WTC Mumbai organized the first series of ‘ Global Market Access Programme’, a unique programme which aims at enabling exporters to expand and consolidate their presence in specific global markets, on EU market on 26 September 2019. Mr. Arun Sehgal, Chairman and MD of Chempro Group of Companies, was the main speaker for the event. Mr. Sehgal is a successful businessman involved in trading organic chemicals and his company exports to different parts of the world including UK, Europe and other countries. By virtue of his experience he was able to share knowledge about the nuances of export marketing especially when it comes to dealing with the Europeans. Through a comprehensive presentation he elaborated how, in the current global market, the focus has shifted from making good quality and affordable products available to the consumer, to protection of local industries and securing jobs for a country’s own citizens.

This has made exports difficult for Indian Exporters as they are subject to many non-trade barriers by the EU. This is an important point in the history of global trade as many new market trends and trade partnerships are surfacing.

Mr. Sehgal talked about the advantages of export business as compared to domestic business. One of the major points being that an exporter is that mostly they are shielded from the effects of inflation as their income is in dollars and hence purchasing power is relatively high. Also, it gives a chance of travelling to different countries of the world and understand the business ethics of different places and their cultures. Some of the traits that are necessary to develop the market in Europe are quality, credibility, respectability, reliability, innovation and sustainability. If the European clients evaluate Indian companies as a capable supplier who shows these values then the chance of getting deals with them improves. There are many ways to find a right marketing plan for the products. Initially it is important to ask “Where, When, Why, Who and How” about the product, price, place and promotion of the business. The business that is aligned at a local level with these parameters is destined to succeed. Different methods of entering a foreign market were discussed with preference given to joint ventures and partnerships with European clients instead of the old agency route that is losing market relevance. Also, factors like gaining leadership in the areas of innovation, cost and service are crucial as they make sustenance easier in any market.

A huge emphasis was given to building interpersonal relationships with clients and suppliers alike as it improves the business experience in matters of payment and retention of customer. If you gain the respect and trust of your partners abroad you are more likely to be a priority for their business and the returns will follow accordingly. Through his anecdotes Mr. Sehgal shared some tips on how to engage with customers despite the language barriers and initial hesitation and develop business connects that last for years. He also glanced over some inherent risks in export business like transportation, documentation, payment and currency fluctuations, intellectual property rights and regulations and also ways of mitigating them efficiently. A case study was discussed about how a plant in Poland was purchased and the benefits of getting high quality equipment for cheap prices to improve the manufacturing capability of his company.

A case study of Spain which is the 7th largest trading partner for India in the EU Market was discussed by the Economic Counselor from Spain Mrs. Vanessa Alvarez Franco and her trade advisors Mr. Enric Marco Epple and Mr. Alfonso Coco Sanchez. They elaborated on the various aspects of the Spanish economy with regard to their current standing in the EU with respect to various business criteria. They detailed about the “Golden Visa” program which is an effort by the Spanish Government to make it easier for Indians to invest in the country. They also spoke about the program called ‘Rise Up in Spain’ which focuses on supporting entrepreneurs in setting up business in the country by helping them with approvals, easy entry in the local market and real estate opportunities that can lure them towards investing in Spain. At the end, there was a Q&A session where some of the participants got queries answered by Mr. Sehgal making the event fruitful and beneficial for all attendees.