Maiden launch of the Norwegian Business Climate Survey in Mumbai

The Norwegian Business Association India (NBAI) and Royal Norwegian Consulate General, Mumbai in collaboration with the Commercial section of Royal Norwegian Embassy, Delhi (INNOVATION NORWAY) for the very first time, undertook a Business Climate survey to assess the current and near future business climate for Norwegian companies with specific focus of the Maritime sector. The survey was launched in Mumbai by Mr. Subhash Desai, State Industries Minister for Maharashtra, as the chief guest.

India has been described as the “only bright spot” on the global economic scenario and has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in the world today. Norwegian companies have been present in India for long, covering areas like maritime, oil & gas, fisheries & aquaculture, ICT, health and renewable, among many others. The recent policy initiatives by the Indian government have generated a lot of interest on Norwegian side and there is an urge to know more about the developments in India.

As India continues to be one of the countries attracting the largest foreign direct investments, Team Norway in India initiated the 1st Business Climate Survey for Norwegian business community operating in India.
Mr. Subhash Desai, States Industries Minister who was present at the launch as the Chief Guest commented, “I congratulate Team Norway for this wonderful initiative which is bound to open doors for both the countries likewise. We are hopeful that the findings of this survey will potentially serve as an input for discussions and engagement with the Government of India, State governments and other stakeholders.”

During the launch, the Consul General of Norway, Mr. Torbjorn Holthe addressed, “The objective of Business Climate Survey was to assess the business confidence of Norwegian companies in India in terms of the opportunities and challenges that lie in relation to doing business with a general and maritime perspective.”

The idea of the survey was to understand the profile of Norwegian companies present in India, areas in which they operate and their experience of working here.
It was also important to know how the policies and projects have affected the sentiment of Norwegian business community about India. Maritime sector being the most important for Norway in India, the survey has a dedicated report about different aspects of this sector including inland waterways, coastal shipping, ship design & building, sustainable

shipping etc. It also looks into the opportunities that Norwegian companies see for themselves in India and the timeframe for the same.
Also present at the launch was Director of Innovation Norway, Mr. Helge Tryti who mentioned, “The economic ties between Norway and India are growing, and increasingly driven by trade in services. The Norwegian maritime companies are very optimistic (96% of them) about the sector growing in next 5 years. This optimism is largely because of the steps taken and projects initiated by the present Indian government. Some areas where we see a lot of potential for both countries to work together are Sustainable Shipping, Small Scale Distribution of LNG and Smart Societies.”

“We launched the Business Climate Survey (BCS) to gather opinions on the state of the economy and optimism for business today and in the future. This snapshot will allow us to understand where the stresses or hope lies within operations in India and use this critical information to discuss business needs with the India and Norwegian government. Our effort to connect with these companies has been successful in the initial attempt and we are glad to announce that the survey captures inputs from 90 Norwegian companies established in India with specific insight from the Maritime sector receiving an impressive response rate of 83%”, said Mr. Richard Chapman, Chairman NBAI.

The majority of the Norwegian companies are established in Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, and Karnataka.

Biggest Norwegian companies present in India are mainly Telenor, Statkraft, DNB, Aker Solutions, Jotun, MTR FOODS, Evry India, Kongsberg, DNV GL and many more.
The largest Indian companies in Norway are HLC Technologies, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, and Teck Mahindra’s IT branch.

Highlights- Maritime Business Climate Survey:
• The Norwegian maritime companies are very optimistic (96% of them) about the sector growing in next 5 years. This optimism is largely because of the steps taken and projects initiated by the present Indian government.
• The growth in maritime sector will largely be driven by
 Modernization & Mechanization of Ports
 Development of Inland waterways and Coastal shipping
 Sustainable shipping initiatives like promoting LNG fuelled vessels/ barges
• They don’t see any recovery in commercial shipbuilding
• Defense shipbuilding provides a silver lining for the ship-building sector.

• Modernization of Ports: 46% respondents are highly optimistic about developments in Ports sector. About 80% see lot of opportunities for supply of equipment, harbor tugs, multipurpose tugs etc.
• Inland Waterways & Coastal Shipping: 33% of Norwegian companies are also extremely positive about the development of Inland waterways and coastal shipping in India in the next 3-5 years. Indian government’s intention to shift transportation of coal, minerals, fertilizer etc. from railways to coastal shipping will give boost to the sector. Shallow draft River Sea Vessels, Cargo vessels & barges, passenger ferries, RORO vessels are some areas where both countries can work together.
• Sustainable Shipping: 33% Norwegian companies are very optimistic about this area and 67% believe that small scale distribution of LNG, LNG bunkering offers immense opportunities for Norway and India to work together. Energy efficient Ship design, Modern Propulsion Technology, Waste Heat Management and Environment Pollution Monitoring systems are few other areas where Norwegian companies see a lot of potential.

Highlights – General Business Climate Survey

• 62% consider the present business climate favourable
• 75% consider the investment climate to be more favourable in the coming 3 years
• 70% Want to grow market for their line of business and thus entered India.
• Primary investments made in Services, Marketing & Sales in 2016
• Product quality & brand recognition are the main competitive advantages
• 68% believe that India is a strategic location for R&D
• Bureaucracy & corruption are the two main aspects affecting the ease of doing business in India
• Increasing salaries is the most critical issue among the workforce in India
• 55% believe that the Indian market is lucrative for start ups
• 5 Start-up Areas for Norwegian Opportunities-renewable energy,, Greentech, Healthcare/Life science/Telecom/IT/Education & manufacturing
• 52% companies claim that their market share has increased as compared to last year`s
• Skill development has emerged as a main area of investment in 2016
• 52% companies claim that their market share has increased as compared to last year`s
• 69% believe their profit margin will increase further in the coming 3 years
• On an average, 19% of the workforce is female, 59% of the companies are looking to increase their workforce by at least 20% next year

• Education, Skill development and healthcare are key areas of CSR Investment for Norwegian companies in India
• CSR outreach programs are dominant mainly in Maharashtra followed by Karnataka
• Norwegian companies are mainly looking to innovate new products to help reduce social and environmental problems as a way of contributing towards sustainability and CSR

About Business Climate Survey
The Business Climate Survey was conducted by the Norwegian Business Association India (NBAI) & Royal Norwegian Consulate General, Mumbai in collaboration with the Commercial section of Royal Norwegian Embassy, Delhi (INNOVATION NORWAY).The purpose of the Business Climate Survey is to
– Assess the current and near future business climate for Norwegian companies with in-depth focus & study of the Maritime sector.
– Assess the business confidence of Norwegian companies in India, including identifying what they perceive as opportunities and challenges, including barriers to business, increasing investments in and trade with India.
– Serve as an input to discussions and engagement with Government of India, state governments and other stakeholders.
– Give valuable input to Norwegian companies considering doing business with and in India.

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