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Published by the Embassy of India, Vienna Year 4 • Issue 42 • June 2014


India Newsletter • 1

Embassy of India, Vienna



India’s steel consumption stood at 5.8 million tonnes (MT) in April 2014, registering a year-on-year growth of 3.4 per cent.n


Oilmeal exports from India grew by 20 per cent to 236,000 tonnes in April 2014.n


Apparel exports from India grew by 14 per cent in April 2014 with business deals of over US$ 1.3 billion.n


The total merger and acquisitions (M&A) activities of Indian companies in April 2014 were valued at US$ 6.9 billion (49 deals) as compared to US$ 1.8 billion (42 deals) during the corresponding period of 2013, according to a recent report by Grant Thornton.n


India is expected to invest US$ 834 billion in the two decades ending 2030 to reduce its emission intensity to gross domestic product (GDP) by 42 per cent over 2007 levels.n


India is set to record highest ever food grain production. The Government of India revised its estimate, stating that the 2 • India Newsletter

country would collectively produce 264.28 million tonnes (MT) of food grain as compared to 257.13 MT last year.n


Foreign institutional investors (FII) invested around Rs 34,000 crore (US$ 5.74 billion) in the Indian market in May 2014.n







Citi Research has raised its India GDP growth forecast to 6.5% for 2015-16 on expectations of an accelerated pickup in investments.n The Indian forging industry is projected to grow at a rate of 8 per cent per annum, taking the production to around 3.51 million tonnes by 2020.n India's steel production grew by 5.3 per cent in April 2014 outpacing the world’s average growth of 1.7 per cent.n


India is expected to have the third largest user base on microblogging site Twitter at 18.1 million by the end of 2014n


India exported 983,756 tonne seafood in FY 14. Southeast Asia continued to be the largest buyer of marine products with a share of 26.38 per cent.n

India reported 28 million net additions in the mobile subscriber base during January-March 2014, the highest globally for the period.n Smartphone sales in India are expected to reach 80.57 million units by end-2014. The industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40 per cent over the next five years.n The total gross p r e m i u m underwritten by non-life insurers in India increased 12.2 per cent to Rs 77,541 crore (US$ 13.07 billion) in 2013-14, compared to the year ago period.n


Hiring activity in India grew by 19 per cent in May 2014 compared to the same month last year.n


India's export to GCC countries increased by 16 per cent during 201314 as against an overall export growth of 3.98 per cent.n

NEWS ARTICLES Commerce ministry starts outreach on trade pacts


s industry concerns mount over the implications of free trade agreements with other nations, the commerce ministry has started conducting “outreach programmes” to inform stakeholders about the benefits of such pacts. “The commerce department has conducted outreach programmes on FTAs across the country,” said an official. “During these programmes, information was disseminated about the pacts with a view to informing all the stakeholders about the pacts,” he added. The ministry has also prepared ‘frequently asked questions’ for the stakeholders. For the second stage, the ministry is preparing sector specific FAQs. Exporters body Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has said that shipments to several countries with which India has signed FTAs have shown a decline. President of the FIEO Rafeeque Ahmed has said that lack of awareness among the exporters, mostly from the small scale sector, is one of the reasons for non-accrual of the benefits from the FTAs. Commerce secretary Rajeev Kher had said earlier that FTAs are not “evil” and businesses should take advantage of these pacts. “A picture has been painted as if FTAs are nothing but evil. But we have to recognise that this is not the fact. The important thing is that we have to see how we are utilising these FTAs,” he said. He added that some FTAs have caused certain problems like duty inversion and would have to be addressed.n

RBI expects GDP growth of 5-6% in FY15


he Reserve Bank expects economic growth of between

5 and 6% in the current financial year even as uncertainty over the monsoon clouds the forecast for agriculture. “Contingent upon the desired inflation outcome, the April projection of real GDP growth from 4.7% in 2013-14 to a range of 5 to 6% in 2014-15 is retained with risks evenly balanced around the central estimate of 5.5%,” the Reserve Bank of India said in its Second Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement for this financial year. India’s economic growth stayed below 5% for the second year in a row at 4.7% in 2013-14, mainly due to a decline in manufacturing and mining output. Growth remained subdued at 4.6% in the fourth quarter of last year. The RBI said lead indicators point to continuing sluggishness in domestic economic activity in the first quarter of 2014-15. The ongoing contraction in production of consumer durables and capital goods, coupled with moderation in corporate sales and non-oil non-gold imports, is indicative of continuing weakness in both consumption and investment demand, it said. The forecast for agriculture is clouded by the meteorological department’s forecast of a delay in the onset of the south-west monsoon with a 60% chance of the occurrence of El Nino, it said. The outlook for the agricultural sector is contingent upon the timely arrival and spread of the monsoon, it said, adding that the easing of domestic supply bottlenecks and progress in the implementation of stalled projects should brighten the prospects for both manufacturing and services. “The resumption of export growth is a positive development and as world trade gathers momentum, the prospects for exports should improve further,” it said.

The decisive election result, together with improved sentiment should, however, create a conducive environment for comprehensive policy actions and a revival in aggregate demand as well as a gradual recovery of growth during the course of the year, the RBI said.n

India: Asia’s favourite market


ndian equities markets have seen foreign institutional investors (FII) net inflow of US$ 2.3 billion in May, taking the total to US$ 7.8 billion so far in 2014, as per an HSBC report. “India still the most loved market in the region,” the report quoted. In the Asia region, investors preferred India, which received US$ 7.8 billion of the US$ 18.8 billion invested in the continent from January to May 26, 2014. Although mutual funds remained cautious, they continued to purchase Indian equities. “Mutual funds are most overweight on Indian equities, but the exposure has come off compared to three months ago,” as per the HSBC report. FII flows in 2014 are likely to be much better than 2013 for emerging markets, according to HSBC. These economies have so far this year already received 78 per cent of the total inflows of last year.n

India Ranks Second in Global Textiles Exports


ndia has improved its ranking as per the recent data released by ‘UN Comtrade’ in Global Textiles as well as Apparel Exports. In Global Textiles Exports, India now stands at second position beating its competitors like Italy, Germany and Bangladesh, with China still retaining its top position. Mr. Virender Uppal, Chairman, AEPC, expressed his happiness over this impressive growth and stated that, “Despite having slow recovery in USA and EU, our biggest traditional India Newsletter • 3

Embassy of India, Vienna

markets as well as prevailing global slowdown coupled with sustained cost of inflationary inputs, we made the best possible efforts to reach here. The Government policy of diversification of market and product base has helped us and we ventured into the newer markets, which paid huge dividends. We also leveraged our raw material strengths and followed sustained better compliance practices which attracted the buyers and international brands across globe to source from India.” India’s share in Global Textiles has increased by 17.5% in the year 2013 compared to the previous year. Currently India’s textiles exports to the world is US$ 40.2 billion. This growth is phenomenal as the global textiles growth rate is only 4.7% compared to India as it has registered the growth of 23% beating China and Bangladesh which has registered 11.4% and 15.4%, respectively. Total global textiles exports is to the tune of US$ 772 billion with India commanding 5.2% of the share. This growth in the increase in share of the Textiles Exports from India is largely attributed to the growth in the Apparel and Clothing sector as it accounts for the almost 43% of the share alone. The Apparel Exports ranking has also improved from 8th position in 2012 to 6th position in 2013. India’s apparel exports, was to the tune of US$ 15.7 billion in 2013, as against US$ 12.9 billion in 2012. Among the top five global clothing suppliers except for the Vietnam; India’s Apparel Exports growth was highest registering 21.8% growth during the year 2013. Apparel exports from India accounts for 3.7% of share in the global readymade garment exports. Mr. Uppal, while lauding the efforts of the apparel exporters, conveyed his concerns also that while Industry is actually itching to do more, stressed that, “The availability of specialty fabric is a big bottleneck for which AEPC has been aggressively demanding 5% duty scrip for the imports of fabrics. 4 • India Newsletter

It must be considered favorably by the new Government to boost India’s apparel exports. Garment exporters may be permitted to import it with 5% duty scrip on the input, so as to increase exports and optimally use to the fullest extent our potential. The rising interest rate is another issue which hampers growth for which AEPC once again has put in its request to the Government for a Separate chapter for pre and post shipment export credit at fixed rate of 7.0% interest, as was done in the past also to the apparel export sector and treat Readymade Garment as the priority sector lending. As the Government is contemplating new Union Budget and Foreign Trade policy, I earnestly request Government to concede these two demands of RMG sector utmost priority.” Increasing labour cost in China, non-compliance of large number of factories in Bangladesh provide India a big opportunity in view of its relative advantage, risk appetite of Indian entrepreneurs and a small push from the Government may help India to get more business as overseas buyers are looking at India as safe and reliable option for the sourcing. But to capture the space in market left by China and Bangladesh, we have to be competitive in pricing, apart from meeting strict timelines, better quality delivery by Indian exporters and therefore, Government agencies active support is very crucial. AEPC is pushing in this direction to seek export friendly enabling environment from the Government, Mr. Uppal added.n

Economic revival must top new government agenda: Industry


ith growth at its lowest in over a decade and inflation, job creation and investments remaining major challenges, India’s new government under Narendra Modi has its task cut out to reverse months of perceived policy inaction and revive the stagnant economy.

