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INDIA NEWSLETTER Published by the Embassy of India,Vienna Year 2 | Issue 20 | August 2012



India Newsletter | 1


News of interest Snapshot of July Highlights 



The overall growth of gross domestic product (GDP) at factor cost at constant prices, as per Revised Estimates, is projected at 6.5 per cent in 2011-12. The growth in real GDP is placed at 5.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2011-12.


The overall growth in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) was 2.4 per cent during May 2012. During April-May 2012-13, IIP growth was 0.8 per cent.The eight core infrastructure industries registered a growth of 3.8 per cent in May 2012. During April-May 2012-13, these sectors grew by 3.4 per cent.


Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has eased derivative contract norm. Banks do not have to classify hedging of derivative contracts that are terminated partially or fully as restructured accounts.


Government has approved 14 FDI proposals worth Rs 1,584.11 crore (US$ 280.91 million), including that of Abhijeet Power Ltd to bring in FDI worth Rs 674 crore (US$ 119.51 million) and CLSA Singapore's proposal to invest Rs 225 crore (US$ 39.89 million).


An investment of Rs 70,000 crore (US$ 12.68 billion) entailed in projects coming up in Haryana including National Manufacturing Investment Zone at Manesar-Bawal Investment Region was announced by Mr Sharma, Union Minister for Commerce, Industry and Textiles.


India has set aside Rs 30,000 crore (US$ 5.42 billion) worth of incentives and subsidies to encourage firms to set up electronics manufacturing units in the country. The Government has also drafted a marketing plan to promote 'Made in India' electronics in the global market.


Government has decided to set up a project clearance board, on the lines of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, for review and issue of one-time clearances, including security clearance.


The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has laid down guidelines for promoters seeking to offload stake via offer-for-sale (OFS). Sebi has mandated the OFS facility to be be available only on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). 2 | India Newsletter



Exports can grow 20% in the current fiscal notwithstanding the global slowdown, a senior commerce ministry official said. “We are still the second fastest growing economy. I see turnaround in exports and indications are that we can achieve 20% export target this year,” Commerce Secretary S R Rao told after meeting the exporters body Fieo. Last fiscal, the country crossed the merchandise shipment target of $300 billion at $303.8 billion, making it the largest-ever trade numbers. But so was imports driven by high oil and gold prices which together accounted for nearly $220 billion. Rao expressed relief over narrowing trade deficit and said the trade gap would be under control.


The Indian pharma industry is confident of achieving exports of $25 billion by 2014 at an annual growth rate of 25 per cent. Last year, the industry registered exports of $13 billion at a growth rate of 30 per cent, Dr P.V. Appaji, Director-General of Pharmexil, said. The industry expects to get at least $10 billion worth of export opportunity when drugs worth $35 billion go off patent in the US. 



India’s foreign exchange (forex) reserves grew by $589 million to $287.34 billion for the week ended July 20, central bank data showed. Foreign currency assets, the biggest component of the forex reserves kitty, increased by $565.5 million to $255.10 billion for the week under review, according to weekly statistical supplement released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The RBI did not provide any reasons for the growth. It said the assets in US dollar terms included the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the pound sterling, euro and yen held in reserve. 



To expedite project implementation, the government announced a single-window mechanism under the Cabinet Secretary for review and issue of clearances associated with major projects. After putting in place a problem-resolution mechanism for infrastruc-

ture projects and an investment tracking system for projects over Rs 1,000 crore directly under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the government has decided to set up a Project Clearance Board, on the lines of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, for review and issue of one-time clearances, including security clearance. The Board will include representatives from the ministries of home, defence, environment and forests, commerce, coal, departmenmt of space and other infrastructure and energy-related ministries and departments. The decision was taken at a meeting held at the PMO to review the status of clearances of oil and gas blocks awarded under the New Exploration Licensing Policy.The Board will meet on a monthly basis. Ministries would report to the Board on the status of clearances after following their internal processes. 



The Government is planning 15 new laboratories for testing hardware and software products. The labs would be set up under public private partnership (PPP) model. The Government will identify the locations for them soon.These labs will enable IT companies to register and test their products before selling it in the market. There are already five such laboratories under Department of Electronics and Information Technology in Delhi, Noida, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai. “This would be one of the components of the National Electronics Policy that will span and support innovative work here. Products will have to be registered first in these laboratories in compliance with the safety standards set by the Government,” a top official said.


The 4.2-billion euro German manufacturing company Carl Zeiss has established a research and development unit and two manufacturing facilities in Electronics City in Bangalore.Carl Zeiss has been present in India since1998, but largely as a sales and service business. The company manufactures an array of products ranging from prescription spectacle lenses to diagnostic and surgical equipments that are used in the fields of ophthalmology, neuro-surgery and cancer treatment, and in camera lenses. It also manufactures precision measure-

News ment tools that are used in the auto, aerospace, and power sectors, besides manufacturing equipments required for the manufacture of integrated chips. 



Yamaha Motor of Japan is planning to use India as one of its key global hubs for motorcycles and scooters. Mr Hiroyuki Suzuki, CEO & Managing Director, India Yamaha Motor, said that while high-end models could be exported to the Asean region and Japan, low-cost models would be the best bet for emerging nations such as Africa. The idea is to optimise the robust ancillary supplier base here which offers the best in quality and a competitive costing structure. For the moment, Yamaha has little going for it in India from the viewpoint of market share, but Mr Suzuki said all this was set to change during the course of this decade. The company will focus on gearless scooters as part of its strategy to clock volumes, while 150cc plus motorcycles will contribute to the brand-building effort. 



Japanese power equipment companies and lenders are keen to work with Indian companies in all spheres of the power sector, according to a senior official from the Japanese Ministry of Economy. Mr. Tsuneyuki “Hiro” Ito, Deputy Director in Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan, said that there is considerable technological and engineering capability that the Japanese companies such as Toshiba, Hitachi and Mitsubishi can offer to Indian companies in the power sector. Mr. Ito, who was in Hyderabad to speak at the power plant summit, said that lenders such as Japan International Cooperation Agency and several Japanese banks are keen to take part in some of the power projects being taken up and under implementation directly or through companies. 



International production houses may soon find it easier to get permission to shoot films in India. In a bid to make India a filming destination, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is looking at setting up a Film Commission that will initially act as a single-window clearance agency to issue permits for shooting. At present, international producers need to seek multiple approvals. While they require script approvals from

the I&B Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs, cast and crew approvals are required from Ministry of Home Affairs. Based on the kind of shots and location, they need approvals from Customs Department, the Archaeological Survey of India besides several other local and State authorities.


India and Poland have signed an Audio visual Co-production Agreement. The Agreement was signed between Smt. Ambika Soni, Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Mr. B. Zdrojewski, Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Polish Government at Warsaw. The agreement establishes a legal framework for relations regarding audio visual co-production, especially films including animation & documentary films for the cinema and TV, as well as films intended solely for dissemination on analogue or digital data carriers. The agreement shall remain in force for a period of five years from the date of its entry into force. The signing of the Agreement ensures better partnership and collaboration between enterprises and institutions which produce, distribute and disseminate films. 



India and Russia have jointly agreed to study a comprehensive economic co-operation agreement with Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russia Customs Union. This was indicated by the External Affairs Minister, Mr S.M Krishna, after a meeting with the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Dmitry Rogozin. Mr Krishna said co-operation in strategic areas was also discussed. “We exchanged constructive views on various aspects of trade and investment co-operation between India and Russia,” he said. He added that India had sought a solution to outstanding problems confronting businessmen and both agreed to redouble efforts to achieve a $20-billion trade target by 2015. The Russian Deputy Prime Minister said India and Russia were keen on joint production and research and development of projects.


