India is the world’s fastest growing large economy1 and is poised to become the third largest by 20302.
Victoria already enjoys a close relationship and growing trade ties with India in international education, food and fibre, and tourism. Home to Australia’s largest Indian population, which contributes significantly to the success of our state, Victoria welcomes the largest number of Indian students of any Australian state, and has the largest number of Australian university partnerships with India.
India is a large and complex market which is rapidly changing, and can present challenges for businesses. To ensure targeted entry and the best chance of success, we recommend undertaking solid market research and receiving sound, in-market intelligence.
The Victorian Government’s Victoria’s India Strategy: Our shared future was launched in January 2018 and is a blueprint to further strengthen Victoria’s engagement with India with a view to grow our education, investment and trade relationships. It defines priority sectors and Indian states where Victoria’s world-class offerings align with India’s projected growth.
The Australian Federal government’s India Economic Strategy also includes useful information on several of the industries and states common to the Victorian strategy.
Opportunities for Victorians looking to do business with India
Educating the next generation is critical to the future prosperity of both Victoria and India. We have a shared interest in offering our students the highest quality education and being at the forefront in international research.
India has the second greatest number of students studying overseas, and by 2020 India’s population will be the world’s youngest3.
India is increasingly turning to international partners to help meet the challenge of developing an industry-ready workforce of such magnitude. Vocational education and skilling India’s young populations is essential to realising the full potential of India’s demographic dividend. In the tertiary sector, India continues to pursue reforms with the aim of internationalising its universities and supporting institutes to partner with international providers.
- Subscribe to the International Education Bulletin for monthly market updates.
- Contact Victoria's in-market Education Services Managers.
- Download and read the Market Development Plan for International Education in India.
Source: 3. IRIS Knowledge Foundation and United Nations Human Settlements Program
India is home to 15 per cent of the world’s population with nearly 30 per cent of the global disease burden, making it one of the largest and most challenging healthcare markets in the world.
The Indian Government has committed to raising public expenditure on healthcare from 1.4 to 2.5 per cent. But that still falls short of the need.
Given the size of the challenge, the country is working to develop low-cost solutions via local and international players. As a result, India has emerged as the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem, with medtech and digital health companies forming a strong cluster within this ecosystem.
Victorian companies have had success in delivering allied health education in market, in collaborations on diagnostics, and in startups. There is some manufacture of components in India for Victorian medical products.
Victoria has a growing number of Indian pharmaceutical companies who have sales offices, have acquired Victorian companies, and are conducting clinical trials.
Liveable cities and places
Victoria and India are already working together in two important areas: infrastructure and water management. There are also emerging opportunities in clean technology and environment protection.
India is embarking on transforming the liveability of its urban and rural environments. Its Smart Cities Mission aims to create 100 Smart Cities across the country. The cities will deliver core infrastructure needs – access to water, energy, transport, healthcare and education – as well as good governance and sustainable economic development.
The Indian Government has proposed to contribute more than AUD$10 billion over five years with Indian states and international partners to contribute further funding to their relevant cities.
The initiative will comprise a mix of greenfield, retrofitted and redeveloped cities, focusing on sustainable and inclusive development, through the application of smart solutions.
Victorian companies are currently present in India in architecture, project management, air monitoring and waste water management.
Entrepreneurship, startups & eCommerce
India is a global leader in innovation, driven by the entrepreneurial spirit of India’s youth.
India is the third-largest startup nation in the world with almost three-quarters of startup founders in India aged under 354. These creative minds are establishing startups in every sector of the Indian economy, including eCommerce, healthcare and education.
India’s eCommerce market reached US$17.8 billion in sales in 20175, and has fast become the preferred purchasing method for households of all sizes across India. There are significant opportunities for Victoria to learn from India’s vibrant entrepreneurial culture and its success in translating innovative ideas into commercial ventures by taking startups into international markets.
