What opportunities does the Indian market offer for chemical enterprises? What must one watch out for in investment projects? And which strategies really bring returns? These were the topics at a workshop in Germany.
“The Call of Gold”, as the German version of a Jack London book is titled, refers to the gold fields of Canada, where people were enticed into the wilds in droves and risked their lives in the hope of a fortune. Although the modern gold seekers of our day, who set out into new markets, are not confronted with quite such adverse conditions, there are undeniable parallels.
This is shown by the example of India, whose call, currently reaching the ears of the chemicals sector, almost no company can resist. The upwards-striving subcontinent with a population aspiring to western standards is in the meantime the third-biggest economy in Asia, and far more than half the population are under the age of 40.
This promises dramatic growth rates, as Vikram Hosangady of KMPG India proved with figures at the VCI (Association of the German Chemical Industry) workshop “Chemicals markets of the future — India”. This consulting company expects growth rates of 9.1 percent by 2015, or even 12 percent in speciality chemicals. Whoever wishes to profit from this must be present on site and, first of all, take money in his hands in order to set up business locations. In the meantime, the staff at Dupont has reached over 1900 in India, more or less equal with BASF, which gives wages and bread to just over 1800 employees in its nine production and two research centres. 14 of BASF’s 15 business areas are now active in India, says Dr. Alexandra Brand, who can look back on years of experience in India. But Bayer and Syngenta have also already invested heavily and have correspondingly put India right at the top of their agenda.
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