Export or perish should be our "Battle Cry". India has only 0.6% of world trade (China +HK 6.0%), 1.3% of world buying power (China 3.2%), 0.38% of tourist arrivals (China 11.5%), 0.25% of world FDI (China 10.25%), but 17% of world's human capital (China 21%). India has a large demand but very little buying power. Exports will push companies to Improve Quality, Reduce Cost & Improve Productivity. For example, the Software business and Diamond Cutting Industry has transformed India in many ways and will continue to do so in the future. This approach needs to be duplicated for many other spheres of the Indian Economy.
We are pleased to suggest the following for Indian Businesses in Industry, Trade or Services:
1. Learn the power and use of the Internet - as a source of Information.
The use of the Internet for any business, in today's Global environment, is a MUST. We can get a lot of information, free of cost provided we are good at using the World Wide Web. The payback would be many times greater. India is going for broadband, with nearly Rs. 50,000 cr. being invested. Internet telephony will start after 01-04-2002.
2. Each Industry Association - to have its own website.
If we want the rest of the world to know us, the cheapest and best method is to host a website, as soon as possible.
3. Each individual organization - to have its own website.
Every company is different in terms of product and service range, experience and other business aspects. Therefore the need of each member company to have its own site which should be linked to the site of the Association.
4. Exports are effective
only if the website & marketing literature is in international languages. If Indian companies need to reach out to Japan, Korea, China and Europe, then the website and also the marketing brochures, must also be in the language of the importing country. This has many advantages and little cost. To boost international trade 'The People's Daily' in China prints in 6 international languages, besides Chinese.
5. Domestic Business can be enhanced - by using local Indian languages.
India is country with 21 cultures and as many languages. Only 6% of Indians understand English. We need to communicate in the language of our customers, Gujarati for Gujarat, Marathi for Maharastra etc. The advantages of this is obvious, as business gurus will confirm.
6. Use of - International Standards.
The international standards are a wealth of information such as the German (DIN), British (BIS), Japanese (JIS), American (ASTM) and European (EURO-NORM). Each industry association must get for its members a copy of the relevant standards. There is free know-how available in these standards, provided we know how to read these standards and plan to achieve their quality levels. This will push us to higher quality, lower costs, higher market share and more business and profits.
7. Bench Mark - with the best companies of the world.
The Japanese have been doing this since the last 100 years, other countries have followed. The final gainer is only the organization which practices this policy. Gujarat Ambuja Cement is an excellent case study, in the Indian context. There are many such Indian companies which have gained by learning from their best companies in the world. Learning organizations will always be winners!
8. Indian State Capitals - need Convention Centers & Exhibition grounds of International quality.
Germany is a classic example of this. After the 2nd World War, Germany was devastated. Every large city has these facilities, which then becomes a meeting ground for local companies to exhibit their wares and services, for domestic and world markets. Singapore and Hong Kong are following this example for many years. The spin-off is multifold - business, M& A's, tourism, joint ventures, etc. China is doing this in a very big way.
9. Subscribe for literature and journals - pertaining to your business.
A Learning Organization, is the only one, which will be able to tackle competition and grow with time and also remain profitable. Visit to trade fairs, seminars and workshops, is a prerequisite for organizations. Learning Organizations spend nearly 8.33% of their time, or nearly 1 month a year in training and re-training!
10. Learn a foreign language
Besides English, it is necessary for us to learn other
foreign languages such as German, Spanish,Japanese, Arabic, etc; especially the ones where we want to do our exports and also imports. It always helps. Check Chinese export & tourism websites ! German speaking countries account for nearly 15% of the world GDP. Japan accounts for another 18%. GDP of the English speaking world is hardly 45%! Our fixation, that only English is enough is wrong and is therfore hurting our foreign trade growth.