IGCC’s 67th Annual General Meeting: Shaping the Future of Indo-German Business Relations
In the stately ambience of Mumbai, on the 25th of September 2023, the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) convened its 67th Annual General Meeting at the Taj Lands’ End Hotel, Mumbai.
During this distinguished gathering, the IGCC proudly unveiled the election of George Ettiyil, Senior Director - South Asia, Lufthansa Group, as its newly appointed President. The proceedings were adorned by the presence of Uwe Fröhlich, Co-Chief Executive Officer of DZ BANK AG, from the financial hub of Frankfurt am Main, and was graced by the attendance of more than 300 prominent figures from the Indo-German business community.
Highlights from the Inaugural Session: Setting the Stage
The event commenced with introductory remarks delivered by Stefan Halusa, Director General of the IGCC. This was followed by welcoming words by Anupam Chaturvedi, Chief Representative of DZ BANK AG and the outgoing President of IGCC, as well as the esteemed chief guest, Uwe Fröhlich.
In his welcome address, Mr. Chaturvedi reviewed the primary focus areas he set during his presidency at the IGCC in the previous year and highlighted the organisation's notable ongoing achievements.
His priorities included the significant emphasis on the expansion of the "Make in India Mittelstand", acknowledging its growth in the past year. This expansion, albeit gradual, was recognised as a measured response to the economic challenges faced in Germany. Additionally, Mr. Chaturvedi emphasized the paramount significance of the Migration and Mobility Agreement, a pivotal instrument facilitating the movement of students, trainees, and professionals between Germany and India. In this context, he commended the IGCC for its leadership role in providing an array of services such as Pro-Recognition, IGCC Hand in Hand for International (a project matching skilled workers with firms), IGCC Corporate Intercultural training, and executive workshops covering intercultural sensitivity training. Additionally, he highlighted the significant achievement of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the IGCC and the National Skill Development Corporation. Finally, Mr. Chaturvedi recognized the establishment of the Federation of European Business in India (FEBI), an initiative in which the IGCC played a pivotal role as a founding member. This accomplishment stands as a significant milestone, further solidifying the Germany-India partnership.
After his address, Mr. Fröhlich continued where Mr. Chaturvedi left off and underscored the remarkable success and positive developments witnessed in the year 2023 within the Indo-German business landscape, while this time also emphasizing the burgeoning strength of EU-India relations. He highlighted pivotal advancements, such as the progression of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between the two blocs, the establishment of the FEBI, the notable visits from the German and European delegations, and provided insight into the current economic landscape, illustrating India's allure as a highly attractive destination for EU enterprises.
Navigating Financial Frontiers: Insights from the Panel Discussion
Subsequent to the comprehensive introduction to the Indo-German and EU-India relations through the welcome address, a panel discussion took place that delved deeper into intricate matters to the theme "Navigating the Financial Landscape". Distinguished panellists included Rajiv Anand, Deputy Managing Director of Axis Bank; Dr. Hendrik Selle, Minister and Head of the Department for Economic and Global Affairs at the German Embassy in New Delhi; and Andreas Glunz, Managing Partner International Business at KPMG, Germany. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Halusa.
The panel highlighted India's achievements within the G20, triggering a transformation in India's global image, particularly in political and geopolitical spheres. The nation's evolving role as an R&D hub, driven by its appealing innovation and human resources, was emphasized as a compelling factor elevating India's attractiveness for SMEs and prompting investment reallocation towards India.
However, the discussion also acknowledged several challenges. Among these challenges was the effort to relocate production to India, a task hindered by existing infrastructural limitations. In addition, the ongoing underestimation of India's potential in Germany was raised. Finally, the global challenge of protectionism, leading to imbalances in the establishment of a fair competitive landscape, was deliberated.
The conversation extended to the India - Middle East - Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC), where Dr. Selle highlighted the necessity for a unique "leap of faith" for its potential success. The discussion concluded with the recognition of the untapped potential of this partnership, eagerly anticipated by all parties involved to be tapped.
Celebrating Excellence: AGM Awards
Finally, following the panel discussion, the prestigious Indo-German Chamber of Commerce Awards for 2023, encompassing both the Dr. Günter Krüger Award of Excellence and the SustainAwards 2023, were awarded under the moderation of Sonia Prashar, Deputy Director General, and Ute Brockmann, Deputy Director General and Head of DEinternational Services at the IGCC. The initial award bestowed was the Dr. Günter Krüger Award of Excellence, given to the Best Performing Indo-German Training Centre Student (IGTC). This award was conferred upon Varda Maydeo, with Mr. Fröhlich serving as the presenter.
Subsequently, the SustainAwards 2023 were awarded to companies that had demonstrated exemplary commitment to the principles and processes of corporate due diligence. The top recipient in this category was Norex Flavours Private Limited, with KOB Medical Textiles Private Limited securing the second position. Vaibhav Kumar Agrawal, CEO and Managing Director, received the award on behalf of Norex Flavours, and Raju Cherian, CFO and Whole Time Director of KOB India, received it on behalf of KOB Medical Textiles. Mr. Chaturvedi presented both awards.
Following a vote of thanks delivered by George Ettiyil, President of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, and the concluding remarks on the Annual General Meeting (AGM) by Mr. Halusa, the event transitioned to a networking session over refreshments and dinner.
Similar to previous years, this year too, exhibitors representing member companies displayed their stalls at the AGM, providing a unique platform for networking with other member company guests. This year saw 16 member companies set up stalls, namely AVA, AXIS BANK, Jungheinrich Lift Truck Private Limited, MeJuvante Private Limited, Hamburg Representation Mumbai, Lex Visas Private Limited, NRW Global – North Rhein-Westphalia Germany, Indo-German Training Centre, amfori, K P Infotech, VA-Q-TEC, Rosenberger Interconnect India Private Limited, Roedl & Partner Consulting Pvt. Ltd., Merck, Deutsche Bank AG, Nürnberg Messe India Pvt. Ltd. The exchange of ideas, insights, and business propositions was a hallmark of this dynamic event. Through these interactions, member companies and AGM guests were able to explore potential synergies and strengthen partnerships, enriching the overall experience of the AGM.