Coronavirus crisis continues to improve slowly in India with states beginning to lift restrictions. The IMF projects that India’s economy will grow by 9.5 per cent in the 2021 Indian fiscal year, above the 6 per cent forecast global economic growth and recovering from India’s negative 7.3 per cent growth in 2020.
Business success stories
- Victorian edtech and digital wellness company, TALi Digital launches its Indian platform via Times of India. The two apps — the TALi app and TALi TRAIN — are designed to improve the attention skills of children aged three to eight, to support their ability to listen, learn and focus on tasks at home and at school.
- Xentrix Studios, one of India’s leading animation houses expanded to Australia with the acquisition of Viskatoons, Victoria’s longest running animation house. The new entity in Melbourne, Xentrix Australia will create and produce unique content for the global AVGC industry.
- In the last quarter Swisse Wellness has continued to grow in India by listing on three local eCommerce channels, ShopClues and Vegandukan as well as healthcare platform GoQii Health Store, demonstrating the growing breadth of the e-commerce sector in India
Victorian industry sectors profiled in India
The VGTI is growing awareness of Victorian products, services and capabilities by undertaking targeted digital campaigns in India that profile Victorian companies. These campaigns profile Victoria’s strengths in emerging sectors including beauty and wellness, edtech, gaming, energy tech and medtech on various digital platforms including LinkedIn, YouTube, Industry Features, Instagram, and podcast platforms.
Leading Victorian health and beauty brands introduced to India via Virtual Trade Mission
Global Victoria ran a Beauty and Skincare Virtual Trade Mission to India in March 2021 which saw twelve Victorian brands introduced to offline and online channels, including Amazon India, Purplle, Nykaa, Shoppers Stop, Tata Cliq, and distributors, including Beauty Concepts and Luxasia. The brands took part in a masterclass on the regulatory landscape in India, presented by a leading consulting firm, as well as a session on the impact of digital marketing in India by a leading PR firm.
The Indian beauty, skincare and cosmetics market has witnessed a strong growth in the last four to five years with international brands flocking to get a slice of this burgeoning market. Victorian brands have shown a strong interest in the market on the back of the success of brands such as Swisse, Goat Soap, Natio and Sukin. The growth of Indian ecommerce channels, such as Nykaa, Purplle, and the reduction in costs of regulatory approvals have further stimulated interest from exporters and importers in the sector.
Strengthening relationships between Victorian education providers and South Asian schools
From September 2020 to April 2021, the VGTI convened a first-of-its-kind professional development workshop series for school academic guidance counsellors. The series of seven workshops connected 250 school counsellors from India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives with Victorian education and training institutions to provide training in career advisory and advice on supporting students with education opportunities in Victoria.
The South Asian schools were selected on the basis of diversity of region, curriculum, and engagement. Victorian universities, TAFES, schools and edtech companies engaged with the school counsellors to build awareness of Victorian education and training offerings and provide information on admission processes.
They also delivered specialist professional development training on subjects including career planning and vocational guidance, critical thinking and creativity, dealing with addictions, mental health, internet safety, cyber bullying and supporting children with special needs.
Given the strong take up and positive feedback from the workshops, the VGTI will explore expanding the series this year.
Global Victoria thanks workshop partners: India Didactics Association, MindScan Education, International Baccalaureate Organization, Boxhill TAFE, Kangan Institute, Gordon Institute, Australian Catholic University, Deakin University, Federation University, Monash University, University of Melbourne, RMIT, Swinburne, Global Education Services and Yarra Valley Grammar school.
Global Gateway helps businesses to expand across South Asia
On 29 March 2021, the Victorian Government announced the Global Gateway grant recipients, with 26 businesses receiving assistance to expand their business to markets across South Asia.
The companies are from a diverse range of sectors, from education and training, retail, food and beverage to manufacturing. The team from Global Victoria's Melbourne headquarters, and the Bengaluru and Mumbai VGTI offices look forward to working with these companies to realise their export ambitions in the region.
Global Victoria Women (GVw) India alumni share their achievements
One year on from the inaugural Global Victoria Women’s Summit in Melbourne, Victoria’s Commissioner to South Asia met, virtually, with the Indian delegatesTasneem Fatima, Harini PN Rana, Rohini Rau, Kranti Sarma, Aahna Mehrotra , Keerti Singh, Pallavi Jain, Shiji Sunil and Ayushi Gudwani. The supportive group of professional women shared their recent achievements, their ongoing connections with Victoria and their tips on mental health and wellbeing management over the last year while navigating some of the difficult and very personal impacts of Coronavirus.