The new India-Norway tax treaty that allows exchange of bankingrelated information for taxation purposes has come into force. The earlier double taxation avoidance agreement signed in December 1986 did not provide for a specific mechanism for exchange of banking-related information between the two countries. That agreement has now

been terminated. The new treaty, signed in February this year, will apply for income earned or capital owned on or after April 1, 2012 in the case of India. For Norway, the new tax treaty will apply for income earned or capital owned on or after January 1 this year


New Zealand and India bilateral trade is poised for big spurt with more businesses looking at cooperation and the possibility of expanding the number of goods. “The discussion on the Free Trade Agreement is progressing well. We hope this would be finalised at the earliest. Most negotiations relating to FTA are complex and they take time to conclude,” Mr Gavin Young, New Zealand Counsel General and Trade Commissioner, said. Mr Young told, “The bilateral trade between India and New Zealand has been growing with the latter’s exports to India going up by 6.55 per cent year on year and exports from India to New Zealand increasing by over 8.7 per cent. While the current two-way trade is $1.3 billion, the target is to take it up to $3 billion by 2014.” 



In the second half of 2012, two business delegations from India are expected to visit Austria. The Vibrant Gujarat Delegation will be visiting Vienna between 27-29th September, 2012.The delegation’s main focus sectors are: Engineering, Electronic & Machinery and Construction. The delegates plans a Road Show for around 30 to 40 companies. The Chemicals and Allied Products Export Promotion Council of India is visiting Vienna on 8-9th October, 2012. The delegation is comprised of 22 companies. Besides seeking trade partners, the companies hope to check the possibility of Joint Ventures, Technical Tie Ups, Take-overs of Plants & Machineries, possibility to open branch offices in Austria vis-à-vis inviting European firms to have their representation in India, procurement of quality raw materials, appointing sales agent, selecting distributors, tie up with buy back arrangements etc. Shall you be interested in holding B2B meetings with any of the two visiting delegations, please get in contact with our Embassy under firstsecy@indianembassy. at to get more information. India Newsletter | 3

INDIA-AUSTRIA BILATERAL news Extracted from our Economic and Commercial Report BILATERAL TRADE REPORT India’s Export to Austria. On the exports’ side, Textiles, Apparels and Footwear still represent the largest slice, accounting for exactly 38% of India’s total exports to Austria. Within these sectors, the only observable note to be made is the decrease in exports of Apparels by -12.3%, now accounting for 22.23% of India’s total exports to Austria, in comparison to the same value in 2011, which was 26.42%. Machinery and Equipment represent the second most important export group, accounting for 25% of total Indian exports to Austria with a 2.3% increase in volume. These numbers are made up by increases in exports of general industry machinery and road vehicles by 29% and 2.1% respectively, while Power Generating Machinery and Electrical Machinery showed slight negative marks. Another important change worth highlighting is that there seems to be a slight trend change in the Chemicals sector. While experiencing constant decrease since early 2011, the segment started to catch up and now accounts for 14.15% of India’s total exports to Austria, in contrast to 10.33% for the same period in 2011. The boost is mainly pushed by increase in exports of Organic Chemicals, which more than doubled its value in comparison to 2011. India’s Import from Austria. On the imports side, virtually every trade group has marked negative results, which indicate to a rather macro-economically influenced slowdown, rather than punctual segment issues. As the decreases are rather equally distributed, the structure of imports remain the same, being Machinery and Transport Equipment the main import group accounting for 43.55% (2011:43.14%) of total imports, followed by manufactured goods (2012: 35.5%, 2011:34,65%) and Chemicals (2012:9.87%, 2011:9.34%). Remarkable order intake in India for Andritz Andritz Hydro India has been the market leader in the Indian hydro segment for the last five years and registered good growth in terms of new orders.The company has made inroads in new markets like Nepal and Vietnam . Notably, Andritz 4 | India Newsletter

picked up two major orders in the first quarter of 2012:

ficiently. Development in the area of solar

They have been awarded the prestigious Upper Tamakoshi Hydro Electric project with an installed capacity of 477 MW after stiff international competition which included the participation of two Chinese companies.The customer is the Nepal Electricity Authority. The major part of the equipment for the project will be sourced from India with one or two critical items coming from Austria.

only to the West and since long progress

The other project is Baglihar Stage II located in Jammu & Kashmir for which Andriz was awarded with a contract for electro-mechanical works .The customer for this project is JKPDC. Andritz Hydro shall be executing this project in a consortium with Voith Hydro. Gebauer & Griller starts supply of photovoltaic ribbon wires from its Bangalore plant GG Cables and Wires India Pvt Ltd., the Indian subsidiary of the Austrian group Gebauer and Griller started production of photovoltaic ribbons at its unit in Bangalore, Karnataka, in January 2012. The supply of product samples to prospective clients began in February and shortly after full industrial production was started. The plant is now supplying to various Indian customers who are manufacturing solar PV modules for domestic and international requirements. A considerable increase in Indian domestic demand is expected to fulfill the innovative and eco-friendly Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. Under Phase 1 of this mission the Indian government aims to provide 1000 MW of grid-connected solar power by 2013. Gebauer & Griller established the Bangalore unit in 2010, currently about 75 people are employed. Apart from the solar industry the plant is also supplying cable assemblies and flat travelling cables to the Elevator and Escalator Industry in India. Solar heating specialist Tisun expands to Indian markets TiSUN GmbH established a subsidiary company in Mumbai, TiSUN-EDES Solar (India) Pvt. Ltd., in order to be able to service the vast Asian market more ef-

heating systems has not been restricted has also been made in this field in several Asian countries including India. Various specialized fairs held in India in recent years bear witness to this fact. By establishing a subsidiary in India, TiSUN, as an expert in solar heating systems would like to promote growth in the region in this sector and establish a distribution network. The Indian solar market is poised for growth. Messrs.TiSUN would like to make a significant contribution towards this development and, with their high-quality products, earn a name for themselves in the Asian market. They see great potential especially in the area of large solar plants. Efkon strengthens market leading position in India Austrian EFKON Group headquartered in Graz/Raaba, one of the leading companies in intelligent transportation and tolling solutions, has announced that its subsidiary EFKON India has won six prestigious projects in the field of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) of approx. € 10 million in total. “With these successes EFKON India has further confirmed its leadership position in both market share and technology in the Indian Intelligent Transportation Systems market.The company continues to be the “partner of choice” for concessionaires and customers wanting complex and large scale deployment of ITS systems in India thanks to its technology and team of dedicated experts”, says India EFKON India CEO Pushkar Kulkarni. The following projects were won: Yamuna expressway project, Zirakpur Parwanoo project, Chengapalli Coimbatore project, Indore Gujarat project, Pune-Sholapur road project and Automatic Fare Collection Systems in Jaipur City.




