Engg firms set sail for new shores

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Feb 27 2009, 04:18am hrs
In view of the economic slowdown, engineering exporters have started a survival strategy to beat the slump hampering their business.

Engineering exporters, who expect practically nil order books in the beginning of fiscal 2009-10 have decided to hold exploratory visits in African, Latin American and CIS countries.

Exporters plan to organise at least three exhibitions in India and participate in four product-specific exhibitions scheduled in Germany, South Africa, Oman and Mexico from March. Besides, they are also planning to introduce value added products to compete with Chinese products while focusing on quality.

Exporters have planned 14 business seller meets (BSMs) across six locations in India to ensure that a buyer can approach right centres. Explaining the survival plan in the present downturn, EEPC India (formerly Engineering Export Promotion Council) chairman Aman Chadha told FE, We have decided to take the global financial crisis head on. At a time when gloom and doom is all pervasive, we believe that we must not let the energies of our dynamic entrepreneurs be stifled at the altar of global trade cycles. EEPC India believes that a recession is also a time for consolidation and redrawing strategies. BSMs are not the only initiative that EEPC India is taking to beat the recession.

In fact, in the remaining part of this fiscal year, apart from the BSMs, EEPC India will field four multi product trade delegations to Egypt, Tunisia & Ghana in Africa; Colombia, Mexico & Chile in Latin American region; Russia, Ukraine & Kazakhstan in CIS region and Japan, Korean & Singapore. We believe that we need to take a combination of measures to beat the present depression.

At one level we get the world to meet us in our country and at the other, we ourselves reach out to the world. We do hope that this strategy will be able to restore confidence between our companies and partners around the world as a downturn historically gets aggravated on account of lack of confidence. Chadha said engineering exporters have been excluded from the interest subvention scheme launched by the Centre and it will hit exporters very badly. Engineering exporters will report a 15% growth at the end of 2008-09. This is because exporters had registered a growth of 42.7% in April-September. Had this growth not been there, there would have been practically zero growth by the end of March 31, he noted. Chadha was speaking to the FE on the sidelines of BSM here.

Chadha said CIS Countries have been trade partners of India for centuries. The discovery of oil opened a new era of industrialisation of this region.

The CIS markets are new markets for Indian engineering goods. India exported $431.84 million worth of engineering goods in 2007-08 to this region, which was up by over 60% compared to exports in 2006-07.

However, it is far below the potential and I hope that meets like this will help in realising opportunities that exist among countries. Moreover, Africa is the worlds second largest and second most populous continent. There are 46 countries including Madagascar and 53 including all the island groups. It offers wide diversity in terms of opportunities in areas such as natural & mineral wealth, phosphate, oil & gas, food processing machinery, textile machinery, leather processing machinery, pharmaceutical & pharmaceutical machinery and mining.

Export of engineering goods from India to Africa has reached a level of $3.9 billion in 2007-08 against a value of $3 billion during 2006-07, thereby showing a growth of nearly 28%.

Exploratory visits will be hold in African, Latin American and CIS countries

Exporters plan to take part in four product-specific exhibitions in Germany, S Africa, Oman and Mexico from March

Introduction of value added products to compete with Chinese products while focusing on quality

14 business seller meets across six locations in India to be organised

Engineering exporters will report a 15% growth at the end of 2008-09

This is because exporters had registered a growth of 42.7% in April-Sep