Roundtables

Indian Roundtable – Poland’s Challenges and Opportunities in the Subcontinent

In recent years, India has been the fastest growing among the major countries' economies in the world. (...) In the coming decades, the Subcontinent's largest country may remain one of the pillars of global economic growth. This is one of the reasons why the country is already the most popular destination for Polish foreign investment in the Asian-Pacific region.

Pobierz ten materiał w  PDF

Instytut Boyma 02.03.2021

Indian Round Table

Poland’s Challenges and Opportunities in the Subcontinent

 

Report on discussions by representatives of public administration, the business community and representatives of think-tanks

Organizers: Krzysztof M. Zalewski, Tomasz Augustyniak, Jakub Kamiński, Patrycja Pendrakowska

 

How to build an ecosystem of Polish success in India?

In recent years, India has been the fastest growing among the major countries’ economies in the world. This placed it as the third economy of the globe, measured by purchasing power parity. In the coming decades, the Subcontinent’s largest country may remain one of the pillars of global economic growth. This is one of the reasons why the country is already the most popular destination for Polish foreign investment in the Asian-Pacific region.

At the same time, in the almost unanimous opinion of entrepreneurs, the Subcontinent remains a prospective but difficult area for Polish companies. The first experiences are not always favourable, and the specificity of running a business makes many entities expect support and provide practical knowledge about the local dynamically changing market.

The meeting at the Boym Institute was aimed at understanding the perspectives of various actions related to cooperation with India and finding ways to build an ecosystem of success in the Subcontinent.

 

The rediscovery of India

Before 1989, Polish companies achieved some success in India thanks to the mediation of the state-owned commercial and investment centres. 

The changes that the Polish and Indian economies underwent on the wave of the liberalization and decentralization of the 1990s, including the collapse or change in the profile of some large companies, caused many of these contacts to be severed. 

The period after 1989 is the first in which private companies are standing on both sides of contract and business contracts. Many Polish small and medium-sized enterprises have to discover the Indian market for themselves. In order to sustain this process, female entrepreneurs need constant support from both public institutions and mentoring on the part of more experienced businesses. 

 

  1. Opportunities and challenges in the Indian Market 

Opportunities

  • Made in the EU (Poland) On the Indian market, Poland benefits from being part of the European Union and the possibility of delivering European products. Building the awareness of the Polish product as a reliable European brand on the Indian market is a chance to achieve success. 
  • Poland should make greater use of the already existing India-EU cooperation platforms and support institutions. Polish business associations and business support institutions could, for example, ensure better representation of Poland entities in centres such as the European Business and Technology Centre (https://ebtc.eu ) 
  • It is worth looking for your opportunities in new trends on the market and sectors. An example may be the use of the potential of the smart cities program (introduction of modern technologies to urban infrastructure), the public safety sector or the education of young children, similar to those in the West, and the use of “smart” solutions – educational products for children. Other promising industries include fitness, pet products, and traditional industries of agricultural and mining modernization.
  • Success in India is most likely if a given entity/product becomes part of an important socio-political process. An example would be a) the use of educational toys in the reform of education systems, b) designing new mines – from design drawing to starting/operating a mine.
  • Distribution channels should be strongly related to the specificity of the market. For example, the standards of showrooms in India differ significantly from the European ones, and the e-commerce channel is often used by customers from their mobile phones while driving in traffic (the customer often does not drive the car, they  have a chauffeur). Hence the need to adjust product presentation, ease of ordering and delivery associated with other habits. Due to the hierarchy of the society, one of the methods is to build the image of the product as an exclusive product, available only to a select few
  • The investment may require finding an Indian partner and establishing a joint venture with them. In some sectors this is a formal requirement and in others it is a practical convenience. Once you find such a reliable partner, it can be valuable not only on the Indian market, but also in many other places around the world (thanks to Indian global family networks).

 