Opinion-makers and stakeholders agency spoke to were unanimous on the immediate action: Revive investments in manufacturing and infrastructure, address supply bottlenecks, rein in rising prices, streamline policy-making and reinstate investor confidence. “Besides cyclical factors, our economy has been impacted by weak administrative decision making, heightened activism and regulatory and judicial actions. The new government will have to take a balanced view of the issues, “ said Ficci president Sidharth Birla. “Building confidence and trust amongst businesses and society is critical. The economic priorities and policy direction need to be articulated promptly and effectively to send positive signals,” Birla told reporters. He said economic slowdown over the past two years has been a major cause of concern and the new government must take concrete steps to return to a high growth trajectory of 8-percent plus. “Tax adventurism must end. The tax regime must be made simpler and hassle free.” India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth fell to 4.5 percent in 201213, the worst performance since 2002-03, and is estimated to grow at no more than 4.9 percent in the year ended March 31, 2014, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO). JK Tyre and Industries chairman R.P. Singhania expressed similar view: “If India needs to achieve the next level of growth, it will need to build infrastructure capabilities with a very strong focus on manufacturing.” Manufacturing also needs impetus, so vital to ensure new jobs, especially for the youth. “As a country, we need to create 10-12 million jobs every year to support our youth who would be coming into mainstream every year,” Singhania said. The election manifesto of the BJP outlined multiple measures for inclusion, with a focus on governance, growth and jobs --

arguably, the key concerns facing the economy today. But the stand on some issues, notably foreign equity in retail trade, are concerns. At the same time, some key reformoriented measures will require not just consensus in parliament but also the support of states, since some of them fall under the state subject. Economists at CRISIL said the new government must take steps to boost productive spending by curbing subsidies and improving revenue position. The union government’s capital expenditure to GDP ratio was 1.7 percent in the financial year ended March 2014, less than half of the 4.5 percent target set by the 13th Finance Commission, which is now in its terminal year. “The new government must aim to raise the centre’s productive spending and close the gap between the 13th Finance Commission target on capital expenditure and the actual productive spending,” Vidya Mahambare, principal economist, CRISIL Research, added. “To fund this higher capital spending, the government will have to improve its revenue position by implementing tax reforms such as GST.” In terms of per-person productive spending, there was a mere increment of Rs.110 in capital expenditure and grants while it spent additional Rs.1,900 per capita on other non-productive area in 2013-14 compared with the previous year. That is largely because, in the past 10 years, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government spent a whopping Rs.11 trillion (USD 183.3 billion) on doles toward fuel, fertilizer and food. Even the three major industry chambers, Assocham, CII and Ficci, said the new government must take bold decisions to put the economy back on higher growth path. “India deserves not just 8-9 percent

but over 10-percent growth. The new government has an opportunity to demonstrate a sense of urgency when the final budget for this year is presented,” Assocham president Rana Kapoor said. “This will go a long way in immediately reviving overall investor sentiment.”n

RBI allows foreign investors to invest on repatriation basis


he Reserve Bank of India allowed a host of foreign investors to invest, on repatriation basis, in nonconvertible/ redeemable preference shares or debentures issued by an Indian company and listed on recognised stock exchanges in India. This investment will be within the overall limit of $51 billion earmarked for corporate debt. The investors who can invest in nonconvertible/ redeemable preference shares or debentures include FIIs, qualified foreign investors deemed as registered Foreign Portfolio Investors. Long-term investors registered with SEBI – Sovereign Wealth Funds, Multilateral Agencies, Pension/ Insurance/ Endowment Funds, foreign Central Banks— too will be considered as eligible investors. Further, non-resident Indians may also invest, both on repatriation and non-repatriation basis.n

IT infra market will touch $1.9 b this year: Gartner


he Indian IT infrastructure market — comprising server, storage and networking equipment — is set to grow by four per cent this year to touch $1.9 billion, research firm Gartner has indicated. “In the global landscape, India is a promising IT infrastructure market through 2017…The global IT infrastructure investment is expected to be almost flat in 2014 and will be primarily driven by hyper scale and data centre modernisation initiatives,” said Mike Harris, research

group vice-president at Gartner. Naveen Mishra, research director at Gartner, said that India’s IT infrastructure market will touch $2.35 billion by 2017. “After sluggish market conditions in 2013, the Indian infrastructure market will witness investments primarily fuelled by key IT initiatives that include mobility, cloud and big data,” said Mishra. The research firm indicates that Indian enterprises will be focusing on building intelligent data centres that focus on optimising existing hardware assets by using additional software capabilities. Separately, Gartner said that competition for talent would determine the success of digital business. “Bring in people from outside with the required knowledge, skills and competencies — some as external experts, not necessarily as permanent employees. Chief Information Officers who learn to orchestrate talent can take advantage of global ecosystems of expertise to build digital expertise quickly,” said Partha Iyengar, vicepresident and distinguished analyst at Gartner.n

Online railway ticket bookings touch 14.02 million in March 2014


nline railway ticket bookings increased almost three-fold to touch 14.02 million units in March 2014, indicating that people are progressively adopting the digital medium while planning their travel. “The online booking of railway tickets increased from 3.63 million in March 2013 to 14.02 million in March 2014, registering a year-onyear growth of 286 per cent,” as per the monthly tracker of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB. Online booking of railway tickets have grown remarkably during the reported period. “The increased growth in the segment is good news for the online travel industry. With the Indian online travel market showing exponential India Newsletter • 5

Embassy of India, Vienna

growth in the last few years due to increased awareness, this is an assertion that consumers are now using the digital medium with much ease and are more confident to make online transactions,” said Mr Subho Ray, President, IAMAI. The monthly tracker also witnessed a 154 per cent year on year (y-o-y) growth in online user visits to the branded apparel category. “While branded apparels witnessed 16.08 million online user visits in March 2014 as compared to 6.34 million user visits in March 2013, the footwear segment registered 15.51 million online user hits in March 2014 as compared to 6.30 million user hits in March 2013,” as per the tracker. The monthly Internet tracker is based on web audience measurement (WAM) data that is collated from numerous relevant sites, and summarises online usage with regard to e-tailing, online travel and vertical classifieds. The tracker further states that 59.48 million people accessed the various e-tailing sites. “There were 2,714.28 million page views in the category,” as per the tracker. The user reach for matrimonial and job websites is 19.86 million and 31.18 million, respectively with 403.20 million and 1,209.48 million respective page views, the tracker further added.n

Polaris wins deal from Sweden’s central bank


ombay Stock Exchange-listed Polaris Financial Technology has bagged a deal to deploy its money and security management solution at Sveriges Riksbank, Sweden’s central bank. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

6 • India Newsletter

Sveriges Riksbank, the oldest central bank in the world, will implement Polaris’ Intellect® Quantum Collateral Management System (QCMS), according to a press statement. The solution provides an interface between Counter Party, Depository and Central Bank, the statement said.n

Glenmark opens manufacturing facility in Switzerland


rugmaker Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has opened its new monoclonal antibody manufacturing facility in La Chauxde-Fonds, Switzerland. The facility supplements Glenmark’s existing in-house discovery and development capabilities and will supply material for clinical development, a note from the Mumbai-based company said. Glenmark currently has 69 employees at its biologic research centre. The Swiss research centre has fully developed in-house capabilities and infrastructure for conducting antibody discovery, cell line development, in-vitro testing and characterisation of antibodies, process development and analytical research. Dr Michael Buschle, Glenmark’s President (Biologics) said, “We have been doing cutting edge work in the area of novel monoclonal antibodies and have several monoclonal antibody candidates & bispecific antibodies in the pipeline. The manufacturing facility would help us bring these antibodies to the clinic faster and position Glenmark as a leading innovative pharmaceutical company.” Glenmark’s



centre in Switzerland has a robust pipeline of monoclonal antibodies in various stages of development including bispecific antibodies. The focus for the biologics research centre is to develop novel biologic entities for the treatment of pain, inflammatory, oncologic and respiratory conditions. In the last 10 years, Glenmark’s biologics research centre has filed several patents on novel biologic entities, the company said. GBR 500 its most advanced candidate has been licensed to Sanofi and is currently in the second phase (Phase II) of testing the drug on humans. GBR 900, a first-in-class molecule for treatment of chronic pain is currently in Phase 1.n

