This regional insights update looks at the priorities for the returning Modi Government across sectors included in Victoria’s India Strategy, outcomes from Victoria’s Liveability Trade mission to India and other recent success stories.
Victoria-India success stories
- India will now recognise Australian pathway degree credits
- MoooFarm won the InsureTech Grand challenge hosted by WorldBank Group
- The University of Melbourne launched its new India Strategy
- Shah Rukh Khan launched the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne and was awarded an honorary doctorate from La Trobe University
- International student numbers soar with Melbourne ranked Australia’s Best Student City
Economic agenda for 2019-2024 sets ambitious growth targets
The returning Modi Government has outlined it priorities for its second term in government, placing economic growth at the top of its priorities.
Over the last five years, India increased its World Bank ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rank by 65 places, moving from 142 in 2014, to 77 in 2019. India also introduce a national GST – transforming it into a single market place for first time – and a new Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to create a single law to provide clearer recourses for businesses and help address the issue of non-performing assets holding the economy back1. The Government acknowledges it has a long way to go and has now set a new goal to be in the top 50 countries of the world in ease of doing business.
In his second term, Modi wants to nearly double the size of India’s economy to $5 trillion by 2024. This will be hard to achieve. India’s GDP, while still growing at 6.8 per cent in 2018-19, has dropped to a five-year low and unemployment rates are also rising2. But this target does demonstrate the Government’s desire to push for economic growth, which it understands it will need to achieve through domestic reform and working with international partners and investors.
To achieve this, the Government will continue its focus on flagship initiatives including for example Digital India, Make in India, Clean India and Smart Cities.
Union Budget 2019/20 promises significant investment in transport infrastructure
The Modi Government has focused on fiscal stimuli via spending on infrastructure and support payments to farmers. It aims to construct 35,000 kilometres of national highways and all-weather roads to every village by June 2022. It has promised to build 20 million new affordable homes over three years. And it has pledged to provide $359 billion in aid to farmers over an undefined period, primarily through direct cash payments.
To deliver this, the Indian Government will expand its use of public private partnership, which the likes of Macquarie Bank in Australia are already investing in.
The Government is taking steps towards economic reforms – but challenges remain
The main challenges for economic growth remain in agricultural reforms, banking sector reforms, labour laws and land acquisition. The returning government is taking some steps towards this:
- Modi has announced a high-level task force to report on structural reforms needed in the agriculture sector at the NITI Aayog governance committee meeting.
- The government proposes to create land banks which it will designate for industrial development and foreign investment.
- It plans to introduce a new labour law bill to Parliament in 2019, through which it aims to combine 44 central labour laws in four codes: wages, industrial realism, social security and occupations safety.
Digital India, startups and innovation remain high on India’s agenda
The Indian Government will continue to encourage the take up of digital solutions across the economy and in government service deliver, acknowledging that there still challenges to work through on this regard. Nevertheless, India already has over 800 million mobile phone users and has potential as a major ‘data economy’.
The first Union budget includes initiates to increase digital literacy and the BaratNet program to install fibre optic to rural India.
Victoria’s urban development and smart cities trade mission to India May 2019 highlighted growing opportunities in the sector
Global Victoria and Liveability Victoria International partnered to deliver a tailed program of business meetings and attendance at India’s Smart Cities Expo liveability. The business mission has provided critical insight into opportunities for Victorian companies in India, as well as market entry and expansion models.
Opportunities for Victorian companies continue to emerge across water management, transport, urban design and smart energy with success through private, and state and local government contracts.
Water management will continue to be a priority for India. The droughts across India are bringing to a head the need for water conservation and management solutions. States have asked the Central Government to upgrade water distribution infrastructure and for a fresh river waters tribunal to address the disputes where water systems run across multiple states.
India: an overview and insightsRead our powerpoint presentation of India: an overview and insights PDF, 1.5 MB taken from our inaugural Export Summit, GVx held in October 2019
Autumn 2018 Update
There's been many reasons to celebrate the special relationship that Victoria shares with India in education, innovation, liveability, sports, creative industries and youth leadership.
Celebrating great success stories
- Melbourne-born sports equipment company, specialising in cricket and field hockey equipment (including balls) Kookaburra has announced a partnership with Stance Beam to bring technology innovation into cricket with the first globally available smart cricket bat sensor
- Indian origin women in STEM, Asha Rao at RMIT and Onisha Patel at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute were announced in the Australian Government’s Superstars of STEM list
- Melbourne-based medtech company Respiri announces it will partner with India firm Medachievers to launches its asthma monitoring product in India
- Victorian filmmaker Peter Dickson's documentary 2 Nations 1 Obsession chronicles Australia and India’s shared cricket history, and won Best Documentary Feature at the 2019 LA Film Awards
Deakin University celebrates 25 years in India
Deakin University has become one of the leading international education providers in India through its South Asia operations, which it opened in Delhi 1994. With over 50 strategic partnerships, Deakin is involved in 100 collaborations across India. It also hosts over 5000 Indian students at its campuses, which is the largest cohort of international students and PhD candidates for the university.
