management of three New Zealand companies currently doing business in India. While each presenter provided participants with helpful advice, they all stressed that a long-term, physical commitment was necessary to build trusting relationships and gain market understanding in India.

Scott said: “It is certainly clear that while overcoming the challenges and pursuing the business opportunities in India is no easy task, thanks to Education New Zealand and the IIFT, 16 New Zealanders are now well equipped to engage with this important market in the near future.”

The DBI participants found the opportunity incredibly rewarding. One participant commented that “the programme was culturally enriching and also provided us with the opportunity to meet with some very influential people”. Another claimed the programme “provided a great platform for which to one day engage in business activities in India”.  

There is also no chance of the great food, hectic traffic and incredible shopping being forgotten by the participants anytime soon.