German delegation from the Maritime and Shipbuilding industry to Mumbai and Goa
From November 22 to 25, 2016, a business trip to Mumbai and Goa was scheduled, for German representatives of the Maritime and Shipbuilding industry. The delegation was organised by the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC), on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), to support German companies that plan to export their products and services to India. Business meetings, company visits and individual B2B meetings helped the members of the delegation to get deep insights into the Indian shipbuilding sector and also explore possible business opportunities. Given the composition of the delegation group, its main target group for interactions comprised of shipping companies, shipowners and shipyards.
The delegation started its visit on November 22, 2016, in Mumbai. After the first informal breakfast meeting; an internal briefing, exclusively for the delegation members, was given by Dr. Morhard, the German Consul General in Mumbai; Peter Deubet, Deputy Director General of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce; as well as representatives of Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI). This briefing equipped the delegates with essential information on the current political and legal investment environment.
It was followed by a presentation event which was attended by about 55 Indian companies. Christian Schneider, Head of the GeMax project and leader of the delegation, briefed the guests on the German Shipbuilding and Maritime Industry. All the delegates then had 15-minute slots, to present their respective German company, to the audience. A networking lunch, followed by B2B meetings at the hotel, and a joint dinner with representatives of the German industry in Mumbai; provided a host of networking opportunities to the delegates.
The itinerary of the delegation also included visits to two shipyards viz. Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in Mumbai and Goa Shipyard Limited in Goa. Both these shipyards are enterprises of the Government of India, and belong to the Ministry of Defence. Hence, they are bound to tender their projects. Security equipment requirements, new guidelines for ballast water cleaning, new equipment required to switch to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fuel for enhancing the inland waterways (which comes under the Sagarmala Scheme); provide good opportunities for German companies to enter the Indian market, on account of their leading, cost-effective technologies. To take part in a tender, a company first needs to get registered and qualified for the ‘Makers List.’ Some shipowners, like the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), have already included ‘lifecycle costs’ into their application criteria for the Makers List. However, more efforts are necessary in this direction. Unfortunately, most of the tenders in India still rely on the L1 principle, which means the lowest bidder gets the contract, without consideration of lifecycle or maintenance costs. Mr. Devli, CEO, Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA), encouraged the delegates to contact the relevant Indian ministries viz. Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of Defence, to evoke changes in the national Maritime Policy, which is currently undergoing revision.
Having met representatives from Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, the Directorate General of Shipping, the National Shipping Board, the Shipping Corporation of India, the Indian Shipowners Association, and the Great Eastern Shipping Company, in Mumbai; the delegation proceeded to Goa on November 24, 2016.
In Panjim, the delegation attended a round table meeting, of a network of the 25 leading maritime companies and shipyards in Goa, which was organized by the Goa Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with IGCC. All the delegates introduced their company briefly to the audience, and three shipyards from Goa, Timblo Drydocks, Mandovi Drydocks and Nigel Shipyards; then gave presentations on their background and activities. The networking lunch that followed, facilitated fruitful interactions between the delegates and their potential business partners, before the delegation proceeded for its visit to the Goa Shipyard.
The expansion of the domestic shipping fleet in India through the Sagarmala scheme, the construction and modernization of harbours and on-site repairing facilities, the leading technology solutions for switching to LNG fuel as well as the new international regulations for ballast water treatment; offer new and interesting application areas for German products in India. The Indian market is flooded with cheap products from China and Korea, but Indian shipowners value the high performance yet low lifecycle and maintenance costs of German products. They prefer to buy high quality.
For successful export promotion of German products, the consideration of lifecycle costs and cost efficiency need to become the benchmark for further decision making processes; so Indian companies can purchase products with the best commercial value.