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Meeting India in Tampere

A good opportunity to update one’s expertise in India-related business, useful new contacts, lots of inspiration… This is how local entrepreneurs commented on the India – Finland Business Lunch held in Tampere.

The India – Finland Business Lunch was organised to discuss business opportunities and investment potential between companies in the Tampere Region and India. It was honored by the presence of His Excellency Shri. Ashok Kumar Sharma, the Indian ambassador to Finland and Estonia, who talked the audience about the ”Make in India” initiative launched by the Government of India.

– The Government today is very pro-business. They are trying their best to improve the conditions of doing business in India and with India, he told.

The Make in India presentation by His Excellency Shri. Ashok Kumar Sharma, the Indian ambassador to Finland and Estonia gave everyone a lot of insight into business in and with India.

This announcement was considered very important by Mr. Matti Kerppola, Advisor in Tampere-based Leonis Consulting. He attended the Business Lunch to update his knowledge of India-related business which he has been following for the last 20 years. Leonis Consulting is advising Finnish SMEs on growth and internationalization and assists them in finding financing.

– It was good to hear directly from the Ambassador that India is making the effort to become a top level country for foreign investement by reducing red tape and opening new sectors for FDIs, he says, and adds that he will certainly pass on this information to his clients.

The Ambassador himself did encourage the SMEs and told that the growing economy of India provides enough opportunities for everyone, no matter the size.

– Big companies can come to India in a big way and small companies can go to a particular segment or particular region in India, where they can concentrate on that particular area and still be successful, he says.

Jukka Hosio, Managing Director of Deltabit found the Business Lunch most of all inspiring: India with it’s 1,3 billion inhabitants is a market one should really take into consideration.

Interest in the growth and sheer volume of the Indian market was exactly the point that brought Mr. Jukka Hosio, Managing Director of Deltabit, to the Business Lunch. Deltabit is a company that develops keyless biometric systems to identify people in homes, businesses and health-care operations. The Business Lunch speakers offered Mr. Hosio food for thought e.g. around the issue of frugal innovation.

– Our company is aiming at conquering European markets with high quality and efficiency but we do need to ponder if tailoring the products is something that we can and must do to reach Indian or other developing markets, he says.

Taking the opportunity to network, SkillzzUp CEO Kimmo Kumpulainen and Advisor Matti Kerppola of Leonis Consulting.

Networking and meeting people was one of the goals of the Business Lunch. And for sure, people mingled and made new contacts. Mr. Kimmo Kumpulainen, CEO of SkillzzUp, made sure he found a new person to talk to on each break during the event. This proved to be very useful.

– We will probably meet again and discuss our potential cooperation further. And yes, it will be India-related, he tells.

The product of SkillzzUp is a real time skill assessment tool for teachers and students. The company is an internationally oriented start-up looking for different options at the moment. For SkillzzUp, India is an interesting destination as a developing market with hunger for new educational technologies.

– Our product is scalable, so credibility would not be a problem for us even on a very large market like India. The Ambassador talked about the need for scalability, and I totally agree, says Mr. Kumpulainen.

The Ambassador Mr. Ashok Kumar Sharma also did his share of mingling among the audience of the event. Any one of those meetings may prove to be crucial, he says:

– In a global economy, there are so many options that you can not rule out any possibilities. So, even if I am talking to a youngster in Tampere, there may be something he can do with India or in India, or in Finland involving some Indian businesses.

And how did all this start? Let’s meet Mr. Eashan Salhotra, a keen Tampere – All Bright! Ambassador, who has a recent Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Tampere. He met the Ambassador Mr. Ashok Kumar Sharma at the Twinkle 2015 business event and they agreed that more Indo-Finnish business activities should be arranged outside the capital Helsinki. The Tampere Business Lunch was the first result of this.

He was supported by Mrs. Sujitha Ravi who works as Project Director for India at Humming World Oy. She has a vision to deliver high impact projects related to education, sanitation and health in developing countries. As for the Business Lunch, there is a bright future ahead.

– I’m planning to make this a nationwide thing and organise these events around Finland. In Tampere there will also be a larger scale event expected next autumn, he says.

Provided, of course, that Mr. Salhotra stays in Finland, since he is looking for good job opportunities at the moment.

Mr. Eashan Salhotra is a member of Tampere All Bright! Ambassador Network of people who want to promote the international visibility of the Tampere Region. Here is Mr. Salhotra (on the right) pictured with Venkata Gandikota from Indianeer and Senior Manager Oliver Hussey of Tredea, who both held a presentation at the India – Finland Business Lunch.

Make in India Week (13-18 February 2016 at Mumbai) showcases the potential of design, innovation and sustainability in India. Make in India, launched by Prime Minister Modi, is one of the key programmes of the Indian Government. The aim of the programme is to transform India into the next global design and manufacturing hub. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä will head a Team Finland visit to India during the Make in India Week. The aim of the official visit is to strengthen relations between Finland and India and promote trade and economic cooperation.

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Overheard at the Business Lunch: ”Good information and excellent Indian buffet!”

 

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