Challenges

  • Large projects require many years of planning and certain staff constancy. Due to rotation in state-owned companies or companies with a dominant share of public authority in Poland, some industries, such as coking or copper mining, lack strategic continuity and many years of talks with India are not continued. So the challenge remains to maintain strategic continuity despite staff discontinuity on both sides.
  • Effective action on a large scale requires building coalitions of a greater number of entities. The challenge remains to break the climate of distrust between Polish entrepreneurs and see the benefits of cooperation. 
  • Understanding the consequences of Indian diversity – Polish entrepreneurs and institutions are accustomed to functioning within a unitary state (the rules are practically uniform throughout Poland) on the one hand, and within a common EU market on the other. However, if many entrepreneurs are aware of cultural and religious diversity, they often find the consequences of the federalization of the state and the ability to set taxes and rules at the state level surprising. 
  • Knowledge of the Indian market as a whole should therefore be supplemented with regional specifics. A step in the right direction is the report on the sources of knowledge on India’s regional economic specifics prepared by the team from the Asia Research Centre at the War Studies University. 
  • Visa processing remains a challenge for public administration, particularly consulates. Currently, the time required to obtain a visa and the conditions for obtaining and waiting for a visa discourage Indian partners from making business visits (for example to manufacturing facilities in Poland). Entrepreneurs expect their business partners to find it easier, especially with a documented history of returning from the Schengen zone.
  • Coordination of legal services – in many countries, legal services are provided by specialised companies, depending on the type of assistance needed. In India, lawyers often feel that their foreign client should rely on their expertise, even though they lack experience in certain substantive issues. Seeking a second legal opinion is often treated as breaking an unwritten rule. The challenge can be to create a functional legal service that combines comprehensive operations on the Polish and Indian markets, without compromising business relationships with partners.
  • The need to set time and resources aside for longer trips. Business partners need time to get to know each other. The process of entering the Indian market is also difficult and time-consuming due to bureaucracy, unclear regulations, labour law or certification process. Although the law is not very complicated, the administrative process itself is difficult, for example to establish a company in India. 
  • It is worth extending the time for business trips. Given the different understanding of time in the Indian market, the length of business trips co-organized by public authorities should be adjusted to local conditions (more than three days).
  • How do we reliably inform about India’s transformation and build a foundation for future success? 

 

The role of analytical institutions/media:

  • The need to distribute two types of knowledge. On the one hand, practical knowledge related to specific business behaviours is present in India (long waiting times for invoicing in places such as hotels or bars, long travel times between two locations due to traffic congestion, restrictions on the use of India SIM cards, the most popular business applications, etc.). On the other hand, information about market trends and new regulations affecting business conditions is also important.
  • Stories of successes and failures of others in this challenging market are also an interesting resource for entrepreneurs.
  • Think tanks wishing to reach entrepreneurs should skilfully select knowledge, putting the most important information in clear summaries.
  • It is important to use a variety of formats, especially podcasts and videos (which can be listened to/ watched on long flights).
  • Apart from the internet and social media, the knowledge distribution channel could also be the media available during long transcontinental journeys (in-flight newspapers, in-flight multimedia library). 

 

The role of public institutions and business associations:

  • Performing evaluations of public support programs in the Asia-Pacific region on a regular basis and making this data public. In this way it is possible to check which activities practically support Polish success and to what extent. The evaluation of previous strategies should be the basis for building new ones. 
  • If some elements of support for entrepreneurs are difficult for public administration and their effects are assessed negatively by business, it is worth considering commercialization of a part of the economic promotion sector (tenders for support and promotion activities). This could help counteract the inadequate allocation of resources and human resources. 
  • The creation of information on public tenders in South Asia open to outside companies. Access to such specific knowledge is quite limited. This gap in knowledge about government programs was filled by the Polish Institute of International Affairs report “India in the Reform Process. Opportunities for Poland.”
  • Such knowledge should also be presented as a database and updated, along with information about the success of European companies in tenders under these programs.
  • It is worth creating an updated guide to business in India, which should contain a lot of practical information about tax regulations, customs tariffs or products codes. So as not to duplicate the work of others, it is worth creating such an open database together with European partners.

 

From the entrepreneur’s point of view, there is a lack of information on how to deal with the possible dishonesty of partners, who to report to, how to solve such problems and what tools exist for this purpose.

czytaj więcej

Indonesia – between religion and democracy

Indonesia is the largest Muslim democracy in the world. Approximately 88% of the population in Indonesia declares Islamic religion, but in spite of this significant dominance, Indonesia is not a religious state.

Patrycja Pendrakowska and Paweł Behrendt on navigating Sino-Polish relations

We are proud to annouce, that Patrycja Pendrakowska and Paweł Behrendt made a contribution to the newest project of the Baltic Security Foundation, The Jamestown Foundation and the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation.

Ailuna Shamurzaeva – Research Fellow at the Boym Institute

Her research focuses on political economy, migration studies, and international trade. Ailuna, we are more than happy to welcome you to the team!

The link between EU Aid and Good Governance in Central Asia

Nowadays all the CA states continue transitioning into the human-centered model of governance where the comprehensive needs of societies must be satisfied, nevertheless, the achievements are to a greater extent ambiguous.

The phenomenon of ”haigui”

After the darkness of the Cultural Revolution, the times of the Chinese transformation had come. In 1978, Deng Xiaoping realised the need to educate a new generation of leaders: people proficient in science, management and politics. Generous programmes were created that aimed at attracting back to China fresh graduates of foreign universities, young experts, entrepreneurs and professionals.

Are Polish Universities Really Victims of a Chinese Influence Campaign?