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad ranks 4th in Economist good value MBAs


ndian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) has been globally ranked fourth-best overall among 20 leading B-schools globally in terms of return on investment for its students by The Economist good value MBA, the institute said in a release citing an article in the publication. “The Economist calculations are one measure of how economically rewarding our students find the IIMA experience to be,” said Prof Ashish Nanda, director, IIMA.”But returns from education at IIMA go beyond purely pecuniary returns to self. Our alumni consistently report that they find the IIMA learning experience life-changing,” he said in the press release. Many of them go on to contribute meaningfully to the enterprises they join and the society in which they live, Nanda added.n

India IT security spend to see exponential growth


ver the last couple of years, increased cyber threats had forced several Indian enterprises to increase spending in tech security between 20 per cent and 35 per cent, said sector officials. India is third in terms of internet users. Its internet protocol (IP) traffic would grow sixfold from 2012 to 2017 at a compound annual growth of 44 per cent, said a KPMG report. Due to this, the spend would depend more on the business model rather than size of the company, said some officials. In 10-15 years, investment in cyber security has remained focused on threat prevention rather than detection and solution. But where the threats are getting more advanced, implementation of a stronger security system has made its way to the priority list of companies. Erecting Firewall ■■ Investment in cyber security has remained focused on threat prevention rather than detection and solution ■■ Indian market for security infrastructure and services growing to $1.4 billion by 2017 from $989 million this year ■■ Attacks like advanced persistent threats or distributed denials-ofservice (DDoS) seem the highest in six months ■■ India’s internet protocol traffic is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth of 44% from 2012 to 2017 ■■ Due to heavy net usage, the spend will depend more on the business model than size of the company. ■■ E-commerce, which relies heavily on online services, is among the reactive segments for cyber security Over two years, security spend has risen between 20 per cent and 35 per cent in India, Sanjoy Sen, senior director at Deloitte India, said. “Indian enterprises have looked

at technology as well as nontechnological holes to address the threat issue.” IT research and advisory company Gartner also sees the Indian market for security infrastructure (software and hardware) and services (consulting, MSS, implementation and support) together growing to $1.4 billion by 2017 from $989 million this year. “There is no way that you can prevent every threat. In India, most enterprises have predominantly spent towards preventive measures like Firewall in the past,” said Ambarish Deshpande, managing director, India, Bluecoat Systems. “Since the industry has now matured, it (the industry) is expected to focus on spending towards more enhanced tools to tackle advanced cyber threats. Detecting the threat, analysing it and then spend good amount of intelligence to remove it. This is what will drive the IT security spending growth,” Deshpande added. “It is expected to grow exponentially in coming years,” he said. Attacks like advanced persistent threat or distributed denial-ofservice (DDoS) seemed to be among toppers for the last six months, said industry officials. “We are seeing different kinds of threats, which have also been on the rise targeting organisations or businesses with varied intentions,” said Sidharth Pisharoti, country sales head of India at security solutions company, Akamai Technologies. “Since most of these are well-planned and targeted attacks, an advance damage control system has to be in place.” Though most industry officials remained unanimous regarding the increase in IT security spend by Indian enterprises, the view on the spending pattern varied. “The overall spending figure on IT security will vary from vertical-tovertical and depend on the extent of security implementation,” said Sen of Deloitte India. “Most importantly, it will have to be aligned with the risk involved in the business and is seen

proportionate to the rise in risk and growth involved in the business,” Sen added. “Spending is expected to increase from top organisations like the Fortune 100 or Fortune 500 companies across all verticals,” said Deshpande of security solutions company Bluecoat. “Companies, which have something of their own like intellectual property or money, that can cause heavy damage to their business are being targeted. The intention is to put the organisation out of league,” he said. “Those businesses, which have higher dependency on internet like e-commerce or those with sensitive information such as BFSI, telecom, or the government, will see security spend on high priority,” Pisharoti said. “Though the spend might not be as drastic as double in coming years, increase is surely there and will depend on the industry or the individual company as to what is its threat perception,” he added. With the IT security spend on a gradual rise since the last two years, there have been some sectors that have proactively invested towards implementation of security, while some still need to buck up. Banking “The banking sector has always been proactive towards IT security spend and will continue to be so, given the sensitivity of information we handle,” said a top ICICI Bank official. “Apart from increase in threat perceptions for this sector — internal as well as external — sophistication is also increasing (in the sector) and due to this we see (IT security spend) budgets increasing going ahead,” he added. Automotive The auto segment too is looking at increased spend going ahead. “There is immense scope for automation in the auto sector and so with flexibility going up, even threat perception will go up. This will take the IT security spend proportionately higher in the sector in coming years,” said Jayant Magar, vice-president, India Newsletter • 7

Embassy of India, Vienna

IT & CIO, AMW Motors. “The spend has already been on the rise in this sector by about five per cent every year and going ahead too it might rise by same percentage annually,” Magar added. Telecom “Telecom is a saturated market and competition is high. So security spend is certainly crucial for the sector and is seen only going upwards in coming years,” said Manoj Shahane, senior manager at Vodafone Shared Services. Electrical Machinery “In the electrical segment, computerisation is at an initial stage

and so security spend, though exists, is at a very nascent stage, less than one per cent of the total revenue,” said G Sowmiyanarayana, general manager (IT-Infrastructure), Bajaj Electricals. E-Commerce Though various sectors are at different stages of security spend and implementation, e-commerce, which relies heavily on online services is among the reactive segments for cyber security. “The e-commerce industry could have been a little bit more proactive towards implementing security solutions,” said Sidharth. “Security solutions were always there not that

they have come up now.” On the other hand, the government though a little slow does not compromise on security spend due to the sensitivity of data it has, officials said. “It (the government) makes sure that they invest in the best technology,” added Pisharoti. Gartner has seen a keen interest from enterprises in India on enhancing their security operations capabilities to protect their organisations from advanced targeted attacks. All in all, the major sectors in the domestic market are active and no one is reactive in nature anymore. As increased threats are now a reality, companies know they have to act.n

AUSTRIA IN INDIA The foreign trade department of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, Advantage Austria, has recently released in their website a new list of Austrian subsidiaries in India. The list emcompasses details on more than 120 Austrian companies for reference

The latest file of Austrian subsidiaries in India can be found for download under: 8 • India Newsletter

INDUSTRY The Indian Pharmaceuticals Sector


ndia is among the top five emerging pharma markets and has grown at an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per cent during the period FY 2009– 2013. The Indian pharmaceutical market is poised to grow to US$ 55 billion by 2020 from the 2009 levels of US$ 12.6 billion, according to the report titled ‘India Pharma 2020’ by McKinsey & Co. A new cluster of countries is contributing to the growth of the pharma industry, resulting in a robust jump in exports of drugs. The country’s pharma industry accounts for about 1.4 per cent of the global pharma industry in value terms and 10 per cent in volume terms. Both domestic and export-led demand contributed towards the robust performance of the sector. An increase in insurance coverage, an ageing population, rising income, greater awareness of personal health and hygiene, easy access to high-quality healthcare facilities and favourable government initiatives are some of the important factors expected to drive the pharma industry in India. The Government of India has unveiled ‘Pharma Vision 2020’ aimed at making India a global leader in end-to-end drug manufacturing. ■■ Market Size On improved utilisation of manufacturing facilities, the domestic pharmaceutical market is likely to see high revenue growth and profit margins. Pharmaceutical sales in India are expected to grow by 14.4 per cent to US$ 27 billion in 2016 from US$ 22.6 billion in 2012, according to a report by Deloitte called ‘2014 Global Life Sciences Outlook’. India’s pharmaceutical exports stood at US$ 14.84 billion in FY 2013–14. The United States (US)

is the country’s biggest market for pharma exports accounting for about 25 per cent, followed by the United Kingdom (UK). “India has been able to make its name as a quality supplier of affordable medicines across the globe. We are expecting around 12 per cent growth this fiscal (2014–15),” said Mr P V Appaji, Executive Director, Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil). Pharma exports from India will be more than the size of the domestic sales by FY 2015, according to a report by India Ratings & Research. The country provides generic medicines to almost 200 countries. It is responsible for about 40 per cent of the generic and over-thecounter drugs consumed in the US. Indian generics market is expected to grow to US$ 26.1 billion by 2016 from US$ 11.3 billion in 2011.n ■■ Investments The allowance of foreign direct investment (FDI) in India’s pharma sector was well received by foreign investors. The cumulative drugs and pharmaceuticals sector attracted FDI worth US$ 11,588.42 million in the period April 2000–February 2014, according to data published by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). Some of the major investments and developments in the Indian pharmaceutical sector include the following: ■■ Ashland Speciality Ingredients has opened a centre of excellence (CoE) focused on pharmaceuticals in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. The expertise offered here would be predominantly in oral solid dosage form and a range of technical services for drug companies. ■■ Sun Pharma has agreed to buy out Ranbaxy for US$ 4 billion. The landmark deal makes the combined Sun–Ranbaxy entity the fifth largest generic drug-maker in the world, with estimated revenues of US$ 4.2 billion for the year ended December

