Indian SMEs benefit from German training scheme

Indian SMEs have formed 11 joint ventures (JV) with their German counterparts in sectors such as auto components, machines and engineering goods, in the wake of the recently concluded third annual Indo-German Management Training Programme organised by the CII-Avantha Centre for Competitiveness for SMEs in collaboration with Germany.

Expectations are there that 48 more JVs are likely to be formed in the next six months. Also, an Indian company managed to clinch a ^50,000 deal with a German company during the training programme, held last month.

The programme enables participants from SMEs to gain hands-on training with German SMEs in Germany, to give them exposure on how to do business with that country. To facilitate trade, investment and technology links, a joint declaration was signed between the two countries in September 2008 by implementing a bilateral training programme for Indian executives and managers. During the recently concluded tour, 22 senior managers/SME owners were taken to Germany for training. Prior to the visit, the chosen managers are put through an intensive training programme within India, replete with relevant curriculum and case studies.

Ravinder Kumar, senior counsellor at the CII-Avantha Centre, told Business Standard, “During the tour 72 B2B meetings were arranged between Indian SMEs and German companies. Also, 96 new contacts were generated. Indian SMEs formed 11 JVs with German companies in sectors like auto components, machines and the engineering sector. It is expected that 48 more JVs will be formed in the next six months. An Indian company managed to clinch a euro 50,000 deal with a German company.”

Prior to the recent programme, a total of more than 45 senior managers and SME owners were taken to Germany. In 2010, 24 participants attended the programme, compared with 13 in 2009. In 2010, 257 business contacts were generated, 82 individual business meetings were arranged and 52 discussions progressed to the second stage of advanced discussions.

Describing the tour, Kumar said, “After undergoing training in India, the delegates visited Bavaria, an industrial city that contributes 33 per cent to the German economy, as all the major German automakers have manufacturing facilities there. The managers were given training in areas like German and Indian corporate culture, how to contact German companies, the legal and the practical financial aspects of cooperation and founding a business in Germany, and an insight into structures and processes.”

The basic aim of the programme was to enhance the administrative, social, intercultural and professional competencies of Indian managers. The aim was also to improve the competitiveness of the enterprises participating in the project, and to enhance the economic potential of Indian enterprises by establishing contacts with German enterprises.

On being on the programme, Rajat Bajaj, a partner in Delhi-based Jamuna Udyog, said, “It was a mini MBA for me. I learnt excellent business skills. The factory visits and group meetings at various forums helped me in widening my horizon. It will help me in increasing my business with Germany and Europe as a whole.”

K P Gopal, director of Chennai-based Stuser Tools Pvt Ltd, noted, “The Indo German management training programme is an excellent opportunity to re-examine our own businesses with a global perspective. The soft skills learnt and the business contacts developed will go a long way in creating a new breed of global MSMEs from India.”