ranab Mukherjee was elected the 13th President of India, capping the long innings of the veteran Congress leader and the party’s chief troubleshooter over the past eight years. The former finance minister and the candidate of the ruling UPA, who garnered 69.3% votes, defeated his rival PA Sangma, the candidate backed by AIADMK, BJD and NDA (minus Shiv Sena and JD-U), by a bigger than expected margin. Mukherjee’s victory, though expected, turned out to be sweeter for Congress

because not only did it end up with a show of a united alliance but also managed to drill a few more holes into the rival camp. While Congress expected its candidate to win 102 votes in BJP ruled Karnataka, Mukherjee ended up with 117 votes in the 224-member assembly as a few BJP members appeared to have voted against the party line. Sangma got 103 votes, while three votes were declared invalid and one MLA did not vote. “I would like to thank people of this great country for conferring this distinction by electing me to the high office,” Mukherjee said after results. “Now, they have entrusted me with the responsibility to protect, to defend and to preserve the Constitution as President of the Republic. I will try to justify, in a modest way as I can, to be trustworthy to the people.” Mukherjee, who was leader of the Lok Sabha for the past eight years and held the portfolios of external affairs and defence, besides finance, in his career span-

ning more than four decades, was sworn the 13th President of India. The Chief Justice of India administered the oath of office to the President-elect, who took over from Pratibha Patil, at a ceremonial function in the Central Hall of Parliament. Sangma while congratulating his rival alleged that the government had induced opposition ruled states through financial packages to garner support for Mukherjee. “We need election code of conduct for presidential poll,” he said. Sangma said the country had lost the opportunity to support the tribals of India. Mukherjee won 69.3% votes in all. Of the 748 members of Parliament who voted, Mukherjee won 527 votes with a value of 3,73,116 while Sangma got 206 votes with a value of 1,45,848. Fifteen votes, including that of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, were declared invalid. Of these, nine would have gone in favour of Mukherjee.

India’s GDP will cross the $5 trillion by 2020 Report by Dun & Bradstreet

“Subdued growth in the domestic economy owing to the culmination of domestic and global factors is likely to continue till FY15, after which we expect the Indian economy to embark on a high growth phase.”


usiness information and knowledge provider Dun & Bradstreet forecasted that India’s GDP will still cross the US$ 5 trillion mark by 2020 despite the economy slowdown, in its second edition of its publication, India 2020 - economy outlook. The study evaluates the growth of the Indian economy in the current decade based on its strengths and weaknesses. “India is expected to be more than US$ 5 trillion (current market price) economy by FY20, and reach close to Japan (in terms of GDP in US$) as of 2010,” the report said. “We expect the current phase of subdued growth to continue till

FY15 before the economy moves into a high growth phase,” it added. According to the report, investment activity is expected to accelerate, which will help the Indian economy grow faster. Share of investment to GDP is expected to increase to 40.7% of GDP by FY20 from 36.6% in FY10. Infrastructure will be both a cause and a consequence of economic growth during the current decade. Share of discretionary spending is likely to rise to 70% of the private final consumption expenditure by FY20, compared to 60.0% in FY11. Dr. Arun Singh, senior economist at Dun & Bradstreet India said in a statement:

Dun & Bradstreet also says that investment in physical infrastructure is likely to lead to employment generation, increased production efficiency, reduction in cost of doing business and improved standard of living. The share of the private sector in infrastructure financing is expected to increase from 39.4% in FY12 to 48. % in FY20. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu will be among the most progressed states in the country by FY20, while Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh which have been considered laggard in terms of development, are expected to begin leveraging their huge potential in terms of vast natural resources and manpower. Read more about this report under: Default.html India Newsletter | 5


India Inc doubles its revenue in five years India on a high growth path


egardless of global crisis, political upheaval and slowing capital investment, India Inc has remained on a high growth path and has doubled its revenue in five years to a little over Rs 50 trillion. Despite limited pricing power for oil companies, weakness in international commodities and a rise in the cost of borrowing hurting profitability, combined net profit has risen a significant Rs 1 trillion in four years to Rs 2.97 trillion. The financial aggregates for 2011-12 are far healthier than those for 2008-09, when the global economic slowdown led to a significant fall in the net profit of Indian companies. Sales growth in 2012 remained strong, up 23 per cent, but there was a profit decline of 10 per cent, led by a net loss of Rs 270 billion by 50 companies, mostly due to market-to-market losses (revaluing assets at current values) on forex borrowing and hedging.

However, the Rs 1 trillion crore revenue club, earlier comprising five oil companies, has now gone up to seven with Tata Motors and Tata Steel joining the big league, through two major foreign acquisitions. Analysts are expecting telecom giant Bharti Airtel and the AV Birla Group’s metals giant, Hindalco, to join the coveted list in the next two years. In the past five years, companies have grown in profit and size in metal industries, technology, telecom, power, refining, automobiles, banking, pharmaceuticals and finance. Some retreat in profit growth has been seen for business groups having presence in construction, infrastructure and textiles, due to the economic slowdown. The net profit for industrial giants in manufacturing and services sectors continues to be high. The number of com-

panies with net profit of Rs 100 billion has swelled to five from two and those with net profit of Rs 50 billion or more increased from three to nine. Major business houses have not faced cash flow pressure. The Tata Group aggregated net profit of Rs 1.06 trillion in five years. Mukesh Ambani’s group, with the help of petrochemicals and oil gas giant Reliance Industries, took six years to earn a net profit of Rs 1 trillion. The AV Birla Group more than tripled it net sales to Rs 1.67 trillion in six years and aggregated a net profit of Rs 270 billion in three years. The Vedanta group aggregated net profit of Rs 540 billion in five years, while telecom giant Bharti Airtel earned Rs 335 billion in five years.

textile & apparel industry size to be $221 billion by 2020 Technopak Textile and Apparel Compendium 2012


uring the next decade when the $662 bn global textile and apparel trade would clock a CAGR of 5%, the $89 bn Indian textile and apparel industry would grow 9.5% to become $221 bn by 2021, according to Technopak’s Textile and Apparel Compendium 2012. India’s $58 bn domestic market would also clock a CAGR of 9% to be $141 bn by 2021. Although dominated by men-

wear, India’s domestic market would see growing share of womenswear and kidswear over the decade. Men’s share in the basket would drop to 40% from 43%, the report indicates.

become $34 bn during the period.

With Indian’s increasingly taking to buying new homes and decking them up, the share of home textiles in the basket would grow by 8% to become $9 bn by 2021.The technical textiles market would however, clock a faster growth at 10% to

trillion by 2020 is likely to change dramatically, notes Technopak. BRIC economies and other South-East Asian manufacturing destinations would be the major gro wth drivers for the sector during the period.

With growth slowing down in major consumer markets in the West, the dynamics of the global textile and apparel trade that would be $1

Gujarat, Germany to set up business centre Technopak Textile and Apparel Compendium 2012


German Indian business centre (GIBC) has been proposed to facilitate business opportunities between Germany and Gujarat for setting up of offices, technology transfers and joint ventures. The centre will facilitate investment between companies in Germany and Gujarat. Among other activities, GIBC will facilitate acquisition of German companies for Gujarat companies along with taking care of due diligence. The centre will also scout for and register technology partners in both countries. 6 | India Newsletter

“Germany is the largest trading partner of India in the European Union (EU). Despite the financial challenges in EU, trade is increasing between the two. The proposed GIBC in Gujarat will act as a bridge,” said Jagat Shah, founder, Global Network, an international trade consulting firm based in Ahmedabad. GIBC’s focus will be on sectors like energy including renewable, automotive, life sciences, engineering, laser optics, ICT, innovation, research and education. Other activities of GIBC will include facilitating education, innovation and re-

search in cutting edge sectors while also exposing Gujarat and German companies to the culture and business etiquette of each other. The centre will provide information to German companies on procedures to set up business in Gujarat and vice versa. GIBC will also arrange sector wise, monthly video conferences between companies in Gujarat and Germany. For the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit 2013, GIBC will bring a delegation from Germany with a focus on education and business.