31, 2013. ■■ Natco Pharma Ltd has received tentative approval for Oseltamivir Phosphate capsules from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). Tamiflu (Roche’s trade name for Oseltamivir Phosphate) had US sales of approximately US$ 495 million for the 12 months ending September 2013, according to IMS Health. ■■ Strand Lifesciences has received a US patent for virtual liver, which would aid the pharmaceutical industry in understanding liverrelated issues better. A virtual liver would help in predicting and assessing hepatotoxicity of novel drug compounds in pre-clinical studies. ■■ Jubilant Life Sciences has received a nod from the USFDA to market a generic diuretic medicine. The drug is used to treat fluid retention in the body caused by conditions such as congestive heart failure and cirrhosis of the liver. ■■ ChrysCapital has invested around US$ 40 million in Torrent Pharma, expanding its portfolio of healthcare companies and taking up the total exposure in the sector to nearly US$ 300 million. ■■ Government Initiatives As per extant policy, FDI up to 100 per cent, under the automatic route, is permitted in the pharmaceuticals sector for Greenfield investment. Hundred per cent FDI is also permitted for investments in existing companies under the government approval route. Further, the Government of India has also put in place mechanisms such as the Drug Price Control Order and the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority to address the issue of affordability and availability of medicines. The government plans to create a special entity in partnership with private firms for a 'Brand India Pharma' campaign with the India Newsletter • 9

Embassy of India, Vienna

objective of improving the image of drug exporters. The special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be in operation in the next few weeks, said Mr Rajeev Kher, Commerce Secretary, Government of India. The Andhra Pradesh government has announced a new life sciences policy for the state at the 11th edition of BioAsia 2014 in Hyderabad. According to the new policy, the state will provide subsidies in power, water and provide land for setting up of new life science industries in the state. The state government is planning to attract an investment of Rs 20,000 crore (US$ 3.33 billion) by encouraging more industries in the segment. In a move to simplify the barcode procedures for pharmaceutical companies and to ensure quality, the Government of India has decided to treat mono cartons containing

medicines as primary level packaging, as per the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers has unveiled a scheme that will enable pharma units in different clusters across the country to set up common infrastructure facilities with substantial financial assistance from the government.

will also see the largest number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, according to consulting firm Grant Thornton.

■■ Road Ahead

With 70 per cent of India’s population residing in rural areas, pharma companies have immense opportunities to tap this market. Demand for generic medicines in rural markets has seen a sharp growth.

ndia Ratings and Research has revised its outlook on the pharmaceuticals sector for FY 2014–15 to positive from stable on the back of increased exports. With the support of Pharmexcil and the government in the form of Brand India Pharma project iPHEX, the sector would continue to grow and meet the healthcare requirements of the developing world. The country

The non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) therapeutics market value in the Asia–Pacific region is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3 per cent to touch US$ 2.9 billion by 2019 from US$ 1.8 billion in 2012, according to GBI Research. An aging population and increasing number of NSCLC incident cases will be the main drivers behind this anticipated growth in India. n

manufacturing facility in La Chauxde-Fonds, Switzerland.

Mumbai-based company said. Glenmark currently has 69 employees at its biologic research centre.



LATEST INDUSTRY NEWS Glenmark opens manufacturing facility in Switzerland


rugmaker Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has opened its new monoclonal antibody 10 • India Newsletter

The facility supplements Glenmark’s existing in-house discovery and development capabilities and will supply material for clinical development, a note from the

The Swiss research centre has fully developed in-house capabilities and infrastructure for conducting

antibody discovery, cell line development, in-vitro testing and characterisation of antibodies, process development and analytical research.

including bispecific antibodies. The

Dr Michael Buschle, Glenmark’s President (Biologics) said, “We have been doing cutting edge work in the area of novel monoclonal antibodies and have several monoclonal antibody candidates & bispecific antibodies in the pipeline. The manufacturing facility would help us bring these antibodies to the clinic faster and position Glenmark as a leading innovative pharmaceutical company.”


Glenmark’s biologics research centre in Switzerland has a robust pipeline of monoclonal antibodies in various stages of development

focus for the biologics research centre is to develop novel biologic entities for the treatment of pain, oncologic


respiratory conditions. In the last 10 years, Glenmark’s biologics research centre has filed several patents on novel biologic entities, the company said. GBR 500 its most advanced candidate has been licensed to Sanofi and is currently in the second phase (Phase II) of testing the drug on humans. GBR 900, a first-in-class molecule for treatment of chronic pain is currently in Phase 1.n

Suven Life bags 3 patents


uven Life Sciences Ltd has been granted three product patents. The patents-one each from Australia, South Korea and China-are for its New Chemical Entities for the treatment of disorders associated with neurodegenerative diseases. The granted claims of the patents include the class of select alpha-4beta-2 compounds discovered by Suven and are being developed as therapeutic agents for major depressive disorder, the Hyderabadbased company said in a release. With these new patents, Suven has a total of seventeen (17) granted patents from Australia, thirteen granted patents from South Korea and thirteen (13) product patents from China.n

SHOWCASE - Vodafone India


upin is a renowned pharma player having a wide range of quality, affordable generic and branded formulations and APIs. The company, which was named after the Lupin flower, commenced its business in 1968. It has world class manufacturing facilities across India and Japan that have played a critical role in enabling the company realise its global aspirations. Benchmarked to international standards, Lupin’s facilities are approved by international regulatory agencies such as US FDA, UK MHRA, Japan’s MHLW, TGA Australia, WHO, and the MCC South Africa. The company first gained recognition when it became one of the world’s largest manufacturers of Tuberculosis (TB) drugs. Today, it has significant market share in the

cardiovascular, diabetology, asthma, paediatrics, CNS, anti-infectives and NSAIDs therapy segments. Advanced market formulations comprised nearly 52 per cent of Lupin’s revenues in FY 12. Its drugs and products reached over 100 countries in the world. The company has emerged as the fifth largest and among the fastestgrowing companies in the US. The company’s consolidated revenues and profit after tax were Rs 94,616 million (US$ 1.55 billion) and Rs 13,142 million (US$ 216.05 million), respectively, for FY 2012–13.n


r Reddy’s began as an active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) manufacturer in 1984, producing high-quality APIs for the Indian domestic market. In 1987, the company started its formulations operations and, after becoming a force to reckon with in the Indian formulations market, went international in 1991.

