Ongoing growth in India – demand for Finnish expertise is high

The Indian economy continues to grow. Prime Minister Modi has launched several key projects for which Finnish companies are able to supply cleantech, digitalisation, sanitation and health expertise. Design solutions are also in demand, as India is renewing its traditional sectors. Tekes will open a call for funding applications around these themes in the near future. We will also chart other cooperation possibilities in India.

The estimated growth rate of India's gross domestic product is 7.5 per cent for 2016. Inflation has been successfully halted at about 5 per cent and wages are expected to rise by around 10 per cent this year. In February, the Government of India published a budget for 2016–2017 with significant sums being invested in business, infrastructure and education.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government will have been in office for two years in May. Modi was formerly the Prime Minister of the state of Gujarat, where he was acclaimed as a strong reformer and agent of change. More than ten key projects have been launched during his term of office. Among these projects, Make in India aims to develop domestic manufacturing industry, while the Clean India project seeks to clean water bodies and the environment, focus on the development of sanitation, and increase the use of renewable energy sources. The goal of the Smart Cities programme is to build 100 smart cities. Other key focus areas include the development of know-how and education (Skill India) and health care and digitalisation.

Prime Minister Modi has put India on the world map as never before. He travels widely and markets India as an investment target and source of cooperation partners, simultaneously raising the self-esteem of the Indian people. Despite its rapid development, India is still an emerging market where every challenge imaginable can be found alongside huge business opportunities, the desire to succeed, a highly dynamic start-up ecosystem and a young, educated labour force. During Modi's term of office, corruption has been reduced, the public administration has been developed and more support has become available for businesses. Legislation has been simplified to facilitate foreign investments and business taxation.

India is seeking international cooperation in research, development and innovation activities. They wish to import technology from abroad and develop it cooperatively, in order to provide solutions to a variety of problems. Different ministries are able to provide concrete support for the launch of pilots – a significant factor when technologies and solutions developed elsewhere are being tested.

There is plenty of room for growth in trade and cooperation between India and Finland. When Prime Ministers Juha Sipilä and Narendra Modi met in Mumbai in February 2016, they also addressed the need for more active cooperation. Lucrative opportunities for Finnish companies lie in the digitalisation of health care, renewal of education and in the sanitation and cleantech sectors, particularly in the areas of water treatment, waste management and reuse.

Joint call for funding application by Tekes and the Indian GITA

In late Summer, together with its Indian funding partner Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA), Tekes will publish a call for funding applications for projects grouped around the above-mentioned themes. We would already be delighted to hear any ideas for prospective cooperation projects. We are prepared to discuss business partnership opportunities in India. With GITA's help, we also aim to help companies find partners and pilot projects in India. If you are interested, please respond to our survey by clicking the link below.

GITA has also identified some Indian companies that are interested in collaboration with Finland. The company list and contact information can be found here. In addition to the funding call, we are seeking new market opportunities for Finnish companies and for building cooperation with Indian start-up hubs in collaboration with Finpro and other Team Finland partners, particularly in the environmental, health and wellbeing sectors. We will publish more information about these opportunities later.

In addition to the application for funding, we are seeking pilot projects for Finnish companies and for building cooperation with Indian start-up hubs, particularly in the environmental, health and wellbeing sectors. We will publish more information about these opportunities later.

In addition to India, Tekes offers funding and networking services in other rapidly developing countries through the BEAM − Business with Impact programme.

For further information, please contact

Silva Paananen
Kasvu Consulting Pvt Ltd
Tel. +91 7838 04030

Further information about the future call for funding applications
Christopher Palmberg
Tel. +358 50 5577 966

Further information about the BEAM programme
Minh Lam
Tel. +358 50 5577 743

Further information about health sector cooperation in India
Auli Pere
Tel. +358 50 5577 799

Text: Silva Paananen
Photos: Tim Bird

Sanna Nuutila
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