Exports touched $4.5 million mark in 2011-12 , set to cross $18 million by French, Italian Spanish and American wines is not easy, but APEDA chairman Asit Tripathy said that Indian wines were becoming popular in overseas markets and also beginning to make an appearance at international food shows.


ndia’s wine industry seems to be coming of age, thanks to the changing socio-economic scenario, growing disposable incomes and well-publicised health benefits of wine in the country. Competing against blue-chip worldfamous wines, India’s wine exports are expected to cross the $18 million mark in the next couple of years, said the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority of India (APEDA). To achieve that in a world dominated

Presently, Indian wines are largely being imported by Malaysia, Japan, the UAE, Bhutan, Germany, the USA, the UK, Sri Lanka, Maldives and New Zealand. To mark the arrival of new-age Indian wine on the global map, APEDA is organising a promotional event “Wines of India” next week in the National Capital. While the domestic industry grew due to the affordability factor, exports are also picking up as a result of diversification and had touched $4.5 million during 2011-12.

“The industry is expected to reach $18 million in a couple of years, given aggressive marketing,” said Tripathy. The Indian wine industry is a little over four decades old and is still in its nascent stage. There are approximately 90 wine industries, mostly located around the Pune-Nashik belt and Bangalore. Compared to world leaders like France, Italy, Spain, the US, Argentina, Australia, China, South Africa, Germany, Chile and the UK, Indian industry is very small and largely propelled by affordable domestic prices. Experts, however, see a huge growth potential in the sector for all stakeholders from grape farmers to consumers. Beginning with French varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, Indian vineyards have now diversified to better and wider varieties.

India can be top 2 diamond market By Global diamond major De Beers

ing from these regions. “Since our entry in India, we have been adding cities and branching out to more towns. We thought entering into big cities will be apt for these (diamonds). But it was contrary. We found there is lot of opportunity in smaller cities. We are finding people switching from gold to diamonds faster in Tier II and smaller cities”, he said.


lobal diamond major De Beers has set its sights on India as it expects the country to be one of the top three markets for the precious stones in the coming decade. “...You know India is one of our top five priority markets and we certainly expect India, to be a number two or number three as we enter into the decade, probably after US and China,” Forevermark CEO and De Beers Group Executive Director and Executive Committee Member Stephen Lussier said. Predicting that growth would be driven

by Indian and Chinese markets, he said the company planned to fully tap tier II and III cities since majority of the sales came from them. “According to me 10 per cent of the diamond sales comes from India. If you look at the sales of De Beers Group, India is well over 50 per cent in our sales of rough diamonds,” he added. Talking about plans for India this year, Lussier, who was here to participate in the “ForeverForum” a two-day event said, “We are planning to tap Tier II and III cities as most of the business were com-

On the impact of rupee weakening against US dollar, he said, “It has been a challenge. It has made the retailers to deal the diamonds more expensive. It also impacts the Indian industry because they need to finance the business, which runs in US Dollars and to finance in rupees is more harder.” Lussier said the company was planning to open 100 retail points of sales in India by the end of this year. “Last year we were having about 34 doors. It is now at 65. We are aiming to have 100 doors by Diwali this year. Pretty much tripling the number of retailers, which is a big number for a country like India”, he said. India Newsletter | 7


INDIA’S FIRST MEGA FOOD PARK OPENS IN ANDHRA PRADESH Ideal destnination for fodd processing units


griculture and Food Processing Industries Minister, Shri Sharad Pawar inaugurated the Srini mega food park at Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. This is the first mega food park in the country. From seed to shelf, Srini Food Park facilitates end-to-end food processing with beneficial forward and backward linkages. On par with software parks, this new-age facility is equipped with Central Processing Centre and Primary Processing Centres. It aims at becoming a pioneering infrastructure enabler and facilitator for the Food Processing Industry. As a model ‘Mega Food Park’ and the first of its kind in India, Srini provides

state-of-the-art food processing infrastructure designed as per global standards and develops a veritable market place with common facilities on the lines of a software park or a textile park. Mega Food Park is promoted by experienced professionals and supported by the government (the Ministry of Food Processing Industries and the Andhra Pradesh Infrastructure Investment Corporation) and is intended to benefit all components of the value chain. Nestled in a sprawling 147-acre space, Srini Food Park provides world-class facilities for pulping, IQF, bottling, tetra packing, modular cold storage, warehousing and advanced testing lab. It ena-

bles basic and supply chain infrastructure, cluster farming and is ably backed by field collection centers, self help groups and individual farmers. Srini Food Park will empower food industry with stateof-the-art infrastructure and quality raw material sourcing. With the highest growth in the fruits and vegetables sector (20%) and with Chittoor being the largest fruits and vegetables cluster in India, this Mega Food Park becomes an ideal destination for food processing units. A mega food park provides various facilities to food processors, farmers, retailers and exporters, thus help in fast growth of food processing industries.

UNESCO Category-1 Institute in Delhi

India and UNESCO Sign Agreement to Establish A UNESCO Category-1 Institute


NDIA and UNESCO have signed the agreement to establish the Mahatma Gandhi Institute Of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development on 9th July 2012 at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris.

The signing of the agreement is the culmination of a process of three years commencing with the decision by UNESCO’s 35th General Conference in 2009. The Institute to be located in India, is the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region.

“The challenges of the 21st century are qualitatively different from the challenges of the 20th century. Global understanding and education would assist in appreciating the impact of these challenges on peace and its relation to sustainable development. The Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development comes at the right time – a time when the world is debating the contours of the century ahead.” This was stated by the Union Minister of HRD, Communications and IT, Shri Kapil Sibal, at UNESCO following the signing of an agreement for establishing the MGIEP as a UNESCO Category-I Institute in New Delhi, the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region.

Ms. Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO said, “The Mahatma Gandhi Institute comes at the right time - a time when the world is debating the contours of the century ahead, when UNESCO is preparing its next strategy to advance peace and promote sustainable development,”

8 | India Newsletter

The Institute’s core activity will lie in research and capacity building. It will encourage knowledge exchange, regional networking and catalyse innovation by helping to design and test new approaches to education. The Institute would be greatly inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of peace and sustainability. Both Shri Sibal and the DG UNESCO

paid tributes to Gandhi’s universal legacy and his vision of peace and the defense of human dignity. Shri Sibal paid tributes to Gandhi’s vision of education, highlighting its relevance for confronting challenges such as the overuse of natural resources and learning to live together. He said, “Gandhi said that we have enough for everyone’s need but not enough for everyone’s greed. This is the source of conflict. The crises the global community faces needs to be addressed through the inspirational wisdom of Gandhi, who said that for a person to be truly educated, you had to have a united approach, by training the mind to think, the hands to acquire skills and the heart for human values and ethics.” An Expert Advisory Group would soon be set up by UNESCO to develop an agenda for the Institute. Shri Kapil Sibal also extended a formal invitation to DG UNESCO for visiting India later this year for launching the Institute.