Recent achievements from the cohort include:
► Pallavi Jain scaled up her business, Krsnaa Diagnostics, to deliver over 1,000,000 COVID-19 tests and the first mobile testing bus.
► Shiji Sunil supported the introduction and testing of new technologies to enable more mobile workforces in the animation industry.
► Ayushi Gudwani has re-shaped her specialist women’s workwear company, Fable Street, to deal with work from home.
► Harini Rana will join the International Cricket Council’s Future Leaders Program in recognition of her sports broadcasting contributions and talent.
Victoria extends its ongoing support for international students
About 80 per cent of enrolled students from South Asia remain in Victoria. The Victorian Government announced on 7 June an additional $30 million package to ensure critical help – including food and financial support – is made available to communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
The package also expands Foodbank Victoria’s mobile food van service across the state, reaching vulnerable groups such as casual workers and students, as well as extending Foodbank’s pop-up international student supermarket in the Melbourne CBD until December 2021.
Looking to do business with South Asia?
Reach out to the Global Victoria South Asia team to discuss strategies for your products and how we can help.
Summer 2021 Update
Victorian businesses continued to connect and pursue business opportunities with South Asia throughout 2020. While there are still challenges ahead, economic activity in major South Asian economies continues a steady return towards pre-coronavirus levels and vaccination plans are now in place in each country in the region.
The economic outlook for 2021 is positive and businesses will be able to capitalise on the changes to business practices and consumer behaviour that took place in the region in 2020.
This update provides insights into opportunities in India’s newly released Australia Economic Strategy, India’s 2021 Budget, growing opportunities in the innovation and tech sector, recent business successes and the support Global Victoria will continue to provide Victorian businesses through virtual trade missions, the Global Gateway program and other events.
Business success stories
- Swisse continues to expand its e-commerce presence in India, with Swisse products now listed on NewU stores, which service 36 cities in India. Swisse is also growing its market presence through cross-promotional partnerships with complementary B2C businesses such as CRED, CouponDunia, Fitternity and ICICI Bank.
- Sunpower Renewables launched its solar energy products on Amazon India, further expanding its presence in the India market.
- ECAL, the world leading calendar marketing solution, went live on the Indian Premier League team the Delhi Capital’s website and is partnering with India’s largest fantasy gaming platform, Dream11.
- TALI Digital, Victorian health and education company, signed an investment and advertising agreement with Brand Capital International (BCI) of the Bennett Coleman Company (Times Group) from India.
- Chisholm Institute has partnered with Cinec in Sri Lanka to deliver vocational training courses in Sri Lanka in ICT and engineering.
Technology sector activities
- The Hon Martin Pakula, Minister for Trade, joined the Prime Ministers of Australia and India in attending the virtual Bengaluru Tech Summit in November 2020, Asia’s largest technology event. Minister Pakula showcased Victoria’s technology strengths and the growing opportunities for collaboration and innovation between Victoria and India.
- Nine Victorian edtech companies collectively secured 18 pilot programs to demonstrate and test their products in the Indian market. Global Victoria partnered with the India Didactic Association (IDA) to promote Victorian edtech companies to IDA’s extensive school membership base and secure the pilots.
- Twelve edtech companies from Victoria participated in the Victorian Virtual EdTech Trade Mission to India in January and February 2021. The program included business matching and introductions to education distributors and strategic partners. As part of the mission, companies exhibited at The International Education and Skills Summit (TIESS) organised by the IDA and the Education World Forum. Victoria was a state partner for the TIESS virtual summit.
- Startupbootcamp and Global Victoria partnered to deliver the first Victoria India Smart Energy Exchange connecting Victorian startups with Indian corporate partners Bosch, GE, Schneider, Shell and Tata Power, and giving them access to special support from Victoria’s SunPower Renewables and Mr Manoj Kohli, Country Head of Softbank India and Asia Society Victoria Distinguished Fellow.
- Global Victoria led the first digital games trade mission to India virtually, in partnership with Creative Victoria. The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA), the Australia India Institute and Creative Victoria produced the first report on Opportunities in Video Games between Victoria and India.
- La Trobe University and T-Hub are partnering through La Trobe’s Global Market Access Program to help startups enter the Indian market. AusIndustry has provided funding for the program and Global Victoria helped facilitate the partnership. The first cohort in 2020 supported four Australian startups: Trainer (Victoria), TBH Pets (Victoria), Anidra (Victoria) and Tekuma.