Source:4. NASSCOM and Zinnov, 5. RedSeer Management Consulting
India has some of the fastest growing sports leagues in the world. The success of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket transformed Twenty-20 cricket internationally and has led to new Indian national competitions with huge audiences in badminton, hockey, kabaddi, soccer, tennis and wrestling. The success and scale of these leagues are helping drive increased investment in India’s sports infrastructure and an enhanced focus on community sport and athlete development in India.
Victoria and India's shared passion for sports and the growth of our respective sports economies presents opportunities for collaboration in sports training, management and infrastructure. As well as partnering at an elite level, Victoria and India can also share expertise and build connections at the community level to enhance our sports sectors.
Our creative industries bring Victoria and India closer while contributing to the economy and bolstering our local talent. Our collaboration in this sector extends right across visual and performing arts, literature, design, film, fashion and digital games.
The strengths of Victoria and India’s design and fashion industries are providing new opportunities for collaboration. Victoria is also working with India to strengthen the links between our digital gaming sectors, including in gamification and its application in education, emergency services skills training, and health and service delivery.
India is one of the world’s fastest-growing outbound travel markets.
Tourism Australia has identified India as a priority market because of the potential for growth, which is underpinned by forecasts that India will be Victoria’s second-largest market by 2022–23. Growth from India will support the Government's Victorian Visitor Economy Strategy target of $36.5 billion in tourism expenditure by 2025.
Food and Fibre
Food and fibre is Victoria’s largest merchandise export to India, worth $367 million in 2017–186.
Victoria’s exceptional reputation for wool drives the majority of these exports, supporting India’s textiles industry.
India is also import-dependent on pulses and lentils, and oilseeds – two critical commodities.
India already imports lamb, honey, almonds, wine and cheese from Victoria. There is an early market for high-end consumer products, which is a segment growing at 25–27 per cent annually. India now imports US$6 billion of gourmet, packaged and processed food.
Cold chain and logistics are improving, and eCommerce opens a new, exciting channel for distribution.
India has its own proud agriculture industry that supplies food to more than a billion people every day. However, with a large population and increasing environmental pressures, India continues to look for cost-effective ways to boost its production and better ways to move food from the farm, to the family table. There are opportunities for Victoria to partner with India in agriculture technology and science, particularly in dairy production, irrigation and smart water technologies.
Source: 6. DFAT SITC pivot table, 2017-18
- In 2017, India's economy was worth A$2.597 trillion1 and is predicted to become the third largest global economy by 2030.2
- India's future economic growth is concentrated in its growing mega-cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore, which have populations of over ten million people.
- Victoria's two-way goods trade with India was A$1.8 billion in 2017-18.3
- Indian students are the second largest cohort of international students in Victoria.4
- In 2018, Indian visitors spent more than A$458 million.5
- Victoria is home to the largest Indian diaspora in Australia – representing a significant advantage for long-term economic cooperation and exchange.7
- In recent years, India has made a significant dent in poverty levels, with extreme poverty dropping from 46 percent to an estimated 13.4 percent over the two decades before 20158.
1. World Bank - https://tinyurl.com/ycl2cw39
2. World Bank - https://tinyurl.com/ycl2cw39
3. DFAT Pivot Table State by Country and SITC 2005-06 to 2017-18
4. Department of Education and Training - https://tinyurl.com/y9ep35dm
5. Business Victoria - https://tinyurl.com/y9uj37h6
6. Basic Pivot Table
7. ABS Census 2011
8. World Bank - https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/india/overview#1
Geographical areas of opportunity
Victoria has had a presence in India through its dedicated trade and investment office in Bengaluru since 2005 and second office in Mumbai since 2012. These offices are a hub for building relationships and supporting closer engagement between Victorian and Indian businesses.
The following Indian states present specific opportunities for Victorian businesses:
- An ICT and innovation hub – home to more than 2500 ICT companies, 50 per cent of India’s biotech companies and India’s expanding e-commerce industry7
- Bengaluru, the capital city, has the world’s second-fastest growing start-up ecosystem with over 5000 startups8
- Bengaluru was named World’s Most Dynamic City in 2017 by consulting firm JLL
- Victoria has a long-term presence through the VGTI established in 2005
- Shared interests in infrastructure, roads, airports, water management, medical facilities, clean energy, higher education, ICT, advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defence.