Dr Reddy’s today is more than a 200-million dollar venture with presence in almost all major therapeutic areas. The company is committed to providing affordable and innovative medicines for healthier lives. Through its three businesses – Pharmaceutical Services and Active Ingredients, Global Generics, and Proprietary Products, Dr Reddy’s offers a portfolio of products and services including APIs, custom pharmaceutical services, generics, biosimilars and differentiated formulations. The company’s major therapeutic focus is on gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, diabetology, oncology, pain management and anti-infective. Major markets for Dr Reddy’s include India, USA, Russia-CIS and Europe, apart from other select geographies within emerging markets. Recently, Dr Reddy’s deepened its focus into the rural markets in India to ensure the expansion of its reach. In this initiative, the company collaborated with its CSR wing, Dr Reddy’s Foundation to reach the millions who are still away from effective treatment and availability of the right medicines. n India Newsletter • 11

Embassy of India, Vienna

PERSPECTIVES ON INDIA - INTERVIEW Perspectives on Indian Economy with Mr Anis Chakravarty, Senior Director, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt Ltd Anis Chakravarty is Senior Director and Lead Economist at Deloitte India. He has a rich experience of over 13 years in advising companies in the European Union, India and the United States on a wide range of issues that relate to economics, finance and transfer pricing. Besides, he is actively involved with Deloitte’s practice and knowledge development initiatives in India and Asia Pacific region, is a co-leader of Deloitte’s Global Economists Network and also heads regional discussions on intellectual property in transfer pricing. ■■ On Monetary Policy Direction With respect to the monetary policy focus, you have also mentioned that we should expect more rate hikes this year. what is your view on the direction being followed, especially since consumer price inflation (CPI) is now being targeted as opposed to wholesale price inflation (WPI)? In terms of our monetary policy, let me break it up into two or three aspects. In terms of the first aspect, let’s focus on the CPI. The CPI as an index is more commonly used around the world. India had been a notable exception focussing on the WPI in the past. That’s because the CPI basket itself was not defined properly to reflect the correct figures. I think again that there are actions taking place to correct that. But if we focus on our monetary policy for the past couple of years, we see that it has been slightly reactive; reactive to the fact that if WPI goes up, then monetary policy should come in and correct it. If the WPI goes down, everything seems fine, and people expect a rate cut. But really what is happening right now are two things. One is that the focus is shifting to CPI 12 • India Newsletter

where we see that the fluctuations or the volatility in fluctuations is perhaps much higher. Secondly, retail and food inflation has traditionally been a problem in India. Retail inflation has been hovering around 10 per cent and there have been actions taken on the WPI side, which have little effect on the food inflation. So I think that directly going in and targeting CPI is a very good move from that perspective. The third aspect is the rate hike itself at this point of time when actually WPI is at a low and CPI also is at a three month to six month low. So why does that happen? It happens because one wants to nip the inflationary pressures at the bud. At this point of time, if we target CPI and we actually go for a rate hike, any potential pressures that may be there in the system from an inflation perspective can get partially curtailed. So to my mind, that is a very proactive policy to have. Certainly our monetary policy paradigm has changed with the new governor in place, but I think it’s a very good move. There are no short term answers. I think that over a period of time, the monetary policy itself will start having a far wider effect than we see at this point of time. But it’s a matter of time, so we have to wait and watch and give it time to start making a difference. ■■ On the role of Technology At this stage of its development, India has progressed tremendously when it comes to penetration of 21st century technology, an instance of which is the rapid penetration of mobile technology. How do you see the proliferation of technology impacting India’s growth? If we look at the complete technological rise of India, there are a couple of things that come to the fore. There are certain aspects, like you mentioned mobile technology for instance, which are new and which are effectively less than 20-30 years old. If you look at the advent of IT into various aspects of life, again, this is about 20-

30 years old at least in the consumer space. The question is, in a number of these frameworks if you look at these sectors, India has actually gone ahead and played a leading part. The question really is whether technology is really penetrating every aspect of our life, and I don’t think we can deny that at this point of time. But then economically, how India benefits from technology is important. A number of entrepreneurs are opening technology companies and then going out into the market. At the end of the day, it is going to do a couple of things. It is going to make the coupling with the world that I had spoken about earlier much more stronger and certainly it is going to help tremendously from an export perspective and from a services perspective. No one can deny that at one point of time, India was known arguably as the services leader of the world. Perhaps it is going down a little bit, but then the services competitive advantage is still there in India. And I think that technology, to a certain extent, helps take that forward. So definitely, part of the Indian economic growth story is linked to the success of how technology has come into our life from that perspective. ■■ On the Manufacturing Agenda India’s economic growth has been unique in the sense that it has focussed heavily on the services sector. Now concerted attempts are being made to raise the share of manufacturing in India’s GDP to around 25 per cent. How do you see these initiatives improving India’s manufacturing competitiveness in the coming years? If we dissect the manufacturing sector in India, there are a couple of things that starkly come out. The first aspect is that overall the shift traditionally from agriculture to manufacturing that China had did not happen in India. We are still stuck at around 1520 per cent of overall GDP. Having said that, the conditions that existed – like

low cost pool, skill sets – where China had an advantage are still present in India. So the question is how do we take it forward? And again a couple of things come to mind. The first aspect is what are the key areas or key issues, which are affecting Indian manufacturing? As we discussed, one of them is high borrowing costs or access to funds. The second aspect is high input costs or access to raw materials. The third aspect is overall inflation, which has been playing for the past few years and wasn’t there earlier. What is important is how these aspects affect the SME sector, because that’s really where manufacturing growth needs to be. That’s where the entrepreneurial zeal really needs to come in, because if India has a robust SME sector growth, it is going to bring up our manufacturing in a big way. Secondly, if we look at the overall sector and what the Government has done, there are a number of positives. Around a few years back, the Commerce Minister announced the National Manufacturing Policy. We spoke about the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. Recently, during the British Prime Minister’s visit around a year and a half back, there was talk of the Mumbai-Bangalore Corridor. Now these are very important developments, because indeed if these are implemented in the correct fashion, it will enable penetration of manufacturing into the rural economy. Manufacturing cannot be restricted to being an urban phenomenon itself. It has to penetrate into the rural economy and penetrate into the rural workforce to actually come out of a traditional sustenance around agriculture to get into manufacturing and build their skill sets in manufacturing. And that way, the growth aspect of manufacturing will be much more wide and much more focussed to that extent. So I think that the conditions are right and the conditions are there. It is really the ground level implementation that probably hasn’t happened to the extent that one would want it to happen. So overall going forward, if

some of these implementation issues are taken care of, the focus on SMEs is retained, if actually rural penetration of manufacturing can happen, I believe that it can really grow the manufacturing sector in a much more larger way. ■■ On India’s Relative Economic Position India is currently bracketed in the ‘Fragile Five’ group globally, among countries that are deemed to be unsustainably dependent on foreign investment inflows. What is your perspective on India’s position on this front relative to other emerging economies that have been clubbed together? I think that it is a sort of a mixed bag situation at this point of time, if you look at the entire scenario of quantitative easing from the US perspective. And if I take you back around five years, there were a lot of questions raised on whether the Indian economy was indeed coupled with the global economy. I think that debate has been put to rest. Indeed, if we look at the situation right now, India is actually dependent on the global economy. Now we are seeing that any economic action by the Fed in the US actually has a prolonged effect in India from two perspectives. One is typically the buoyancy of business as such. Our exports are dependent partly on that. The second aspect is the monetary policy itself, because the US action has a direct repercussion on India. So indeed at this point of time if you look at quantitative easing in the US, we actually wait and watch because we think that some of the actions taken by the Fed will have an impact on the Indian economy on the exports side, on the current account deficit side and particularly even on our monetary policy situation; because typically dollar-exchange rates, import bill, etc are actually linked to that extent. I think that India is placed relatively well at this point of time (vis-à-vis other emerging markets). There are macroeconomic challenges and I don’t think anyone

can deny that. Let me just take it back to this whole Fed quantitative easing aspect. Now we know that the rupee depreciated against the dollar and there was a hue and cry. A part of that hue and cry is partly and quite correctly because of the global context, but there is also a ramification because of our domestic economic factors. But if I look at other emerging economies, some of the currencies in fact fared worse than India. So if we actually negate the global aspect and focus purely on the domestic aspects, what is very important is that how does India shield itself from future volatility that may arise because of situations like this, because certainly such situations can be repeated. And there, a couple of things come to mind. If you look at India’s typical GDP growth pattern, we have actually fallen. But typically a 4.8 per cent or a 5 per cent that we are looking at now is actually a very good number from a global perspective. Indeed for India as an emerging economy and if I put in the BRICS context as a whole, it’s a very good number to have. Secondly, if we break up India’s GDP into agriculture, industry and services, we have seen that services growth, at least in the past decade, has been stellar. Part of that is coming down and there are factors for that. Competition is going up and we are seeing some sub-sectors in services not performing too well. But these are areas that can be addressed. Similarly, if you look at the agriculture sector, we have heard this time and again that India’s farm output is dependent on the monsoons. But over the past decade, if we see the situation, the use of technology in irrigation has actually gone up. Secondly, we know that there are inefficiencies in the farm to market movement. There are ways in which the supply chain can be improved upon. So I look at these as certain macroeconomic imbalances rising out of inefficiencies but none of them are show stoppers. If these corrective actions are taken, the sustained growth that we require in India is a huge possibility. India Newsletter • 13

Embassy of India, Vienna

EXPERT BUSINESS ADVICE This article has been authored by Mr. Azeem Merchant, Founder & CEO, Messung Global Connect - A global advisory & implementation organisation based in India which helps global companies Enter, Set-Up and Expand their business in India. For further details or to contact the firm, please email Mr. Jaideep Patil under or visit

Appointing a Sales Agent in India

of India and its associated agencies like Commodity Boards and Export Promotion Councils also provide guidelines to the exporters. However, there are quite a few detailed activities involved while exporting to India.

market, thereby leading to a saving in costs as well as time for the organisation.