Global Victoria Women (GVw)
The Global Victoria Women program of events continues to support women in international business. Leading Indian businesswoman and Victoria’s Business Ambassador in India, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw AO, joined the GVw Female Business Leader Virtual Seminar in 2020 event to share her insights. View the video here.
Digital gaming is an exciting new area of opportunity
The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) and Australia India Institute released their collaborative report on Fostering Opportunities in Video Games both Between Victoria and India in January 2021. The report draws on consultations with Indian and Victorian industry stakeholders and highlights three main areas of opportunity:
- joint ventures combining different experience and production capacity to produce sophisticated games;
- collaboration with Victorian education providers to support skills development in India’s gaming sector; and
- partnerships to support market entry.
Companies explored these opportunities in 2020, when Global Victoria and Creative Victoria led the first Victorian digital games trade mission to India for the India Game Developer Conference 2020. The mission supported 11 delegates from Victorian gaming companies, startups and industry associations to understand the Indian market and pursue emerging opportunities.
India’s Australia Economic Strategy demonstrates India’s commitment to engagement with Australia and identifies its priority areas for trade
The Indian Government launched India’s Australia Economic Strategy in December 2020 outlining the trade opportunities from India’s perspective. The Indian Government commissioned India’s Ambassador Anil Wadhwa and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to develop the strategy in response to Australia’s India Strategy, which was authored by Peter Varghese AO and released in July 2018.
The strategy provides a comprehensive list of sectors of interest to India and chapters on opportunities with each Australian state including Victoria. Most notably for Victoria, the strategy’s focus sectors include agribusiness, biotech, education, healthcare, mining and resources, technology and services, pharmaceutical and biotech, power and renewable energy, and railways. The emerging sectors include education technology, sport and sports technology, textile and textile designing, water management, and digital gaming and animation.
The strategy’s implementation chapter makes 27 recommendations, including increasing CII’s presence in Australia, reactivating an Australia India business leaders’ forum and continuing negotiations for a free trade agreement.
India’s 2021 Budget provides a plan for economic revocery, including a new agriculture development tax
The Indian Government released its 2021 Budget on 1 February 2021 with a strong focus on regaining economic growth lost since the onset of coronavirus. Health, infrastructure, education, innovation and foreign investment attraction are the main areas of focus in the Budget. The Budget will increase the Government’s capital expenditure to 2.3 per cent of GDP in India’s 2021 financial year and 2.5 per cent in the 2022 financial year. India’s fiscal deficit will also increase in the short term to support recovery and stimulus efforts. The Budget estimates it will reach 9.5 per cent in the 2021 financial year before setting the target of reducing it to 6.8 per cent in 2022.
An area of interest for Victorian exporters is the Budget’s Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC), which brings in a new tax on a range of products including food and beverage products to help fund infrastructure development in the agriculture sector. The AIDC will apply to a range of products including alcoholic beverages (100%) crude soyabean and sunflower oil (20%), apples (35%), peas (40%), Kabuli chickpeas (30%), Bengal gram/chickpeas (50%) and lentils (masoor) (20%). However, on same items, the Indian Government states that the cess will be offset by reductions in the customs duties.
Please seek professional tax advice to understand how these changes may impact your business’s exports.
In-Market Insights Video Series - India: Education June 2020
In-Market Insights is a series of videos presented by Global Victoria's team members from across its international network of 23 Victorian Government Trade and Investment offices (VGTIs). The series sheds light on the current state of play in key global markets and sectors.
This episode features Global Victoria’s Annie Santhana - Regional Director of Education from our VGTI office in Bengaluru, India. Annie shares her expertise on emerging opportunities in India for Victorian education providers.
VIDEO: Global Victoria's In-market Insights - India: Education June 2020
Victoria’s relationships across South Asia remain strong and there are many businesses continuing to enter the market and grow their businesses.
While the impact of coronavirus on the economy cannot be underestimated, it is important that potential exporters look beyond the general statistics and assess the particular sectors they are working in and impact to their target sales channels.
The virtual Australia India Prime Ministers’ Summit was a significant development in Australia and India’s relationship – and a sign we can continue to connect despite travel restrictions. The Summit demonstrated both leaders’ commitment to a close relationship and a number of new initiatives to enhance economic ties.
Another important development is the Indian Government’s approval of its New Education Policy, which will reshape all tiers of India’s education system and create new international partnership opportunities.