Source: 7. International Monetary Fund, 2018, 8. US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2016
- Largest state economy in India, with a growth rate above India’s national average9
- Mumbai, the capital city, is the business centre of India – home to India’s stock exchanges, major banking corporations and leading retail chains
- Nagpur, the second capital, is emerging as a major logistics hub due to its central location
- Victorian Government Trade and Investment office in Mumbai since 2012
- Strong collaborations with Victorian institutions in water management, education and medical research.
Source: 9. An India Economic Strategy to 2035’ by Mr Peter Varghese AO
Delhi and National Capital Region
- The national capital is the place for engagement with the Central Government, national industry associations, businesses and research institutions, and international agencies, including the World Bank
- Delhi is one of the largest cities in the world, with more than 25 million people
- Victoria’s relationships with stakeholders in Delhi are vital to ensuring Victorian industries have access to opportunities across India.
- Top Indian state in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rankings, alongside Andhra Pradesh
- Large health sectors, including major hospitals and India’s largest pharmaceutical cluster, a growing start-up sector and a large cohort of research institutions and universities
- The state is investing significantly in expanding irrigation facilities and water management.
- Third-largest state economy and the most industrialised state in India
- Chennai, the capital, is the fourth-largest city in India and a major manufacturing hub
- Home to the largest education market for Australian postgraduate and research students from India, with strong Victoria–India research collaborations
- Shared interest in liveable cities, including water management and urban design, renewable energy, health care and ICT.
- One of India’s most liveable states, with strong higher education, health and environment sectors
- Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city, is an emerging ICT and professional services hub
- Growing demand for aged care, improved health care, green technologies and vocational training for high-earning workers
- VicRoads project office in Thiruvananthapuram and relationship with ICT cluster.
- Top Indian state in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rankings, alongside Telangana
- Vijayawada, the commercial capital, is a major logistics hub, and Krishnapatnam is emerging as the largest port on India’s eastern seaboard
- Priorities include architecture and design, green buildings, infrastructure, ports and tourism, liveability, road safety and water management.
Victoria's India Strategy: Our Shared Future
Unveiled by the Victorian Government on 14 January 2018, Victoria’s India Strategy: Our shared future is an ambitious blueprint to further strengthen Victoria’s engagement with India.
Pinpointing priority sectors where Victoria’s world-class offerings align with India’s strategy for growth, as well as both governments’ shared priority for strengthening their economies and creating more jobs, the Strategy includes a set of 10-year targets.
Discover how your business can export to India
- Our Go Global export-readinesss self-assessment tool will identify your business's gaps in capabilities and recommend next steps to bridge those gaps. Whether you're seeking to enter new markets, or expand into existing markets, Go Global will show you how to get there.
- ‘An India Economic Strategy to 2025’ – a report to the Australian Government by Mr Peter Varghese AO – is a rich sources of market analysis and advice on economic opportunities by industry sector and Indian state.
- Asialink Business' India Country Starter Pack provides you with a comprehensive guide to doing business in India.
- The Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) offices in Bengaluru and Mumbai provide tailored market intelligence, insights and guidance for your export business, and can connect you with overseas buyers and industry partners in India.
- Austrade's India Market Profile provides further detail and facts about the Indian market.
- The Victorian Government provides support through a range of grants, vouchers and assistance programs.
- The International Chamber House (ICH) in Melbourne's city centre is a business networking hub for international bilateral chambers and business associations. ICH provides its members with access to meeting rooms, including video-conferencing, flexible workspaces, and function space for international business development events.
- Opportunities exist for Victorian businesses to bid for contracts across a wide range of sectors and markets with the World Bank and United Nations. Providing financial support to low and middle-income countries for projects focused on development and change, World Bank's contract award decisions are based on criteria other than lowest price, such as quality and sustainability
- Visit our regional insights page to read seasonal updates from our Regional Specialists