Selling a product through an overseas agent is a very successful strategy. Sales agents are available on commission basis for any sales they make. The key benefit of appointing a sales agent is that you get the advantage of their extensive knowledge of India & the target audience. An Indian sales agent will provide support to his principle in the various matters like of transportation, clearing & forwarding, reservations, appointments with the government officials & other regulatory bodies as and when required.

■■ Typically, an agent will already have existing & solid relationships with potential buyers; hence it saves the time & resources of the foreign company to expand its network in India.

Export directly or Agent representation – What to do?

It is, therefore, essential that one should very carefully select an agent when they wish to operate in India.

■■ Providing effective after-sales service can be difficult when selling through an intermediary.


Merits of Appointing a Sales Agent in India

■■ Potential risk for the foreign company to lose some control over marketing and brand image.


■■ High level of dependency & reliability on the sales agent.

■■ No need to recruit & train new personnel specifically for the Indian

■■ Risk of brand identity & representation might be diluted by the agent.


ndia due to its dynamic market environment & diverse nature of consumers makes it mandatory to not only understand the market but also develop the right entry strategy in order to capitalise on the potential it has to offer. In order to give an advantage to Austrian companies who wish to enter and operate in India, there are various routes & approaches as to how to do business in India. This article (1 of 6 series) will give insights on one of the routes of operating a business in India which is via a sales agent; its merits & demerits while there are other alternate routes such as appointing a distributor (exclusive & non-exclusive), joint venture with an Indian company, establishing a wholly owned Indian subsidiary etc.

ypically exporting your goods is not the only method of expanding your organisations in India. There is an abundance of resources available online that will help a potential exporter understand all the ins and outs of the export operations. Government 14 • India Newsletter

here are various types of merits associated with the appointment of a sales agent viz:

■■ An agent is a better option to identify and exploit opportunities in India due to his extensive knowledge of the local market.

■■ An agent allows certain leverage to the foreign company to maintain more control over matters such as final price, brand image etc.

Demerits of Appointing a Sales Agent


here are also certain disadvantages associated with appointing a sales agent viz:

Important Points While

■■ Number of sales calls per month

Learning & Development

Appointing a Sales Agent in

and per salesman by company staff.


■■ Any major obstacles expected in


the company’s sales growth.

of the foreign company’s product/

Appointing the right sales agent will not only enhance the percentage of

■■ Agent’s capability to provide

Return-On-Investment of a foreign

sales promotion and advertising

company but will also minimise


the risk associated with directly

■■ Agent’s transport facilities and

exporting to India or setting up an

warehousing capacity.

Indian subsidiary. So it becomes

■■ Agent’s rate of commission;

important for a foreign company to take into consideration following important points before selecting an appropriate sales agent in India for their products/services. ■■ Size of the agent’s company. ■■ Date of foundation of the agent’s company. ■■ Company’s


control. ■■ Company’s



available and liabilities. ■■ Name, age and experience of the company’s senior executives. ■■ Number, age and experience of the company’s salesman. ■■ Other agencies that the company holds, including those of competing products and turn-over of each. ■■ Length of company’s association with other principal. ■■ New agencies that the company obtained or lost during the past year. ■■ Company’s total annual sales and

service offering in order to capitalise on the superior quality offering of the foreign company & ensure

payment terms required.

good sales for them in India. The foreign company must carry out an adequate & well-planned training programme to ensure a good level of knowledge transfer to the local

■■ References on the agents from banks, trade associations and major buyers.

transfer agent. Through a wellstructured L&D programme only can a foreign company ensure that

■■ Area of specialisation of agent &

the appointed sales agent will be

preferred Industry sectors

able to service clients in the said geography.

Sources for procuring ownership

t is imperative that a sales agent should have thorough knowledge

information on Agents:

Appointment &

It is vital that the foreign company


carry out not only a thorough





nce the foreign company has shortlisted an agent who will

appointing a sales agent but also

represent them in India, the next



step would be list all the Terms &


Conditions for the appointment

mentioned organisations are some

agent. These parameters would

of the best sources of information


regarding agents/companies who

business strategy & ROI for the

are operating in India

country. Moving ahead the %

■■ Government Departments








about The

■■ Trade Associations ■■ Chambers of Commerce ■■ Banks





operation products/

service which he would be selling, the



performance bonuses also needs

the trends in its sales in recent years.

■■ Independent Consultants

to be fixed so that the agent is

■■ Company’s

■■ Export Promotion Councils

motivated to promote the products/

■■ Industry Bodies/Associations

services of the foreign company.


overall and by area.


India Newsletter • 15

Embassy of India, Vienna

TRADE FAIRS INTERESTED IN VISITING A TRADE SHOW IN INDIA? In case your company is interested in visiting a tradeshow/B2B event in India, be it one listed here or another one that came to your attention, get in contact with us via to get more information about possible assistance/subsidies.

16 • India Newsletter

India Newsletter • 17

Embassy of India, Vienna



3 days Exhibition sEctorial confErEncE schEdulE b2b MEEtings Product launchEs

18 • India Newsletter

INVEST INDIA Federation House, Tansen Marg New Delhi—110 001 0091-11-23765085, 23487278


nvest India is the country’s official agency dedicated to investment promotion and facilitation. Set up as a joint venture between FICCI (51% equity), DIPP (35% equity held by the Department of Industrial

policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry) and State Governments of India (0.5% each), its mandate is to become the first reference point for the global investment community. It provides granulated, sectorspecific and state-specific information to a foreign investor, assists in expediting regulatory approvals, and offers hand-holding services. Its mandate also includes assisting Indian investors make informed choices about investment opportunities overseas.

India Newsletter • 19

Embassy of India, Vienna


Exploring India’s religious heritage by Gill Charlton Travellers seeking genuine insights into India’s rich religious heritage can now sign up for cultural tours led by art historians and archaeologists


isit a Hindu temple with an Indian guide and he will almost certainly start his spiel with these words: “To understand Hinduism, all you need to remember is G. O. D. Brahma is the Generator, Vishnu the Operator, and Shiva the Destroyer.” This simplistic guide-school explanation of the roles played by the main Hindu gods is completely meaningless to Westerners. It makes me want to scream with frustration. Most tour guides – even those assigned to couples on expensive bespoke holidays – will spout such nonsense, point out a few erotic sculptures, and be ready to move on. They fail utterly to bring India’s extraordinary culture alive in ways that will engage someone from the West. When challenged, guides say that Europeans have only a

20 • India Newsletter

limited attention span. But guiding is like teaching: spark interest in your charges and they will follow wherever you lead. The success of non-accredited private guides offering cultural walking tours in India’s main cities is proof of this. But finding knowledgeable, enthusiastic official guides to illuminate the country’s spiritual life and its myriad palaces, forts and temples is much more difficult. Enter Martin Randall Travel, long celebrated for its expert-led tours in Europe and the Middle East. Last winter it launched a programme of cultural tours to India led by some of the world’s leading archaeologists and art historians, including John Keay, Giles Tillotson and John Fritz. Which is how I find myself in a lecture room at Claridges Hotel in New Delhi listening to Charles Allen introduce his twin passions: the Emperor Ashoka and the rediscovery of a Buddhist civilisation in India. Allen is best known for his lively account of British colonial life in Plain Tales from the Raj, but most lauded for his more scholarly works on the British Orientalists: the judges,

soldiers, engineers and East India Company men who painstakingly pieced together India’s lost history in their spare time. We learn that it was the Orientalists who discovered that the Buddha – regarded by Hindus as the ninth incarnation of Vishnu – had been born Prince Siddhartha in the foothills of the Himalayas in the fifth century BC. Over the next two weeks, we will journey back to this era visiting Varanasi, rural Bihar, Kolkata and Bhopal. There are few physical remains, we are warned, so we will need good imaginations. We have no concerns: it is already clear that Allen has plenty of anecdotes up his sleeve to bring the past alive in an entertaining way. And there are cribsheets for those with memories like sieves. My 18 travel companions come from all over the Englishspeaking world: Australia, California, Hong Kong, South Africa, London and the Shires. They include a collector of Tibetan rugs, an expert on Chinese Buddhism, and a few middle-aged Indophiles such as myself, looking for a holiday that includes academic rigour. Our first excursion is to a ruined

