M&M, NIIT Head For Turkey

New Delhi, Sept 19: | Updated: Sep 20 2003, 05:30am hrs
After an unsuccessful bid to pick up Finnish tractor company Valtra, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) has now expressed interest in investing in a Turkish tractor public sector unit. Further, NIIT has begun work to set up information technology (IT) training infrastructure in Turkey while other companies like Wipro, Bajaj Auto, Godrej and Thermax are stepping up their existing operations in that country.

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) director general Tarun Das spoke to FE from Istanbul about the headway Indian companies have made in doing business in Turkey. There is a lot of interest for all M&M products, including passenger vehicles and tractors, by Turkish companies, he said.

TVS Motors, Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto, who are all already selling their products in Turkey, are also expanding their operations and could be setting up assembly operations there once volumes justify the same. i-Flex Solutions is getting into software development for Turkeys banking sector, while Wipro too would be developing software for Turkish clients, said Mr Das.

Other companies bullish about the Turkish market are Godrej & Boyce for steel furniture, Thermax for boilers, JP Industries for construction and Garware Polyster. At a business meet here, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee also formally announced CIIs plan to open an office in Istanbul within a few months, he added.

Turkey is going through a process of privatising its state enterprises, and one such unit manufactures tractors. M&Ms vice chairman and managing director Anand Mahindra has shown an interest in picking it up, confirmed Mr Das. Mr Mahindra was not available for further comment.

CII deputy director general N Srinivasan, also in Istanbul, told FE, We had an interaction with the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ICC). It is an important organisation, and has 3,20,000 members. ICC also has its own newspaper in which they have agreed to give free coverage to Indian companies seeking business opportunities in Turkey.

ICC will help NIIT and other companies generate leads too. IT is a sector where a lot of scope for cooperation is being seen including even construction requiring detailed engineering work. Mr Mahindra, in his capacity as CII president, pointed out to sectors like IT software and education, infrastructure development, construction and energy as areas where the two countries could cooperate, added Mr Srinivasan.

A business delegation from India is currently in Turkey coinciding with the Prime Ministers visit to that country.