At UK India Business Council we help 1000’s of companies with their India plans each year. Here are our 10 top tips that we think any exporter entering India should be aware of.
Tips for exporting to India
1. Thorough research is a must
You have to do your homework.
2. Spend time in India
India is big and complex, make sure you pick the right region.
3. Be flexible and adapt
Your business model may not translate to the Indian market the way you expect, don’t be put off by this. Adapt and seize opportunities.
4. Pick the right partner
It can seem vague advice, but it is born of experience. Don’t rush into a deal, and make use of your contacts.
5. Understand the business culture
Keep in mind that India moves at a different pace to the UK- sometimes faster, sometimes slower. It is not one country – there are many Indias within India: be aware of the cultural diversity and don’t make generalisations.
6. Hire good local staff, utilise the skills and expertise in India
Most UK companies with Indian offices with an Indian staff stressed the significant advantages of an Indian workforce.
7. Don’t be put off by perceptions of complex red-tape
India is not an easy market, but many UK businesses succeed there – after the EU and the US it is the UK’s largest export market, and the UK is the largest foreign investor in India. Take the right advice and you too can succeed.
8. Look for the win-win, and it need not be just about buying and selling between the UK and India
Indian businesses are looking to form partnerships to source technology/know-how and to go with these partners into third markets.
9. Engage with the UKIBC and the DIT
Remember you don’t have to go alone; there are plenty of organisations with the expertise and knowledge to help you succeed in India.
10. Take a long term view of the market, persevere and commit
Most UK companies point out that they are in India for the long haul and expect their involvement to deepen.