This update highlights opportunities from these developments, India’s contributions to the global coronavirus response and successful outcomes for Victorian companies in India’s edtech and e-commerce sectors.
- Swisse goes live in Health & Glow, one of India’s largest health and beauty stores
- Sand & Sky launches with major Indian retailers Shoppers Stop, Myntra and Nykaa’s online platforms
- Global Victoria holds the first virtual Global Edtech Expo in May 2020 to connect edtech companies with global markets and promote Victoria’s leadership in edtech development and learning outcomes
- Global Victoria helped connect Victoria’s and India’s gaming sectors through a virtual event with speakers from Technicolor India, Reliance Jio's Games Ecosystem and India Game Developer Conference Forum.
- Startup Bootcamp and Global Victoria delivered the first leg of the Victoria India Smart Energy Exchange in July introducing the Victorian smart energy sector to world-leading Indian smart energy startups and scale ups.
- Asia Society appoints one of India’s most well-regarded senior business leaders Manoj Kholi as the Asia Society Victoria Distinguished Fellow
- Victoria’s Business Ambassador in India Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is awarded EY Global Entrepreneur of the Year
- One of India’s leading biomedical companies Biocon together with Mylan launches a new cancer drug in Australia.
Want to access these opportunities?
Please reach out to the Global Victoria South Asia team to discuss strategies for your products and the ways we can assist. And keep up to date with upcoming events by checking in with Global Victoria’s calendar of events.
Coronavirus impact in India and the Indian health sector’s contribution to the global response
Coronavirus impact in India and the Indian health sector’s contribution to the global response India has unfortunately now recorded some of the highest cases of coronavirus alongside the US and Brazil.
However, its per capita recorded cases remain relatively low compared to other countries. The World Health Organisation situation reports capture the extent of the cases and highlights the work happening across the country to increase testing and health responses. As such, India continues to maintain restrictions across the country since March 2020. The restrictions have however begun to ease in certain areas and on movement between states in a staged manner.
At the time of writing, a ban on international travel remains in place except for special exemptions. When travel can take place, travellers are required to undertake quarantine based on each state’s relevant protocols. For details on current restrictions refer to the Indian Ministry for Health and Family Welfare and Australia’s High Commission in India.
The Indian Government’s Ministry of Statistics reported its economy contracted 23.9 per cent over the second quarter of the year from April to June 2020. This was more than any other large economy, although closely followed by the UK’s economy, which contracted by 20.4 per cent, and the EU at 12.1 per cent.
All major sectors contracted except India’s agriculture sector which grew 3.4 per cent in the period. Bloomberg’s economists reported that the Indian Government has taken a more conservative fiscal approach than other countries throughout the restriction period, which has deepened the economic contraction.
In addition to its domestic response, India’s health and biomedical sector is playing a vital role in supporting the global response to the pandemic, contributions include:
- India manufactured and supplied internationally 2.3 million PPE kits in July alone in addition to its production for domestic use.
- The Indian Government approved the export of made-in-India ventilators in August, lifting restrictions to ensure domestic supply put in place in March 2020
- India’s National Research Development Corporation transferred two COVID-19 technologies related to active respirator mask and long-lasting nano sanitiser for mass production in July
- The Drugs Controller General of India approved Phase II+III trials of Oxford University vaccine (COVISHIELD) in India in August.
- Department of Biotechnology’s supported COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D, begins phase I/II clinical trials, becoming the first COVID19 vaccine being developed indigenously to be administered to humans in India (Link) in July.
Prime Minister’s Virtual Summit
The first virtual bilateral summit between Australia’s and India’s Prime Ministers was an historic event in and of itself as it was the first virtual summit for the two leaders but, most importantly, it demonstrated the strong government to government relationship in support of growing business connections.
The two Prime Ministers elevated the relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and announced a suite of new and extended economic cooperation initiatives including:
- continued support for research partnerships through a new phase of the Australia – India Strategic Research Fund
- enhanced cyber cooperation through a Framework Arrangement on Cyber and Cyber-Enabled Critical Technology Cooperation
- a new MoU on Cooperation in the field of Mining and Processing of Critical and Strategic Minerals
- water policy and technology cooperation through a new MoU on cooperation in the field of Water Resources Management
- Education policy development, program delivery and information exchange through a new MoU on Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training
- a decision to re-engage on a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA)
India’s new education policy
India’s National Education Policy 2020 was released in July this year. It’s the first comprehensive policy proposal on education in the country since 1986 and a major, game changing statement. The policy aims to make changes across all levels of education – from early childhood to university and is based on the pillars of “access, equity, quality, affordability, accountability”. Implementation of the policy will enhance the opportunities for Victorian universities and education providers to partner and collaborate with the Indian education sector.