QUOTE OF THE MONTH Indian champions are becoming global champions.We have deep relationships with many of these fantastic Indian companies who now run global enterprises. You look at Tata’s, Reliance, Vedanta, Infosys, Wipro. They have a global mindset, a global perspective and our priority is to continue to help the established Indian champions grow and the new breed of emerging corporate titans from India” Stephen Bird CEO, Asia Pacific region, Citigroup


8 Indian companies in Fortune 500 list Indians Market Leaders


the first Indian private firm to made into the top 100 list. With an annual revenue of $76,119 million, RIL, has improved its ranking to 99 from previous year’s 134.

Out of the eight, five are state run entities. With an annual revenue of $86,016 million, Indian Oil has cornered the 83rd spot up from 98th place last year.

Besides IOC and RIL, the other Indian companies in the list are: Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation and public sector bank State Bank of India.

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries is

The list also features Citigroup and Arce-

ight Indian companies have made the cut in the list of world’s 500 largest companies compiled by Fortune magazine, with Indian Oil and Reliance Industries finding a place in the top 100.

lorMittal, led by people with Indian roots. Fortune’s global list of world’s 500 largest companies for 2012 is topped by Royal Dutch Shell ending the retail major WalMart Stores’s two-year winning streak. The energy giant had annual revenues of $484,489 million. American companies have cornered 132 places in the list, followed by China 73 seats and Japan 68 seats.



ver the next five years, India will serve as Asia’s fastest growing exporter and importer with annualised growth averaging 5% and 7% respectively, said HSBC Global Connections report. The trade relationship between China and India will strengthen over the same time period, with HSBC forecasting Chinese imports into India to grow at 11% annually, while exports to China from India are forecast to expand at 8% annually to 2016,’’ said. The forecast is consistent with a developing global shift where traditionally

export-driven emerging markets will become global trade hubs and important facilitators of international economic growth.Trade in Asia is expected to grow 5.4% annually to 2016, substantially higher than the global forecast of 4.7%,’’ said the report. India’s trade corridors within Asia continue to strengthen with exports to Malaysia,Vietnam and Indonesia all expected to grow at around 11% over the next five years. The fastest growth markets in terms of imports include Oman at a forecast rate of 15.7% and Brazil at 14%,

said HSBC. The reports states that there is a blend of traditional trade route and emerging corridors India has a number of well established trading partnerships across the developed world, with the US and UK. However, its most significant partnership is with the UAE, and trade with Saudi Arabia is also building in volume and importance. Routes into Asia-Pacific continue to develop, with China appearing as India’s largest source of imports, and third largest export market.

green buildings gain momentum in india Expected to account for 20% of all construction by 2030


n R&D centre gives back more power than it takes; a residential complex and a hospital have cut power and water consumption by 4060 per cent. Green buildings are gaining momentum and could account for 20 per cent of all construction by 2030. If you want a taste of the green building movement in India, there are plenty of interesting places to visit in cities. ZedEarth, a residential enclave being developed about 20 km from the heart of Bangalore, is as good a place as any if your interest is in green homes. This 20-acre enclave is being developed for around 130 villas that do not rely on the external world for basic needs, barring 15 per cent of its power requirements. It does not use deep bore wells but would have sufficient fresh water. No sewage or water or waste is let out of the enclave, except things like old electronic equip-

ment or some recyclable items. The Indian green building movement is now so deep and vast that it promises to change the course of its construction industry. The country has 1.2 billion square feet of green buildings being built or ready, and pre-certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), of which IGBC is the representative in India. It has another 105 million square feet of Griha-certified buildings ready or being built. India’s total built-up space is 25 billion square feet, and it is expected to increase to 80 billion by 2030. The share of green buildings in this construction boom could be as high as 20 per cent. New cities, such as those coming up along the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC),

would have a substantially higher green building component. Says Prem Jain, chairman of IGBC: “Since 60 per cent of the buildings that would exist in 2030 are yet to be built, we have a big opportunity to develop environment-friendly cities in the country.” IGBC estimates that green building products provide a $100-billion opportunity by 2015. The country’s green buildings span a large variety.They include corporate campuses, residential complexes, R&D units, commercial complexes, universities, hospitals, factories, schools, hotels and so on. Read the full article under: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes. com/2012-06-21/news/32352419_1_ green-buildings-green-homes-igbc India Newsletter | 9


Expect better days ahead

An Interview with Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman,Templeton Emerging Markets Group


n 1987, Mark Mobius told his would-be employers Franklin Templeton that he will head their emerging markets equity fund provided they open their first office in an emerging market country. The group assented to this request and an office in Hong Kong was quickly opened followed by offices in India and other countries in the 1990s.Today, those investments and focus on emerging markets have paid off handsomely for Templeton. In an exclusive interview, Mobius displays an upbeat mood regarding the prospects of the eurozone, India and the US economy. He indicates that India could have hit the bottom of the downward cycle and predicts that Greece will remain in the eurozone. He feels low productivity - bought on by excessive government regulation and high taxation, is the real culprit in India’s inflation picture. Excerpts: Q: India’s GDP growth has dropped to 5.3% in the fourth quarter. How worrying is this for investors? A: It is all about perception and relative growth - many developed economies would be more than happy to have India’s growth rate. Nevertheless, the slowdown in India is a concern, given that this time around, a lot of the reasons are domes-

10 | India Newsletter

tic in nature. However, we have probably seen the worst of this downward cycle and things could improve from here. We have seen increased commitment from the government about changing the perception about policy paralysis in recent times. The Indian government needs to reduce its role in the economy by privatising all of the state-owned enterprises and by reducing the long list of regulations which hamper growth in the private sector. Q: What about RBI’s move to keep rates steady? A: The Reserve Bank’s efforts to contain inflation are commendable and keeping rates steady are a part of that effort. Unfortunately, the real culprit in the inflation picture is not interest rates but low productivity bought on by excessive government regulation, high taxation and restraints imposed on the private sector. A freeing up of the economy would lead to higher productivity and will drive inflation down. Q: Global factors are also hurting growth prospects of emerging markets.

A: In an increasingly inter-linked world,


notwithstanding the relatively strong fundamentals, emerging markets will get impacted by changes in risk appetite. However, the role of EMs has changed a lot in the last few years, especially since the global financial crisis. Be it the IMF, World Bank or G20, there is increased acceptance that EMs need to be accorded higher representation.This is also reflected in the market capitalisation - EMs now represent about a third of the world’s stock market capitalisations. There has been a growing realisation that large emerging economies such as China and India have been increasing their contribution to global GDP. Given good growth projections in many emerging countries, along with their youthful populations and generally better debt-to-GDP ratios than many developed markets, I firmly believe that global investor exposure to EM should continue to increase. Q: But will there be opportunities in EMs when the whole developed world is undergoing an economic turmoil? A: The worries and uncertainty in the US, Europe and Japan will likely continue to create some angst in the global market, which could spill over into emerg-

remain positive about the long-term prospects of the Indian economy and its companies, and are looking to take advantage of the recent volatility. Over the long term, the growth rate of India should offer a good platform for Indian companies to deliver stellar results.