Read more about Deakin’s achievements in India and new initiatives including partnering with the Chair of Biocon and Victorian Business Ambassador in India, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, to deliver a new scholarship.
Victorian universities have the largest number of partnerships in India and Victoria welcomes the largest number of international students from India than any other Australian state or territory. Read more about the depth and breadth of Victorian universities’ partnerships with India.
Supporting liveability, urban development and smart cities opportunities
There are growing opportunities for Victorian companies in the liveability sector, including urban design, water and waste solutions, environmental management and transport. Rapid urbanisation and the progress of the India Government’s 100 smart cities project is driving demand in this sector.
In October 2018, we partnered with Liveability Victoria International, City of Melbourne and Austrade to support an inbound delegation of Indian decision makers.
In February 2019, VicRoads and Safe Systems Solutions hosted a delegation from the State Government of Karnataka to promote collaboration in road safety solutions
IMAGE: Global Victoria supported a visit from Shri H D Revanna, Minister for Public Work, Government of Karnataka, India to experience Victoria’s world leading road and transport technologies designed to support Karnataka’s expansive infrastructure program
Strengthening cricket and AFL connections
The 2018 Melbourne Boxing Day Test will be remembered not just for India’s historic win but for the record crowds and community engagement at the Indian Summer Festival.
Cricket Australia and the Victorian Government presented the festival in December 2018 showcasing Victoria’s Indian culture and diaspora communities, presenting local and international companies and performers across fashion, film, street art, theatre, music and spoken word, food and sports.
The Victorian Government was a sponsor of the AFL India National Championships 2019. The West Bengal Tigers lifted the trophy at the seventh annual tournament in January 2019 in India. The success of the 2019 championships demonstrated the growing interest in AFL in India and the connections local clubs are making. The AFL and Victorian football clubs including Essendon, North Melbourne, Western Bulldogs, St Kilda, Richmond, Hume Bombers and Golden Square were all involved.
The Australia India Youth Dialogue
The Victorian Government proudly supported the Australia India Youth Dialogue (AIYD) in February 2019 in Melbourne and Sydney. The AIYD is the leading forum for discussion and collaboration between youth leaders in Australia and India. This year it brought together exceptionally talented leaders for four days of workshops, networking and engagement with government, businesses and universities. Deakin University was also a Victorian sponsor of the dialogue.
Market access for walnut exports to India
Australia and India signed a market access agreement for walnuts in February 2019. Trade will only commence once the Indian Government officially gazettes the new import conditions. In the interim, 10 trial shipments will be allowed.
Celebrating creative partnerships
Australia Fest showcased a contemporary, creative and diverse Australia to Indian audiences in 2018 and 2019.
The Victorian Government supported Australia Fest as a platinum sponsor to promote Victorian cultural content.
- The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow took some of Victoria’s best comedic talent to Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi
- Short Black Opera, Australia’s first Indigenous-led opera company performed new work in Delhi and Mumbai
- Poyglot Children’s Theatre’s first Indian tour, visiting Kolkata and Chennai
- acclaimed singer-songwriter, Kaitt, performed at music festivals in Goa and Pune
- Churning Waters, an Indigenous Australian, Indian Australian and Indigenous Indian dance collaboration performed in Puducherry, Kanchipuram and Chennai in early 2019
- The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne’s programmer, Ms Mitu Bhowmick Lange, curated the film retrospective, 100 Years of Australian Cinema Australian, at the Kolkata International Film Festival.
Spring 2019 Update
Most recently, our VGTI offices in Bengaluru and Mumbai have been advancing our engagement in sports technology and startups and entrepreneurship.
The Governor’s second visit to India within one year continued to grow Victoria’s reputation as a business and education partner.
Recent business successes
- Cavalier Brewing’s partnerships with Alchemy Brewing. Bengaluru’s hip microbrewing scene’s latest opening by Alchemy Brewing was a big success, supported by products and training from Melbourne’s Cavalier Brewing.
- Victorian clothing brand, Forever New opened its 38th (Mumbai) and 39th (Bengaluru) stores in India in October 2018 making it arguably the most prominent Australian consumer brand in India.
- Pollinate Energy’s Victorian founder, Alexie Seller won the prestigious Advance Social Impact Award for work in India.
- Victorian women shine at the India Australia Business and Community Awards (IABCA) achieving significant recognition for their work in India.
The Governor of Victoria strengthens Victoria and India’s economic relationship and announces major sports partnerships
In September 2018, Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, made her second official visit to India to reinforce Victoria’s commitment to its relationship with the country.
The Governor’s meeting with senior business and government leaders in India strengthened Victoria's trade and investment relationship with India, helping to profile the state's interest in key industry sectors and supporting new and ongoing partnerships.
In Bengaluru, the Governor met with Victorian alumni, including Victoria’s Business Ambassador and distinguished alumnus Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, whose connections with Victoria are helping drive our economic relationship. The Governor also visited the prestigious Indian Institute of Science and met with leading investor Wipro which has recently established the Wipro Chair of Artificial Intelligence, based at Swinburne University.
