The IT industry in Kerala is turning to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) for fresh business opportunities.
The Group of Technology Companies (GTech), the industry body of software companies in the State, is preparing to send a business delegation to the six countries to scout for new markets and work out partnership deals with compatible enterprises.
The decision to engage new stakeholders is part of a ‘market connect' strategy, aimed at helping domestic companies, especially small and medium enterprises, to touch base with new business partners and reduce the dependence on the US market. The Benelux countries are seen as a springboard to the lucrative European market.
GTech is working closely with trade promotion bodies like Invest in Luxembourg, Brussels Invest and Export, Australian Trade Commission and the Netherlands business office in Chennai as well as the Canadian High Commission to organise the delegations.
“We have had three separate delegations from Canada this year, one headed by a minister, and another by an MP. They showed keen interest in doing business with Kerala. Also, during the Emerging Kerala road show in Delhi, we had the maximum attendance from the Canadian mission”, says V.K. Mathews, chairman, GTech.
“The Canadians probably feel they could have a better connect with Kerala than other states because of our social and political awareness and cleanliness. Lobbying by Canadian MPs of Kerala origin and other Malayalis in good positions has also helped,” Mr. Mathews said.
Anoop Ambika, secretary, GTech said the visit to the Benelux countries would be a follow up of a scouting trip to the Nordic region last year by a delegation from Kerala. The Nordic region comprises the Scandinavian countries, namely Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. GTech had zeroed in on the Scandinavian countries primarily because of their outward looking economies that are not wary of the outsourcing model of doing business. Last year, GTech had sent a delegation to Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands.