By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik, Editor Kevin Lee, Reporter Ms. Lee Ji-hyun
The newly elected chairman, Mr. Anil K. Sinha, has a total of 37 years of work experience in Indian and Multi-National Organization covering a wide range of functions, Strategic Planning and Team Management.
Chairman Sinha is very strongly interested in further upgrading and promoting the close economic-commercial cooperation and relations between the two countries.
In a recent interview with The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications since 1985, Chairman Sinha said, “India is looking for investment in many important areas, such as sunrise sectors like drones, robotics, electric vehicles and renewable energy, energy storage systems, AI & Machine Learning, Industry 4.0, IoT, especially in its Smart City initiative to renew urban life & provide robust technological solutions to improve life in rural areas.
Then he said, “Size of Indian economy, India’s infrastructure development plans, demography and digital ecosystem, outstanding human resource, private equity, venture capital investments amid COVID-19 and startup initiatives make India an attractive destination for Korean companies.”
At this juncture, an extensive interview with ChairmanAnil K. Sinha of the ICCK is more than fully justified, and merits full attention not only from the Korean-Indian communities in both Korea and India but also in all parts of the world.
Details of the interview with Chairman Sinha of ICCK in Seoul follow:
Question: As the new chairman of the Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, please introduce yourself fully together with the activities of your Chamber.
Answer: I am Anil K Sinha, a Graduate in Mechanical Engineering and PGDM, have appx 37 years of work experience in Indian and Multi-National Organization covering wide range of functions, Strategic planning and Team Management.
I am currently working as Chief Operating Officer / VP in TATA Daewoo Commercial Vehs Co. Ltd; based at Gunsan, South Korea. Here working on the Strategic imperatives, New Product launches, Cost management are the key priorities; besides the functional responsibilities of R&D, Purchase, Mfg and Quality functions of TDCV.
Previous to this, I worked as Head- Quality, CVBU, TATA Motors Ltd (TML) since 2017 till Oct 2019, based at Pune India. This included a product portfolio of Small Commercial Vehicle, ILCV, Medium & Heavy Commercial vehicles and Buses; located at Five different Plants across India.
Since 2013-17, I was Head - Mfg Operations Passenger Car Business Unit TML, responsible for the complete activity of Passenger car business, including Jaguar & Land Rover India, from Operations point of view, at multiple manufacturing locations across India. During this period, we worked on the complete Product portfolio change for PV Business and launch of new line up for the cars.
I joined TML as Plant head, Pune Plant in Nov. 2011 and was responsible for the Pune plant CVBU Operations, including its two foundries.
I had the opportunity to work as President of CII-GBC GreenCo Forum Pune Chapter, one of the five chapters at all India level; which gave lots of insights in Environmental and Sustainability aspects.
Before joining Tata Motors, I was working as a Director (Mfg), New Holland FIAT India Ltd for 14 years. During this assignment, I was responsible for setting up this green field plant and then managing the operations for two plants namely Tractor Assembly and Axle Assembly Plant. It gave exposure to work on multi-cultural work force at different geographies across world. I was instrumental in launching India made products in North America and Brazilian market, besides the export to appx 50+ countries.
After graduation in 1985, joined Eicher Motors Ltd and was instrumental in setting up the Green field plant and running the Plant since 1994-97 as Prodn head.
I was Ex-Member of Board of Directors for FIAT India Automotive Private Ltd.
I am a certified Six Sigma Champion from ASQ and a mentor with University of Cambridge Institute of Sustainability and Leadership, UK.
Q: Please introduce the government minister in charge of commerce and industry in your country.
A: Mr. Piyush Goyal (57) is the Minister of Commerce & Industry (2019-present) and Leader of the Rajya Sabha (2021-present). He was earlier the Minister of Railways (2017-21). He has also held the additional charge of Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs twice in 2018 and 2019. His previous portfolios include- Minister of Coal (2014-19), Minister of State (I/C) for Power, New & Renewable Energy (2014-17), and Mines (2016-17). As Minister of Railways, over the last two years of his tenure Railways achieved its best ever safety record of zero passenger deaths in accidents.