Interview ing markets, but as noted earlier, I view uncertainty as opportunity. We may even see some emerging market brands shopping for assets in developed markets at bargain prices and growing their global presence. It is also important to note that while exports from the emerging countries are increasing, the percentage of those exports going to the developed countries, Europe and the US is declining so the dependence on exports to the developed world is decreasing. Q:You believe in the resurrection of Europe. What makes you think Europe will emerge stronger from the crisis? A: The mere fact that the European nations are talking about fiscal discipline and are negotiating towards a fiscal union is excellent news. We know this will not take months -- but years. Patience has its own rewards in this case. As value investors, we always look at volatile periods and indiscriminate selling as a buying opportunity. Europe is experiencing economic turmoil and we are looking there for potential investment bargains brought on by the crisis. The recent EU summit has indicated that European leaders are trying their best to put together tangible measures that can address the fundamental problems facing the European Union. This will take time and require patience, but in the end, I believe it will yield some positive results. The problems that led to the debt crisis must be addressed-and they are now get-

ting addressed. Both eastern and western European countries have great potential to cooperate and achieve a better economic outcome for all. The West can invest in the East and the East can supply the West with lower-cost goods and opportunities for investment, as well as expanded markets. From my perspective, the euro has been holding up relatively well throughout the crisis; so far, it hasn’t plunged dramatically and has held above its debut price back in 1999. That means someone has confidence in the eurozone’s potential, and I do, too! Q: What if Greece breaks out of eurozone? A: I believe Europe should emerge stronger, regardless of whether or not Greece chooses to leave the euro (which I think is unlikely). Our belief is that the recent election results have reduced the risk of Greece breaking out to some extent. Over the medium-to-long term, Greece can reform its economy by curbing wasteful government expenditure and eliminating barriers to business growth. Even if an exit happens, Greece is likely to continue being part of the single-currency system. Q: How’s the situation in Spain and Ireland? A: Spain and Ireland along with a few of the other peripheral European economies will continue to have problems managing debt. Most of the policymakers face a difficult balancing act between austerity and growth. The necessary austerity will undoubtedly be painful for some

European countries, but it would force the weaker players in the region to get their acts together. Q: After many months of positive numbers, the US is showing signs of fatigue. A: We are not overtly perturbed about the recent data trends - over the last year or so, we have seen a broadening of the US economic recovery on several levels. Progress includes signs of a housing bottom, a modest rise in consumer spending, non-manufacturing sector expansion and, most significantly, continued earnings growth and compelling valuations of many US companies. It is important to note that the US leading indicators and, in fact, the OECD leading indicators are not down but up. Q: How are you approaching India as a money manager? A: We remain positive about the longterm prospects of the Indian economy and its companies, and are looking to take advantage of the recent volatility. Over the long term, the growth rate of India should offer a good platform for Indian companies to deliver stellar results. India has one of the largest populations in the world and, thus, represents a huge consumer market. Moreover, with half of India’s people under the age of 25, India will continue to have both a strong labour force and large consumer base - important factors which should support the market’s recovery in the future.

THE MONTHLY ECONOMIC AND COMMERCIAL REPORT (ECR) The Indian Embassy, Vienna, issues, on a monthly basis, the “Economic and Financial Report (ECR)”. Different from this “India Newsletter”, which focuses on India-related information to the Austrian community, the ECR focuses on Austria and India-Austria-related trade and business matters. The reports are available for download from the Embassy’s Online Business Centre at If you wish to receive the ECR by email as it is issued monthly, please email a request to

India Newsletter | 11



Indian Industry Sector Close-Up


he Rs 64 trillion (US$ 1.17 trillion) Indian banking industry is governed by the Banking Regulation Act of India, 1949 and is closely monitored by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The growth in the sector has been more qualitative than quantitative wherein the market regulators got liberal in policy formulations realising the importance of private and foreign players over the past decade. Hence, liberal policies, Government support and huge development in other economic segments have made the Indian banking industry more progressive and inclusive with regards to the global banking standards. Public sector banks account for 70 per cent of the Indian banking assets. But there lies immense opportunity for growth for global players, private bankers and investors as there is still a huge unbanked population in India that needs to be tapped. Moreover, the emergence of online banking has given Indian banking landscape a makeover, wherein mobiles and Internet have proven to be important banking channels. The Government has also been focussing on expanding the reach of automated teller machines (ATMs) to every nook-and-corner of the country. According to data from National Payments Corporation of India, the number of ATMs in the country had reached 98,025 by the

12 | India Newsletter

end of April 2012 of which about 70 per cent of the deployment has been in urban areas. Public sector banks have also decided set-up 60, 000 more ATMs across the country over 2012-14. Key Statistics The RBI has recently released its ‘Quarterly Statistics on Deposits and Credit of Scheduled Commercial Banks’, December 2011, which states that Nationalised Banks, as a group, accounted for 52.1 per cent of the aggregate deposits, while State Bank of India (SBI) and its associates accounted for 21.9 per cent.The share of New Private Sector Banks, Old Private Sector Banks, Foreign Banks, and Regional Rural Banks in aggregate deposits was 13.9 per cent, .8 per cent, 4.5 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively. Nationalised Banks held the highest share of 51.2 per cent in the total gross bank credit followed by SBI and its associates at 22.5 per cent and New Private Sector Banks at 13.8 per cent. Foreign Banks, Old Private Sector Banks and Regional Rural Banks had relatively lower shares in the total bank credit at 5.2 per cent, 4.8 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively. Banks’ credit grew 1.2 per cent in AprilJune 2012, while deposits expanded by 1.9 per cent, according to another statement released by RBI. The RBI projects credit growth at 17 per cent and deposit

growth at 16 per cent in 2012-13. Banks’ incremental credit-deposit ratio, which shows fresh demand for loans in proportion to deposits, stood at 48 per cent during the first quarter of fiscal 2012-13. Banks’ outstanding credit was US$ 856.27 billion while deposits were Rs 62,291.73 billion (US$ 1, 133.78 billion) as on June 29, 2012. India’s foreign currency assets (FCAs) grew by US$ 1.17 billion to US$ 256.95 billion for the week ended June 29, 2012 which pushed foreign exchange reserves by US$ 1.36 billion to US$ 289.992 billion. The value of gold reserves increased by US$ 0.17 billion to US$ 25.76 billion during the same week. Recent Developments With an aim to enhance financial inclusion the North-Eastern circle of India, SBI has decided to open 56 ‘ultra small branches’ (USB) across five districts in Assam in July 2012. The bank plans to complete 100 such USBs by July 31, 2012 and eventually convert all SBI customer service points into USBs. Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), the Lucknow-based development bank, has revamped its business model to boost entrepreneurship and provide working capital to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME). The MSME sector contributes 17 per cent

Industry to India’s gross domestic product (GDP) and SIDBI has decided to help budding entrepreneurs wanting to venture into MSME zone. SIDBI will set up credit facilitation centres (CFCs) across India in collaboration with industrial associations. It would use its Rs 5, 000 crore (US$ 909.95 million) venture fund over 2012-16 to accomplish its target. India’s largest international bank, the Standard Chartered Bank, has launched the country’s first instant online credit card approval mechanism, which will facilitate online application and approval for credit cards within few minutes. The bank would extend this facility to other Consumer Banking products over the next few months, making banking more convenient for its millions of customers. Mobile Banking RBI considers mobile banking a key tool to achieve financial inclusion in the most effective manner. India has about 929 million subscribers and hence, offering banking services through mobiles is being considered as a viable option for coverage of the entire population under the banking system. The value of mobile banking transactions witnessed a quantum jump in the first five months of 2012, mainly on account of initiatives taken by banks such as SBI and ICICI Bank, wherein mobile service providers like Airtel promoted mobiles as medium for bill payments and fund

transfers. According to RBI data, banking through mobiles increased five-fold to Rs 1,140.6 crore (US$ 207.61 million) during January-May 2012 as against the value of Rs 209 crore (US$ 38.04 million) in JanuaryMay 2011.

sion of ATMs in smaller cities across India, RBI has issued final guidelines allowing non-bank entities to set-up, own and operate ATM.

The volume of transactions also increased remarkably in January-May 2012. A total of 15 million mobile transactions took place during the five-month period compared with around 5 million transactions in the year-ago period, a clear sign that the payment medium has gained popularity. The transactions were conducted through 49 banks in the public and private sector.

RBI has also made things easier for customers who change jobs or locations. Previously it was difficult for them to shift their bank account to the new location as they were asked to open a fresh account or undergo the full know your customer (KYC) process again. RBI has now made it compulsory for banks to allow easy transfer of accounts from one branch to another by having a central customer ID. It would facilitate portability of accounts and ensure that all customer information is centralised.

Government Initiatives

Road Ahead

In order to boost retail participation in sovereign debt, RBI had allowed direct access to bond holders in the Annual Monetary and Credit Policy for 201213. To further enhance the participation, it has launched the web-based platform at which is being supported and run by the Clearing Corporation of India Limited (CCIL). Retail participants can now manage their Government bond holdings directly and can also initiate trade in the secondary market through the web portal.

According to a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) India, prepared in association with a leading industry organisation and Indian Banks Associations (IBA), the Indian banking industry would be the world’s third largest in asset size by 2025 and mobile banking would become the second largest banking mode after ATMs. Furthermore, owing to the positive eco-system of the industry and regulatory and Government initiatives, mobile banking is expected to enhance from 0.1 per cent of transactions in a 45 per cent financial inclusion base in 2010 to 34 per cent of the transactions with 80 per cent rural inclusion base by 2020, as per the report.

Currently, banks and financial institutions are the major investors in Government debt. Furthermore, in order to ensure expan-

BIG player

Leading Indian Company in the Industry and financial services company in India by revenue, assets and market capitalisation. It is a state-owned corporation with its headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

State Bank of India (SBI) (NSE: SBIN, BSE: 500112, LSE: SBID) is the largest banking

As of March 2012, it had assets of US$360 billion with over 13,577 outlets including 157 overseas branches and agents globally. The bank traces its ancestry to British India, through the Imperial Bank of India, to the founding in 1806 of the Bank of Calcutta, making it the oldest commercial bank in the Indian Subcontinent. Bank of Madras merged into the other two presidency banks—Bank of Calcutta and Bank of Bombay—to form the Imperial Bank of India, which in turn became the State Bank of India. The Government of India nationalised

the Imperial Bank of India in 1955, with the Reserve Bank of India taking a 60% stake, and renamed it the State Bank of India. In 2008, the government took over the stake held by the Reserve Bank of India. SBI has been ranked 285th in the Fortune Global 500 rankings of the world’s biggest corporations for the year 2012. SBI provides a range of banking products through its vast network of branches in India and overseas, including products aimed at non-resident Indians (NRIs). The State Bank Group, with over 18,324 branches, has the largest banking branch network in India. India Newsletter | 13

Trade Shows

AUTO ANCILLARY SHOW 2012 AUTO CLUSTER EXHIBITION COMPLEX October 18 - 21, 2012 Hall No 5, Mumbai Exhibition Centre


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 that we may provide.

14 | India Newsletter

Overseas Indians


Testimonial of a participant on the 20th Know India Programme


hough I am a Sri Lankan Tamil, having Indian roots and brought up in a traditional Indian way, my impressions about India were not that great. This was because I gathered information from media — local and foreign — about India; watched Indian movies and occasionally met Indians, mostly from Chennai. Thanks to the 20th ‘Know India Programme’, organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), my vision about India has changed, giving me a feeling of awe and respect for the country of my origin, my roots. I feel proud to be part of such a wonderful cultural heritage that is ancient yet open to all modern ideas! Since I am shy and reserved, I was not very enthusiastic when my father suggested this idea (to be part of the 20th KIP in New Delhi). I was worried about how I was going to manage with an unknown “gang” from different parts of the world for three weeks, with my limited language skills and little exposure to the modern world. I even rebelled. But my father pushed me into the pool. Today, I thank him as, without his support, I would have had missed a golden opportunity to be part of a wonderful group of youngsters—full of life, eager to explore and understand the secrets of India!

environmental issues, cinema and culture, economy, resource conservation and management, emerging investments opportunities, etc. “India has the biggest youth population in the world and, therefore, can become a superpower if the potential of the youth is harnessed and utilised properly,” says one of the speakers. At this point of time I remember Poojya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda’s famous statement: “Youth are not useless, but used less! Youth are not careless, but cared less.” How true it is. How lucky is India! Now begins the Delhi tour. The group is taken to historical places like Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi Museum and institutions like the Centre for Cultural Resource and Training,All India Radio, Doordarshan, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, the Indian Council of World Affairs… I am glad to be part of a journey where history, culture, heritage, music, dance, contemporary art, literature, craft and all fine things of glorious ‘Bharat’ merge into one another. In fact, I am amazed to know what Bharat means. “Bha means light and rat stands for one who revels. Bharat means ‘one who revels in light’ (knowledge),” I am told. Can there be a better word to express the identity of our forefathers!

In search of secret India

Next come lessons in pottery. Thrilled, I make kutti kutti (small) pots. Hearing the sitar for the first time, I wonder how a simple musical instrument, with the tabla, can take one to the realm of pure joy!

This is the first time I am flying to Delhi, the capital of India, unaware of what is in store for me for next few weeks. My heart is racing fast and I am feeling a bit uneasy...

The lecture on Vedanta is simply outstanding. The best experience lies ahead, when the group is taken to the Taj Mahal — one of the seven wonders of the world. What beauty, soaked in pure love!

As the plane touches down at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, I can’t believe whether I am in India or elsewhere! The airport has an impressive look, truly matching international standards in architecture and other facilities. For me, this is the first glimpse of modern India…

The Goan experIence

Here begins my unforgettable journey to India...

Over the next couple of days, eminent speakers from renowned institutions address us regarding governance, internal security and preparedness, politics and

We are taken to a village in South Goa to get a feel of Goan culture. I am touched by the hospitality of the villagers. The Goan dance experience is amazing. We visit the rural houses that remind me of the line houses in my country. They host us to a sumptuous Goan feast. I am surprised to find that in taste and texture, several Goan dishes resemble Sri Lankan ones. And they are cooked in mud pots!