pillar. Sultan Feroz Shah’s Lat must be Delhi’s least-visited heritage site. The tapered column was uncovered by Feroz Shah on a hunting trip in the Punjab in 1356. He was so taken by its golden sheen that he had it transported, at great expense, to his new palace in Delhi. The pillar, cut from a single block of sandstone, stands 42ft high. The colour is now more taupe than gold, but the high polish is remarkable, undimmed by Delhi’s pollution. A long inscription wraps around the column; simple forms punctuated with dots and dashes. Indian Brahmin scholars had no idea what the writing meant. It was James Prinsep, British assay master at the mint in Varanasi in the 1820s, who finally unscrambled the alphabet and deciphered the first indigenous Indian script, the precursor to Sanskrit. The inscriptions unlocked the lost world of India’s greatest emperor, Ashoka, who ruled for 36 years from 269 BC. Although a convert to Buddhism, Ashoka ran a secular state according to a code of ethics, which he had inscribed on pillars and rocks scattered all across India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The inscriptions exhort his subjects to pursue lives of “little evil, much good, kindness, generosity, truthfulness and purity” and talk of the need to provide health care, water wells and trees for shade, to set up an independent judiciary, and to pursue religious tolerance and overcome opposition by the rule of law instead of war. By the end of the afternoon we have joined the Ashoka fan club. Past members include H G Wells and India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who wrote that among the many thousands of rulers, Ashoka “shines, almost alone, [as] a star”. Even the local guide, politely set aside by Allen after starting on the GOD acronym, has become rather emotional – and a great deal better informed – by the end of our visit. It is a brave tour company that takes its charges deep into the claustrophobic heart of old Varanasi

on foot, but Hubert Giraud, our tour manager, has found a local film-maker and a theologian who prove to be superb guides. They explain the cleansing rituals of the thousands of pilgrims immersing themselves in the Ganges and lead us through an encampment of naked sadhus sitting beneath tarpaulins smoking fat joints, skeins of marigolds threaded through their dreadlocks. It was against this kind of extreme asceticism that the Buddha preached his first sermon a few miles away, at Sarnath. In doing so he founded a new religion that was to hold sway in India for 1,000 years. It was Ashoka who sent prominent monks all over Asia to spread the word of the Buddha. Sarnath is as calm as Varanasi is chaotic. Buddhists from all over the world come here to circle the bellshaped brick stupas or shrines and sit on the grass listening to monks preach in hushed tones much as the Buddha’s disciples would have done. Sarnath’s museum contains one of the most beautiful pieces of sculpture ever made: four roaring lions crouched back-to-back on an inverted bell. It is perfectly balanced and made from one piece of stone polished to a high lustre, “probably by a Persian master working for Ashoka”, says Allen, “though Indian archaeologists don’t like to entertain the idea that a foreigner might have made it”. I find it rather wonderful that two Ashokan sculptures found at Buddhist Sarnath were expressly chosen by Nehru to represent the new secular India: the lion capital and the 24-spoke stone Dharmachakra or Wheel of Law. I had always thought the wheel on India’s flag represented Gandhi’s spinning wheel. Thank you, Charles, for setting me right on that one. From Varanasi we drive into Bihar, the ancient kingdom of Magadha, where Ashoka had his capital. Today it is the poorest state in India, thanks to political corruption and incompetence. A land of paddy

fields, straw huts and abysmal roads, its rural landscape is largely unchanged since the time of Buddha. The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodhgaya (originally Buddha Gaya) is to Buddhists what Mecca is to Muslims. Zealots prostrate themselves again and again on to mattresses laid around the sacred fig tree under which Prince Siddhartha found enlightenment and became the Buddha. A few feet away, coach parties of Hindus queue to enter a small room that contains a Buddha statue, which they worship as a form of Vishnu. The place is a beacon of religious tolerance. There are no early images of Buddha in human form, Allen tells us, as he disliked idolatry. Sculptors would use symbols to denote his presence: an empty throne, a stupa shrine, a fig tree. In Kolkata we marvel at the lifesize figures of voluptuous women and proud warriors found at Bharhut in central India. The sculptures were carved in the second century BC and saved by a British soldier, Alexander Cunningham, from being carted off by locals for use as building material. “I’m sure this is Ashoka,” Allen says, “carrying away a reliquary containing Buddha’s ashes which he then redistributed in shrines all over his empire.” The chubby-faced emperor sits astride an elephant, face on to the viewer, wearing a magnificent turban and heavy metal earrings. In Kolkata we stay at the historic fivestar Oberoi Grand, in the heart of the Victorian colonial city. We rarely eat from the hotel buffet; Martin Randall doesn’t like food served this way. Instead there are tables for six in the classier Thai restaurant and a menu chosen by Hubert to satisfy both spicy and bland palates. It is such thoughtful touches that mark out the superiority of this tour: chauffeured cars at our disposal on free afternoons; room keys on a tray as soon as we enter a new hotel; the summoning of Jeeps to carry us on and keep to schedule after our coach slows to a crawl on a poor road. Best of all there are no early starts: a civilised 9am boarding time India Newsletter • 21

Embassy of India, Vienna

is the order of the day. Our final destination is Sanchi, north of Bhopal in central India, where a squat stupa surrounded by stone gateways decorated with secondcentury BC bas reliefs stands on top of a forested ridge. The astonishing intricacy of the stonework, done by ivory carvers from the nearby town of Vidisha, rivals anything produced by the Roman Empire. It was rediscovered by British officers in 1818, but it took another century before a British archaeologist, Sir John Marshall, revealed that many of the scenes on the sculpted panels told the story of Ashoka, who had lived in this area before becoming ruler of Magadha. We know this because the previous day we had driven into the countryside and climbed up to a rock shelter rediscovered in 1976 near Panguraria. Like many a young man in love, Ashoka had roughly chiselled a memorial graffito high on a wall: “A king called Piyadasi [Ashoka’s formal name] came to this place on a pleasure tour while still a prince living together with his consort.” It is the sort of neck-tingling moment where you feel the emotional tug of history. It is as if Allen has brought Ashoka and his world back to life. In Sanchi he shows us a carving of the emperor as an elderly man, fainting into the arms of female attendants after seeing the dead sacred fig tree in Bodhgaya, poisoned by his young second wife in a fit of pique. “You probably know more about Ashoka than most Indians,” Allen says. “Most still have little time for the man who first forged India into a single nation state.” Martin Randall Travel (020 8742 3355; has 10 different tours to India

Finding a cultural tour guide If you are travelling to India independently, there are some excellent heritage walking tours in the main cities. Most guides charge £7-£15 per person for a half-day walk in a group of 15 and will also quote for exclusive private tours. 22 • India Newsletter

■■ Delhi Metro Walks (0091 981 133 0098; Surekha Narain has researched more than 30 themed heritage walks in Delhi using the metro to get around. Hired by foreign embassies to entertain VIPs, she can pitch it highbrow or entertain a family. One of her fortes is persuading guardians to open “closed” places. Regular group walks and tailor-made days out as well as short trips to other cities, notably Agra, Jaipur and Lucknow. ■■ Calcutta Walks (0091 334 005 2573; Choice of seven shared walks led by erudite, well-educated Bengalis. Themes include “In the footsteps of the Raj” and “Bringing the Goddess to Earth” focusing on life along the Ganges. There are also six cycle tours and a sunset river cruise. ■■ Varanasi Walks (no phone, online booking via varanasiwalks. com) Choice of six walks that take the

fear out of navigating the tiny lanes of this extraordinary city of life and death. They are led by people with a profound knowledge of the city’s spiritual history including a master baker, a philosopher and a filmmaker. ■■ Virasat Experiences (0091 141 510 9090; virasatexperiences. com) Formed by two tour guides who wanted to take visitors beyond the usual tourist sights. They offer themed heritage walks in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur and work with local NGOs to offer day tours to rural villages in Rajasthan for £25 per person. ■■ Raconteur Walks (0091 982 002 5496; A choice of five heritage walks in Mumbai led by enthusiastic young professionals. Most have daily departures and include classy Malabar Hill and the waterfront’s Victorian legacy.