The Chinese Influence Campaign can allegedly play a dangerous role at certain Central European universities, as stated in the article ‘Countering China’s Influence Campaigns at European Universities’, (...) However, the text does ignore Poland, the country with the largest number of universities and students in the region. And we argue, the situation is much more complex.

Internet, cryptocurrencies & blockchains in North Korea

North Korea is considered as a secretive state, but, paradoxically, the country is developing last trend technologies. With prohibitions restricting the flow of money, the country is turning to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to finance their programs, instead of coming under new pressure.

The North Korean nuclear dismantlement and the management of its nuclear wastes

Evidence suggests that North Korea stores its high-level nuclear waste (HLW) in liquid form in tanks on the same site where it is made, and has not invested in infrastructure to reduce, dentrify, or vitrify this waste. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg, one of many aspects of the North Korean nuclear waste problem.

Polish-Asian Cooperation in the Field of New Technologies – Report

Polish and Polish-founded companies are already on the largest continent in sectors such as: IT, educational technology, finance, marketing, e-commerce and space. Despite this, the potential lying dormant in the domestic innovation sector seems to be underutilized.

Patrycja Pendrakowska made it to the Top 40 under 40 Europe-India leaders list

#EuropeIndia40, an initiative of EICBI, covers the stories of leaders below the age of 40 and their contributions to promoting EU India / UK India relations.

From ‘strategic engagement’ to ‘competition’. Interview with William Yu

Ewelina Horoszkiewicz in conversation with Professor William Yu (UCLA) on USA, China and Europe. Professor William Yu  is an economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast and specializes in the economies of Los Angeles and China.

#WomeninBoym Initiative

At the Boym Institute we are coming out with new initiative: #WomeninBoym, which aims to show the activity of this – often less visible – half of society. We will write about what women think, say and do. We will also publicise what women are researching and writing.

TSRG 2021: The Impacts of the BRI on Europe: The Case of Poland and Germany

It is important to contribute to the understanding of what the New Silk Road can mean in economic, political, leadership and cultural terms for the European countries involved. This analysis should reveal the practical consequences of the Belt and Road Initiative for Europe in the case of Poland and Germany, as well as their respective social effects.

Dr Krzysztof Zalewski participates in the Kigali Global Dialogue in Rwanda

A short note and photo gallery from the chairman of the Board of the Boym Institute, who stays in Rwanda at the "Kigali Global Dialogue" conference.

Adam Institute for Democracy & Peace – Crowdfunding Campaign December 2020

Democracy in Israel is in crisis. And if we don't educate for democracy, it just won't exist. It's that simple. The actual teaching of democracy, on the other hand, isn't so simple. It requires experience, theoretical and practical knowledge and the flexibility to adapt to our ever-changing reality.

Women’s change in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has embarked on a path of reform. Almost daily, the media there report on new initiatives and projects. It is no coincidence that in December 2019 The Economist awarded Uzbekistan the country of the year title.

Patrycja Pendrakowska as a participant of Women Economic Forum (WEF) in India

The interactive discussion covers recent projects and collaborations which have contributed to a greener economy in India

Not only tests and masks: the history of Polish-Vietnamese mutual helpfulness

On the initiative of the Vietnamese community in Poland and Vietnamese graduates of Polish universities, our country received support from Vietnam - a country that deals with the threat posed by Sars-Cov-2 very effectively.

Meeting with Dr. Uki Maroshek-Klarman

It’s a great pleasure for the Boym Institute to organize an open meeting with dr Uki Maroshek who founded the betzavta method. Betzavta is taught across the globe at the Adam Institute for Democracy and Peace in Jerusalem as well as in other institutions in Europe and the Middle East.

Development strategies for Ulaanbaatar according to the conception for the city’s 2040 General Development Plan- part 1

In the first part of this analysis of Ulaanbaatar’s winning 2040 General Development Plan Conception (GDPC) I look into the historical preconditions for the city’s planned development as well as present the legislative climate in which works on Ulaanbaatar’s future development strategies have recently found themselves.

Polish-Kazakh Business Forum

An interview with Mr. Meirzhan Yussupov, Chairman of the Board of the “National Company” KAZAKH INVEST” JSC - Member of the Board of Directors of the Company

Book review: “Unveiling the North Korean economy”

Book review of "Unveiling the North Korean economy", written by Kim Byung-yeon and published by Cambridge University Press in 2016.B. Tauris in 2017.

The unification of the two Koreas: an ASEAN perspective

The aim of the paper is to discuss the role of the ASEAN as a critical component of the solution to the Korean unification. The Korean Unification refers to the potential reunification of both Koreas into a single sovereign Korean state led by the leadership of the two Koreas.

The Boym Institute message to Chinese policymakers and analysts

The EU-China relations require common perspective on Russia’s invasion on Ukraine