“A sixth part of all Indo-German trade originates out of Pune. There are 197 wholly German-owned companies in the city. There are another 200 Indo-German joint ventures and another 80 Indian firms in Pune that do business with Germany”
Ever since the Pune branch of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) was set up two years ago, it has played a crucial role in helping establish many German industrial firms in the city. It has been organising some major social events, such as the Oktoberfest, which brings together the German community, Indians and other expats.
The IGCC also helps in ensuring that a large number of local firms exhibit their products and services in Germany via the trade fair. It also works closely with organisations like the Max Mueller Bhavan and the Maratha Chamber of Commerce, Industries & Agriculture. Zubin Kabraji, regional director, tells DNA about IGCC, its role and trade relations between Pune and Germany.
How many members does the Pune branch of the IGCC have?
We have 490 members, up from 278 in April 2008, when we opened our office in Pune. The IGCC in all has 6,775 members worldwide, making us the biggest bilateral German chamber in the world.
The number of German firms in India is around 1,300. The German focus in Pune is virtually undiluted in the engineering sector and more specifically in automobile engineering. I would estimate that at least a sixth of all Indo-German trade originates out of Pune. There are 197 wholly German owned companies in Pune, making it the single largest German hub in India. There are another 200-odd Indo-German joint ventures (technical and financial collaborations) and at least another 80 Indian firms in the city that do business with Germany.
What areas are you focusing on?
The IGCC continues to focus on manufacturing bases in Pune, specifically in the areas of heavy and automobile engineering.
We are also working in areas related to renewal of energy and bio-technology. The IGCC is focussing on the need to train Indians to work effectively in German firms and is in dialogue with a leading German institution to set up a vocational training centre in Pune. As an aside, the 197 German firms in Pune alone employ around 13,500 people, 95% of whom are Indian.
What is the trade potential between the region and Germany?
The trade potential continues to grow and we expect the number of German firms to rise to 250 by the end of 2011. There are at least another 15 German firms waiting in the wings to set up base in Pune and are in the process of registering their companies, seeking land, hiring suitable personnel and bringing in their technology.