In Hyderabad, the Governor celebrated two significant new partnerships with leading incubator T-Hub and Victoria’s start-up engines, Beanstalk for agritech and The Actuator for medtech (more information below). Her Excellency also visited IIT Hyderabad, which in September 2018 signed a joint PhD program with Swinburne University.
In Delhi, the Governor helped promote Victoria’s creative industries and food and beverages at the launch of Australia Fest, which the Victorian Government is a premier sponsor of. MasterChef’s Gary Mehigan curated a menu featuring Victorian wines and flavours at the launch event hosted by the Australian High Commission.
The Governor also announced major sports partnerships that will drive Victoria and India’s sports relationship including:
- Tennis Australia's Australian Open Global Ball Kids program which will enable 1000 young people in Indian schools and sporting clubs to participate in a training camp, with up to ten selected to represent India at the Australian Open in January 2019 as part of the Australia Fest activities
- The release of the Cricket Australia documentary, ‘2 Nations 1 Obsession’ which focuses on the rivalry between India and Australia and will be televised on Sony in India
- The technology partnership between Australian Open Tennis and Indian technology leader, Infosys
- Australian Rules Football workshops and performance testing for 3000 children in Mumbai, Coimbatore and Ooty as part of a project between Richmond FC, Primitive Sports and Swinburne University
- Victoria’s principal sponsorship of the Australian Sikh Games to be held in Melbourne in April 2019.
Sports tech trade mission delivers opportunities for Victorian organisations
Building on the sports partnership announced during the Governor’s visit, Global Victoria led a sports trade mission to Delhi and Mumbai from 8-12 October 2018 to take part in India’s Sports Analytics Conference and meet major partners in the sports sectors. The mission was the largest Sport-specific Trade Mission (13 organisations/15 delegates) to visit India, surpassing the UK’s 11 company delegation that visited early this year.
Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN), Albion Sports Technology (Brand Albion X), Cricket Victoria, Elite Akademy Sports Medicine, Hockey Australia, Kangatech, One Management Group, Sportstg, Supacore, Swinburne University of Technology’s Centre For Design Innovation , and Victoria University joined the delegation. Victorian Catapult Sports and La Trobe University were also major sponsors of the conference, and are active in India's growing professional sports industry.
The mission included productive meetings with decision makers from the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Reliance Industries, JSW Sport, Star India, Sony Pictures Network, Hockey India, Athletics Federation of India, premier sports agencies (Dentsu, Cornerstone), and leading product distributors of Sports and allied industries. In addition, there was representation from India’s leading Sport Science experts, and emerging local Sports Tech Companies: Sportz Interactive, Rooter Sports, Stancebeam and Lydor.
The delegation also visited Studio Tour of Star Sports (India’s largest sports broadcaster), Cooperage Football Stadium (one of the three FIFA Development Projects in India), Dr G.A. Ranade Tennis Centre, Mumbai (One of the best Tennis Facilities in India), and Abhinav Bindra Targeting Performance Center, Fortis Hospital, Delhi (India’s leading sport high performance center), Omtex Healthwear (leading sportswear manufacturer and distributor).
Autumn 2018 Update
In February this year, the Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) office in Bangalore, India hosted a visit to the region by the Minister for Trade and Investment. This was the first trip by the Minister to the region which included visits to Bangalore, Chennai and Colombo. The Minister was accompanied by a visiting delegation of Victorian sportstech companies led by Australian Sports Technologies Network.
Victoria's India Strategy: Our Shared Future
The trip complements implementation of the recently-unveiled ‘Victoria’s India Strategy: Our shared future’ which aims to position Victoria as a valued knowledge and business partner to India, supported by India-capable businesses, strong ties to leaders and sustained connections with the community and public sector.
Summer 2018 Update
The nation we call India is the world's fastest growing major economy. We say the nation ‘we call India’ because we’ve come to discover that it’s more like a continent of unique cultures and languages than a single country. Although we’re a much smaller, less populous part of the world Victoria shares the Indian people’s respect for diversity and difference.
India’s growth and diversity have real implications for Victoria in the people-to-people, and trade and investment spheres. Victoria is home to the largest Indian population in Australia – in fact the number of Victorians with Indian heritage has grown by nearly 300 per cent from 2006 to 2016 to reach 209,257. This diaspora plays a key role in trade flows between India and Australia which have historically been dominated by products such as wool, pulses, fruit and nuts, and on the services side, by tourism and international education. Victoria is also a sought-after destination for Indian technology companies operating in the Oceania region. Recent investments from India in the technology industry include Ramco Systems, Ugam Solutions, Aegis, Dexler, Servion Global Solutions and Ray Business Technologies. Beyond the technology sector, notable Indian companies that have invested in Victoria include Mahindra Aerospace, Cipla Pharmaceuticals, Wadhawan Group and Zomato.
In October 2017, the Victorian Government appointed Michelle Wade as Victoria's Commissioner to South Asia. Michelle is based in Bangalore where she and her team work to strengthen trade and investment ties between South Asia and Victoria. A Victorian Government representative will visit India in early 2018 to further enhance Victoria's people-to-people, governmental and economic relations with India.