India Newsletter • 23

Embassy of India, Vienna

INDIAN MOVIE EVENING AT THE EMBASSY Due to limited capacity, seats will be given on a first come, first served basis. Therefore, you are highly encouraged to reserve your seats online at, via email under marketingofficer@

Gestern, Heute und für Immer | Love Aaj Kal ■■ Synopsis:



Vardhan Singh and Meera Pandit meet, fall in love, and she introduces him to her family. Shortly thereafter, they decide to part as she wants to re-locate to India to restore heritage buildings, while he re-locates to America. Restauranteur Veer Singh attempts to convince Jai to pursue her, as he had pursued Harleen Kaur back in 1965 India, but Jai moves on and falls in love with Caucasian Jo, while Meera is all set to get marry her employer, Vikram Joshi. ■■ Director: Imtiaz Ali ■■ Stars:

Saif Ali Khan, Deepika

Padukone, Rishi Kapoor ■■ Genre: Comedy / Romance ■■ Duration: 123 min ■■ Release Year: 2009 ■■ Language: Hindi / English ■■ Subtites: German

Showtime Friday, June 27th, 18:00 Indian Embassy Business Centre (1st Floor, Kärntner Ring 2, 1010 Vienna) 24 • India Newsletter

IN THE CINEMAS: FASCINATING INDIA 3D Fascinating India 3D The movie spreads an impressive panorama of India’s historical and contemporary world. The film presents the most important cities, royal residences and temple precincts. It follows the trail of different religious

denominations, which have influenced India up to the present day. Simon Busch and Alexander Sass travelled for months through the north of the Indian subcontinent to discover what is hidden under India’s exotic and enigmatic surface, and to show what is rarely revealed to foreigners.

The film deals with daily life in India. In Varanasi, people burn their dead to ashes. At the Kumbh Mela, the biggest religious gathering of the world, 35 million pilgrims bathe in holy River Ganges. This is the first time India is presented in such an alluring and engaging fashion on screen.

Für alle Indienfans aus Österreich: Am Freitag, 13.06. startet Fascinating India 3D in folgenden Städten / Kinos: ■■ Wien: Village Cinemas ■■ Linz: Citykino ■■ Graz: Geidorf ■■ Klagenfurt: Wulfenia Folgeeinsätze im Anschluss: ■■ Innsbruck Cinematograph ab 27.06. ■■ Gleisdorf Dieselkino 30.06. + 02.07. ■■ Fohnsdorf Dieselkino 07.07. + 09.07. ■■ Leibnitz Dieselkino 07.07. + 09.07. ■■ Oberwart Dieselkino 07.07. + 09.07. ■■ Kapfenberg Dieselkino 07.07. + 09.07. ■■ Bärnbach Dieselkino 07.07. + 09.07. ■■ St. Johann/Pg. Dieselkino 07.07. + 09.07. ■■ Bruck/Gglstr. Dieselkino 07.07. + 09.07.

India Newsletter • 25

Embassy of India, Vienna

AUSTRO-INDIAN CINEMA: SERVUS ISHQ Servus Ishq The most awaited Indo-Austrian film ‘Servus Ishq’ (Hello Love) will be in theatres in a few weeks. Interestingly, the film is considered to be the first venture from the central Europe and a historical tribute to Bollywood from an India-born Austrian film director Sandeep Kumar. An IndoAustrian production, the film is slated for release on 13 June, 2014. Servus Ishq posterIt’s a love story fully shot in the beautiful locations in Austria fashioned in the style of

26 • India Newsletter

popular mainstream Bollywood films. ‘Servus Ishq’ is written, produced and directed by Kumar as a musical drama that is a colourful mix of romance, songs and spirituality. It is also the first crossover film to be simultaneously shot in the German and Hindi languages, perhaps the first Bollywood film entirely shot in German language. One of the most delighted things in the film is that the songs are composed in Hindi by Mumbai-based Afroz Khan, a renowned musician. Some of the songs are sung by Mohammad

Salamat of ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ fame. The entire crew comprises of both Austrian and Indian artists and at the technical end are mostly Austrians. ‘Servus Ishq’ is the story of Maya, an Indian girl with Austrian background. Maya arrives in Vienna from India in the footsteps of a diary left by her late grandmother who was an Austrian. She tries to find her Austrian identity and what happens is the film all about. The movie is a visual feast for the audience as it has shot in different seasons in Austria while imaging some of the most beautiful locations from the country. However, it’s not just the usual Bollywood mix but riveted a pacific style of spirituality in the context of contemporary Europe on the scenes by attributing some good amount of Indian and Austrian cultural elements. When Maya began to search for the missing links, she started to explore ad experience some previously unknown emotions, triggered by the unassuming Jay, the here, a young Indian migrant and story goes on…ending it as a romantic thriller. Sandeep Kumar Servus IshqDirector Sandeep Kumar played the role of Jay and the protagonist Maya played by Victoria Nogueira, an Austrian girl with Brazilian roots. Nougeria was chosen after a countrywide audition from number of contestants. She is a student of an Acting School in Vienna. She had to learn Hindi and Bollywood dance. Kumar, the brain behind the project is originally a management consultant who lived in the USA and Germany and came to Austria a decade ago. The 86 minutes film co-produced by Josef Aichholzer of Vienna based Aichholzer Films. The songs were choreographed by Neha Kapdi and Camera by Satoshi. Beena Singh, Christopher Korkisch, Wolfgang Rittinger , Karoline Heflin, Alex Koller, Roman Kariolou, Britta Nahler, etc are behind the screen. Carefully

selected artists, locations, costumes and colours brings the film a worth watching drama. The touching music and the unique songs, which were choreographed in the Indian genre, will bring Bollywood directly to Europe.

PREMIERE On June 3rd, the movie premiered in the Lugner City in Vienna. Ambassador Rajiva Misra was among the VIP guests. Some impressions of the premiere:

India Newsletter • 27

Embassy of India, Vienna

INDIA IN AUSTRIA Indische Klassische Musik und Kathak-Tanz – „Venu-Katha“ exotischer märchentrip mit traditionellem indischen ausdrucks-tanz klangfarbenfroh und gestenreich „Venu“ – die Flöte. „Katha“ – die Erzählung. Ausdrucksstarker Tanz als musikalische Geschichte im Dialog mit Bansuri, Stimme undTabla. Mit virtuoser Beinarbeit, raschen Pirouetten, gleitenden Bewegungen sowie dem ganzen Alphabet an Gestik und Mimik entführt Kaveri Sageder im Kathak, dem traditionellen klassischen Tanzstil Nordindiens, in eine märchenhaft exotische Welt. Kaveri Sageder – kathak (tanz); Rina Chandra – bansuri (bambusflöte); Anuradha Genrich – voc; Retnasree Iyer – tabla ■■ Details 20.06.2014, 19.30, Theater am Spittelberg, Spittelberggasse 10, 1070 Wien ■■ Weitere Infos und Reservierung


28 • India Newsletter

India Newsletter • 29

Embassy of India, Vienna

30 • India Newsletter

NOTICE BOARD EMBASSY’S LIBRARY ■■ The EMBASSY’S library is opened DAILY from 10am to 1pm without appointment. NEW OPENING HOURS! ■■ For scheduling an appointment outside the opening hours, please contact the information assistant under or 01 505 8666 33

BUSINESS CENTRE ■■ The EMBASSY’S Business Centre is opened DAILY from 10am to 1pm. NEW OPENING HOURS! ■■ For scheduling an appointment outside the opening hours, please contact the commercial wing under the contacts given below. ■■ Marketing Officer: or 01 505 8666 30 ■■ Marketing Assistant: or 01 505 8666 31

STUDENTS WELFARE OFFICER ■■ Mr. Pawan T. Badhe, Third Secretary in this Embassy has been designated as Officer to look after welfare of Indian Students in Austria and Montenegro. ■■ His contact details are: 0043 1 505 866 15 and

MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS GOES MOBILE Now you can... ■■ Avail services : passport, visa, consular assistance ■■ Ask your Minister : on the go, anytime, anywhere ■■ Follow your PM : on his visits abroad ■■ Find the nearest Indian Mission/Post : for emergency consular assistance ■■ Be informed : about India’s Foreign Relations on the move and form your own opinions ■■ Know more : about how to undertake Kailash Manasarovar Yatra and Haj Pilgrimage ■■ Download and watch : pictures & documentaries on India ■■ Play and Personalize : what you need, when you need ■■ Share and contribute : your views, pics & suggestions All this & much more on your smartphone Ministry of External Affairs proudly presents “MEAIndia” – an integrated smart app for mobile and other hand held devices ‘MEAIndia’ is now available for download on App Store and Google Play Store..

FACEBOOK ■■ Our Facebook page targets the India-Austria community and covers subjects such as Business, Culture, Embassy News, India-related events and programmes in Austria, and much more. ■■ We have reached the 1300 followers mark! ■■ ‘Like’ our facebook page and be the first to know! India Newsletter • 31

India newsletter 06 2014  

India Newsletter published by the Indian Embassy, Vienna

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