Read the full policy via the India Ministry of Education.
- Learn more about the latest education market developments and opportunities for Victorian providers at Global Victoria International Education market insights.
- Watch Global Victoria’s In-Market Insights video featuring the Regional Director of Education from our VGTI office in Bengaluru, India, Annie Santhana share her expertise on emerging opportunities in India for Victorian education providers.
The start of 2020 and final quarter of 2019 brought some exceptional success stories for Victoria and India. The recent success of Victorian companies launching productions, forming new partnerships and investing in the relationship with India demonstrates the breadth of opportunities and provides useful case studies to guide your approach to the market.
High-level visits and trade missions led by Global Victoria continue to strengthen the relationship and raise the profile for Victorian businesses in India.
Looking forward, Global Victoria is working hard to support businesses in light of the impact of coronavirus. The strong relationships that Victoria and India have formed will endure. The opportunities to embrace digital engagement through eCommerce, online education and the growing connections between our startup ecosystems will play an important role.
Global Victoria will keep you updated via our website of upcoming initiatives to continue to support businesses to access international opportunities.
- Swisse Wellness launches in India
- Goat Soap launches in India through Health and Glow
- Melbourne Gin partners with Chancery hotels to supply Melbourne Gin in India
- La Trobe University announces the first recipient of its Shah Rukh Khan scholarship for women in STEM
- Film Victoria announces the new Victorian Indian Cinema Attraction Fund
- The State Bank of India becomes the first India bank to opens an office in Melbourne
- WTP opens a new office in Chennai to support the provision of cost management services in India
- The Medtech Actuator and Bengaluru Bioinnovation Centre delivered the first Victoria-India medtech exchange program
- Beanstalk Agtech delivered the first Australia-India agtech exchange program
- RMIT University takes the SolarTuk project to India – driving a solar powered three-wheeler from Chennai to Bengaluru.
- The Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade leads Victorian business delegates to the Austrade’s Australia India Business Exchange in India in February 2020
- The Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business make official visits to India in 2019
- Global Victoria delivers the first Victorian Edtech mission to India in 2019
- Global Victoria delivers the first Global Victoria Women’s Summit, GVw in Melbourne in March 2020
- VicRoads hosts Tamil Nadu government officials for a road safety immersion workshop in Melbourne in 2019.
eCommerce is growing as an important market entry platform for Victorian companies
Asialink Business and Global Victoria hosted a Victorian e-Commerce Network event on e-commerce opportunities in India in March 2020. Victorian businesses that are making inroads in India through e-commerce spoke about their journey, challenges, success and the assistance they accessed.
- Goat Soap launched its products in India in 2019 through Health and Glow’s online and physical retail stores
- Natio has had a long-term market presence in India selling through both online and offline stores including through Myntra, Nykaa and Sephora.
- Sky and Sand has established its own brand management team in India to support distribution of its products in India through a variety of e-commerce outlets including Amazon India
- Swisse launched its health and wellness products in India via Amazon India’s e-commerce platform in February 2020
- Amazon, which is launching a dedicated Australian Store on its India e-commerce site, also shared the benefits of working through Amazon India and the services it provides companies selling products on its platform.
India represents one of the fastest growing opportunities in the global e-commerce market. Jeffries Group expects the Indian online retail market to be worth US$170 billion by FY2030, growing at 23 per cent CAGR. In India, there are 550m internet users, out of which 100m are online shoppers. Online platforms such as Amazon India, Paytm Mall, Purplle and Myntra are driving growth in e-commerce, matched by the expansion plans for offline retailers such as Sephora, Health & Glow and Foodhall.
Want to access these opportunities?
Please reach out to the Global Victoria India team to discuss strategies for your products and the ways we can assist.
Closer connections between Victoria and India’s startup ecosystems supporting innovation, trade and investment opportunities
In 2019, the MedTech Actuator successfully delivered Australia’s largest MedTech startup challenge in India: MedTech’s Got Talent (MTGT) India. The program was delivering in in collaboration with Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC) – the leading government-affiliated medtech incubator and accelerator in Bengaluru – and with the support of the Victorian Government and the Government of Karnataka.