The interaction with Goa Chief Minister, Governor, Assembly Speaker and other government officials is quite informative. They make us aware of the higher education and investment scenario in the country and explain several facets of the Indian society in general, and Goan society in particular. Next on my menu is a visit to BITS Pilani. What a huge campus with state-oftheart facilities! The visit to Verna Industrial Estate only adds to my sense of admiration for India. It is a perfect example of the IT growth in India. I feel that, on the one hand, there has been a tremendous technological advancements while, on the other, India has been able to preserve her culture and identity. In old Goa, we are taken to an ancient church (Asia’s largest) built by Portuguese. Hearing the sermons in Tamil comes as a sweet surprise to my ears. Later, I learn that a group of Christians from Tirunelveli came on a pilgrimage and a special programme has been organised for them. I join them in prayers. Later, we visit Manguesh Temple where Lord Siva sports a lovely attire. Here, I have the same divine experience that I had while visiting Jama Masjid in Delhi. This is the uniqueness of India where people respect religions, languages, traditions, customs and culture and, yet, are Indians first. One experience that stands out in this Goan trip is boating on the Mandovi river — pleasant, refreshing and delightful. Back to Delhi The day begins with a trip to ISKCON Temple and Akshardham Temple and a joyous ride on Delhi Metro. The group meets the Chief Election Commissioner and the Delhi Governor. The visit to the Rashtrapati Bhavan was fabulous. I sum up my KIP trip with one word: Thanks. I am grateful to the MOIA and the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka who gave me this wonderful opportunity. Back home, when I discussed my experience with my spiritual guru, he asked me: What did you learn from this trip? I replied: I learnt to be humble. I bow down to the Mother India. Jai Hind! India Newsletter | 15


assamese CUISINE


ssamese food is mainly based on rice and fish. For dessert, or for those with a sweet tooth, there is a wide range in “pithas” (cakes). Rice is the staple diet in Assam and is eaten in various forms throughout the day. The Assamese eat a huge variety of rice-based breakfast cereals with milk, yoghurt or thick cream­akhoi (puffed

rice), chira (chura), muri, komal chaul (a specially processed rice which doesn’t require cooking but just an hour’s soak in cold water) and hurum to name but a few. Normally jaggery or sugar is added but for those who prefer savoury items, salt can be added. Also there are the various kinds of pitha that are prepared from rice powder.

Authentic Assamese cuisine is bland and yet very delicious. Very little oil is used and practically no spices. All Assamese people are non-vegetarian. Chicken is taboo in orthodox families and there are some, who may not eat meat. But it’s difficult to find anyone who does not eat fish and duck’s eggs. Mustard oil is used for cooking and occasionally clarified butter or ghee.

Manimuni’r joolot diya maas

Fish in a gravy of Asiatic Pennywort - Indian Cuisine Recipe Ingredients


• leaves from 2 bundles of manimuni (Asiatic Pennywort)***,

• Heat 1 tblsp of oil in a pan and lightly fry the pieces of fish.

• • • • • • • • •

ground with 2C of water and strained( discard the remains in the sieve) 1 and 1/2 tblsp of mustard oil ( sunflower or vegetable will do too, but mustard will give that lovely flavour) 1/2 tsp each of finely chopped ginger and garlic 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 1 bay leaf 1 whole red chili, halved 4 pieces of rainbow trout ( small fishes like sprats can also be used), rubbed with a little salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder 3/4 tsp cumin powder 1/4 tsp turmeric powder salt to taste

16 | India Newsletter

Remove from the pan and keep aside.

• To the same pan, add the rest of the oil .When the oil heats, add the cumin seeds, bay leaf and halved red chillies.

• When the seeds splutter, add the reserved green liquid along with the ginger, garlic, turmeric and cumin powders. Bring to a boil.

• Add the pieces of fish into the gravy and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes. As the gravy will not be much, kep spooning it over the fish as it simmers.

• Serve hot as a accompaniment to rice and dal.



Indian State Profile


izoram, formerly known as the Lushai Hills is situated in the Norrth Eastern Corner of India. It is flanked by Bangladesh and Tripura in the West and Burma in the East. Aizwal is the capital of Mizoram. Mizoram lies in the southernmost outpost of North Eastern India, the land of the Blue Mountains. Manipur, Assam and Tripura bind the northern end of this little island of tranquility.Evergreen ranges of Mizoram hills with blooms of exotic flora and dense bamboo jungles rise sharply from the plains of Assam in a north south direction. These hills and plunging gorges are criss-crossed by gushing rivers and sparkling waterfalls. Highest among its several peaks is the Phawngpui The Blue Mountain.


It is said that the Mizos migrated from their homeland in China about 3 centuries ago, in search of new pastures and settled in these remote Mizo Hills (Lushai Hills). Mizoram is a kaleidoscopic ‘pleasure trove’ for the discerning visitor with its wide array of festivals and dances, handicrafts, flora and fauna, breathtaking natural beauty and temperate climate. The Mizos are friendly and very hospitable. English is one of the Commonly spoken languages. The joyful enthusiasm and gregarious spirit of the local populace has been vastly responsible for establishing some of the most attractive tourism features in this beautiful state. Today, Mizoram is a dazzling mix of this cross-cultural vibrancy with 87 percent literacy (second highest in India- a fact in which every Mizo takes genuine pride), gender equality and a vigorous pursuit of its ancient cultural traditions.

MIZORAN cultural heritage

typical mizoran weaving pattern

For more information contact:

India Tourism Frankfurt Baseler Str. 48 / D-60329 Frankfurt Tel: +49 (69) 242949-0 Fax: +49 (69) 242949-77

Vantawng Khawhthla fall

India Newsletter | 17


INDIAN MOVIE EVENING: BLACK (based on the life story of Helen Keller)

Friday, August 24th, 18:00 | Indian Embassy Business Centre (1st Floor, Kärntner Ring 2, 1010 Vienna) 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 or via phone at +43 1 505 866633 (Ms. Lily John). Genre: Drama Directed by: Sanjay Leela Bhansali Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukerji and Shernaz Patel Released: Feberuary 2005 Duration: 123 Minutes Language: Hindi / Subtitles: English Synopsis: Based in Simla, the McNallys are an Anglo-Indian family consisting of Paul and his wife, Catherine. Both are full of joy when Catherine gives birth to a baby

girl, Michelle, but their joy is short-lived when they are told that Michellle cannot see nor hear. Both attempt to bring up Michelle in their own protective way, as a result Michelle is not exposed to the real world, and becomes increasingly violent and volatile. Things only get worse when Catherine gives birth to Sara, and Paul considers admitting Michelle in an asylum. It is here that Debraj Sahai enters their lives. Through his eager involvement, Michelle blossoms, grows, gives up her violence, even gets admitted in school with normal children. The years pass by, Michelle does not succeed in getting her graduation, and it is time for Debraj to bid adieu as he is having his own health problems. 12 years later, at the age of 40, Michelle does succeed in graduating in Arts...posed on live TV


The library is opened mondays and wednesdays from 11am to 1pm

For visits outside the opening hours, please contact the information assistant under Information Assistant: or 01 505 8666 33

EMBASSY’S BUSINESS CENTRE The website of the Embassy of India, Vienna, and its ‘Business Centre’ section offer a wide variety of business related information, carefully selected and updated to meet IndiaAustria’s business demands. In our Business Centre, companies do not only have the opportunity to find relevant information on India-related trade matters, but they can also interact with the commercial wing of the Embassy by submitting online trade inquiries. Additionally, the Embassy compiles a monthy economic and commercial report for Austria, which is targeted at Indian business readers and trade corporates. The same can be

downloaded directly from our Website or if you wish to receive it via email, you can register your email by sending a request to Besides its online presence, the Embassy also has a Business Centre Facility, located on the first floor of the Main Chancery building on Kärntner Ring 2, 1010 Vienna. The space is ready to welcome businesspeople and parties interested in requesting, exchanging or providing information on Indiarelated business matters.You can either schedule an appointment with a representative of our commercial wing under the contacts given below or simply visit us during our opening hours Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11AM to 1PM.

The Business Centre is opened tuesdays and thurdays from 11am to 1pm without appointment. 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

18 | India Newsletter

India Newsletter 08.2012  

India Newsletter published by the Embassy of India, Vienna

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