Relationships matter â€“ more so while doing business with Asia. China and India today are the largest source countries for migration into Australia. Migration from these countries will only increase, given their population size and younger demographic advantage.
The rich culture and history, dating back thousands of years, in countries such as China and India cannot be ignored. The legacy and values created over the years form the very foundation of doing business in these countries â€“ even today. Chinese and Indians often rely on the past to navigate the present and prepare for the future.
This edition of Multi-Buzz focuses on India and the next edition will be focusing on China. It is indeed a privilege to have taken over recently as the National Chair of the Australia India Business Council since our last edition. India is becoming an important partner country for Australia. The Economist stated, â€˜No big international company can do without an Indian strategyâ€™. The people of the Indian subcontinent have been trading with Arabia and Greece for several millennia. India controlled more trade than the whole of Europe in the 16th Century. And interestingly, the 18th Century saw India and China as the worldâ€™s largest manufacturing economies. In this 70th year of Indian Independence, India has again started regaining its pre-eminent position under the leadership of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi - with GDP growth close to 8 per cent.
Millions of people around the world have started discovering India through initiatives such as meditation and yoga. Whenever I meet fellow Australians in social gatherings, I am often asked about what it means to be an Indian. More often than not, I meet people who want to visit India, but have been unable to do so because of their work and family commitments. Yet, there is a strong desire among Australians to discover India.
In this edition of Multi-Buzz, I would like to introduce you to Confluence - the biggest ever festival of India being held in Australia. The totality of experiencing India is at our doorstep. We do not need to travel to India as India has come to Australia. Announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Australia in November 2014, the festival comes alive from August â€“ November this year. It features the very best of dance, music, theatre and visual arts from India. There is also an opportunity to learn about Indiaâ€™s vibrant and fascinating culture (both traditional and contemporary) through entertaining workshops.
Very often, people ask me â€˜What is the missing piece in the puzzle to doing business with India?â€™ My answer is always the same - Culture and Relationships. Understanding and respecting a different culture, along with building relationships through people to people links, is the best way to complete the puzzle.
An Australian marketer certainly did just this when they connected with the Indian subcontinent at the recent Indian Film Festival in Melbourne. Telstra recognises the Indian community's love for their own culture and films and connected as never before. Insights by Stanford Business focuses on how culture matters in marketing. Building relationships is the next wave for brands and what better way than the way Telstra connected with the Indian subcontinent during their 70th Independence Day celebrations.
I invite you to enjoy the Confluence Festival, experience the richness of a different culture and make new friends.
Sheba Nandkeolyar is a passionate advocate for multicultural marketing, cross-cultural
understanding and cross-border relationships. She is the Co-founder and CEO of MultiConnexions and the President/Chair of India HR. She is the National Chair of Australia India Business Council and is on the board of the Australia India Council and International Advertising Association, Australia Chapter.