The first leg of the program took place from 29-30 October in Bengaluru at the BBC. The Medtech Actuator CEO and Deputy CEO delivered a rapid training program, covering key areas of entrepreneurship, medtech commercialisation and pitching, for 20 start-ups from across four states in India. Through a pitch session on the final day, an expert panel selected four startups to come to Melbourne to connect with Victoria’s medtech ecosystem. The panel included the Head of the Department of Medical Electronics at the BMS College of Engineering in Bengaluru, Dr Vijayalakshmi, and startup mentor, Mr Ravikiran Prabhakara.
The second leg of the program ran in Melbourne from 1-5 December 2019. The four Indian startups joined Victorian and Australian finalists in the MedTech Actuator’s pre-accelerator program. Startups from India and Victoria worked alongside each other in industry-led sessions and received mentoring from leading players in the Australian ecosystem.
The program helped to build deeper connections between Victoria and Karnataka’s startup ecosystems, generate opportunities to conduct clinical trials and product testing in Victoria and expose Victoria’s medtech startup ecosystem to the world-leading ideas and talent in India.
The four Indian startups were Biofi Medical Healthcare with its non-invasive blood glucometer using NIR technology (incubated at BBC); Next Big Innovation Labs with its high throughput screening solution for pharma/FMCG companies to effectively do their safety and efficacy testing (incubated at BBC); Nesa Medtech with its novel, minimally-invasive, day procedure to treat symptomatic uterine fibroids (supported by BBC); and RayD8 Healthcare Innovations with its clinical diagnostic tools for detection and decision support for eye diseases.
Melbourne-based Beanstalk Agtech delivered a two-way exchange and market immersion program for Australian and India agtech companies in 2019. Victorian startups included Tieup Farming and Digital Agricultural Services. India startups in the program included Cropin, Innovagro Foods, KrishiTantra, SatSure, Satyukt and Sensegrass.
The project was supported by an Australia-India Council, UPL, Birchip Cropping Group, the Grains Development Corporation and Farmlink. Global Victoria was pleased to be a knowledge partner in the project in line with Victoria’s India Strategy.
GVw 2020 – connecting world-leading business women, building stronger ties with India and supporting more women in international business
The inaugural GVw 2020, Global Victoria Women’s inbound business summit in March celebrated women’s business success, grew relationships, introduced delegates to the strength of Victorian industry, showcased outstanding Victorian women leaders and helped support a more gender-inclusive business world that benefits us all.
The summit connecting women in digital gaming, medtech, sport, STEM and transport infrastructure across a four-day program of site visits, business matching and connections through uniquely Victorian experiences. Highlights included the Melbourne Metro Tunnel and the Monash Technology Precinct, the Change Our Game Symposium with Billy Jean-King, and the T20 Women’s World Cup final.
A total of 60 international business women joined the delegation, 10 of whom were from India. In addition to these numbers, the recruitment process allowed Global Victoria to engage with an even larger cohort of new business women, who want to play a role promoting and supporting Victoria in India and other markets even if they were not able to make it to Melbourne on this occasion.
Special thanks and acknowledgement to the Indian delegates: Ayushi Gudwani, Kranti Sarma, Keerti Singh, Shiji Sunil, Tasneem Fatima, Sukanya Srinivas, Aahna Mehrotra, Harini Rana, Swati Bharal, Pallavi Jain and Dr Rohini Rau, and also to those whose plans to attend were disrupted as the COVID crisis neared.
The Governor or Victoria, H.E Linda Dessau AC and Minister for Women, the Hon Gabrielle Williams MP warmly welcomed the delegates to Melbourne. Delegates also engaged with: Global Victoria CEO, Gonul Serbest; Victoria’s Chief Scientist, Dr Amanda Caples; Victoria’s Chief Engineer, Dr Collette Burke; Melbourne Lord Mayor, Sally Capp; Indigenous Runway Project founder, Tina Waru; CEO of Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI), Katrina Sedgwick OAM; and award winning games producer and co-found of The Girl Geek Academy, Lisy Kane.
- View the full list of Victorian industry partners and business that supported GVw 2020
- Read more from Victoria’s Commissioner to South Asia about the success of GVw 2020
The BJP Modi Government has commenced its second term of government in India, with expectations for continued economic growth and hope that with an increased majority it will address important economic reforms. The return of the Modi Government will mean continuity for its flagship economic development policies and the opportunity to continue to lead economic reforms. After a busy election period in India over the first half of this year, now is the time to act on opportunities to engage with India.
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.
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.
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.
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 and 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.
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.