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Last updated : Nov 2009
India Business
India Business Overview - TravelPuppy.com
India Economy

India’s industrial economy, which has invested extensively in technology initiatives such as space research and digital communications, contrasts with the poverty that lingers, especially in rural areas. India ranks with the top 12 in the world by gross national product. Approximately 2 - 3rd of the population is involved in agriculture, both subsistence – mainly cereals and cash crops including rubber, coffee, tea, cotton, sugar, jute, oil seeds and tobacco. Growth in this sector has been stable in spite of frequent damage by flooding and drought.

India’s energy requirements are satisfied by oil, most of which is imported in spite of the growth of indigenous production, and hydroelectric schemes, mainly based among the powerful northern rivers. Mining is a fairly small sector, but does produce iron ore and cut diamonds for export.

India’s main industrial development has been in engineering; particularly transport equipment (a huge export earner), iron and steel, chemicals, textiles and electronics.

Economic reforms were initiated throughout the 1990s, under which trade has been liberalized, the rambling public sector reduced, and government-owned industries sold off. The plan was approved by the IMF, which supplied considerable credits to the Indian treasury. After the hiatus following the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the economy continued its healthy growth rate, presently just above 6 percent annually while inflation is just 5 percent.

Indian universities and colleges are producing large numbers of graduates with advanced technology skills who are now sought by employers in North America and Europe (where there is a lack of qualified IT workers): the Indian economy is still not sufficiently developed to absorb this resource.

Additional reforms, especially improvements to the infrastructure and basic services, are now regarded as the top priority for central and regional governments. Foreign direct investment has achieved an all-time peak of over US$4 billion annually and is set to continue climbing. Japan and Russia are India’s main trading partners, alongside a wide array of extensive bilateral economic relations stretching from Australia and the Pacific Basin through Western Europe to the USA, Canada and Brazil.

Business

English is widely spoken in commercial circles, so there is little need for an interpreter or translation services. Business cards are usually exchanged and should be presented and received with two hands. When introduced to someone, wait to see if your host extends a Namaste, the traditional Indian greeting in which hands are clasped as if in prayer in front of the chest with a little bow, or offers the hand. When eating, visitors should wait to see if their host uses cutlery or fingers, and follow suit ( only the right hand is used for eating). All measures and weights should be expressed using the metric system. Indian businessmen welcome visitors and are very accomodating. Entertaining normally takes place in private clubs. The best months for business visits are from October to March. Accommodation should be booked well in advance.

Office hours: Monday-Friday 9.30 am - 5.00 pm, Saturday 9.30 am - 1.00 pm.

Commercial Information

The following organizations can offer advice:

Ministry of External Affairs, South Block, New Delhi 110 011
(tel: (11) 2301-2318 or 2301-1165; fax: (11) 2379-3062)

Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), 147B Gautam Nagar, Gulmohar Enclave, New Delhi 110 049 (tel: (11) 2651-2477-9; fax: (11) 2651-2154; email: assocham@sansad.nic.in)

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi 110 001 (tel: (11) 2373 8760-70; fax: (11) 2332-0714 or 2372-1504; email: ficci@ficci.com)

Conferences/Conventions

The main congress and exhibition centers are in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata (Calcutta), Chennai, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Varanasi, Bhubeneswar, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Panaji. Also, first-class hotels and auditoria with convention and conference facilities are available throughout the country.

Air India, Indian Airlines and leading hoteliers and travel agents are members of the International Congress and Conference Association (ICCA) and together they provide all the required services for international events, including the organizing of pre-and post-conference tours. There is a very useful hand book, which provides information on India in general, and in particular on conference facilities, called India: A Convention Planner, available from India Tourism (see Contact section).