Additionally, Mr. Goyal oversaw the launch of the first indigenous semi-high-speed train Vande Bharat Express between Delhi and Varanasi.
During his 35 year-long political career, Mr. Goyal has held several important positions at different levels in the world’s largest political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and is in its National Executive. He has been the National Treasurer of the Party. Mr. Goyal has had a brilliant academic record – all-India second rank holder Chartered Accountant and second rank holder in Law in Mumbai University. He was a well-known investment banker and has advised top corporates on management strategy and growth.
Q: Who is responsible in the non-governmental sector in your country for the promotion of cooperation in the commercial and economic cooperation with Korea? Please elaborate on the person in charge.
A: If by non-governmental sector you are referring to NGOs & Corporate Social Responsibilities, it is mandatory for companies of a certain turnover and profitability to spend 2% of their average net profit for the past three years on CSR. This requirement is monitored by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs which is led by the Hon’ble Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman who is also India’s Finance Minister.
Invest India, (which is under the administrative control of the Department for the Promotion of Industry & InternalTrade (DPIIT)) is the agency that has a dedicated Korea desk to facilitate Korean investments.
Korea Plus comprises a representative each from the South Korean Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy and Korea Trade-Investment and Promotion Agency (KOTRA). It also includes officials from Invest India.
Role of Korea Plus
--To function as first reference point for the Korean Investors in India.
--To promote, facilitate and retain Korean investments in India.
Invest India is headed by Mr. Deepak Bagla. Mr. Bagla has a professional career of over three decades, with the World Bank, Citibank, and Private Equity having responsibilities across Europe, Africa and Asia. He is currently the Managing Director and CEO of Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency promoted by the Government of India. Invest India is also the executing agency for Start-up India and the Prime Minister’s Science and Technology initiative.
He is a member of several High-level Government committees including Fintech and Innovation. Mr. Bagla was on the Investment Committee for the Government US $ 1.5 billion “Fund of Funds for Start-ups” and is on the Advisory Board of the Government $7 billion “Fund of Funds for MSMEs”. He is the President of the Geneva based World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies with membership of 105 countries. He is also a special invitee of the Prime Minister’s Science Technology & Innovation Advisory Council.
Q: Nowadays, commercial and economic cooperation is very important between the countries. Who are the major Korean companies actively engaged in bilateral commercial/economic cooperation? And who are the major companies of your country in Korea?
A: The prominent Korean companies that have invested and have operations in India are:
Hyundai: Hyundai Motor is the second-largest car manufacturer and one of the leading car exporters in India. Hyundai Motor India produces ~7 lakh cars annually in India and exports more than 1.5 lakh cars to more than 87 countries. In its commitment to provide customers with cutting-edge global technology, Hyundai has a modern multi-million-dollar R&D facility in Hyderabad.
POSCO: POSCO India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of POSCO. In 2005, POSCO India was incorporated to promote investment in steel, considering the high growth potential and rise of steel demand in India. POSCO has set-up cold-rolled, galvanized and electrical steel production plants in Maharashtra with an investment of around $ 1 bn and also operates steel processing centers in Pune, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad.
Samsung: Samsung India is the Regional Headquarters for Samsung’s Southwest Asia operations. The company has invested about $ 1.1 bn in India. It operates 2 manufacturing locations in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, 5 R&D Centers and 1 Design Center. Presently, Indian employees account for 7% of the firm's global workforce. Indian PM Shri Narendra Modi and President Moon Jae-in jointly inaugurated Samsung's largest mobile manufacturing facility in Noida in July 2018.
Kia Motors: Kia Motors is one of the leading Automobile manufacturers from South Korea. The company has set up its manufacturing facility in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh with an annual capacity of 3 lakh cars and an investment of $ 1.1 bn. It is also planning further expansion
LG Electronics: Operates two factories in India, one each in Greater Noida and Pune. Manufacturing unit at Greater Noida is one of the eco-friendliest units among all LG manufacturing plants in the world. LG Electronics has 40,000 outlets across India, over 2,000 of them are standalone stores. LG Electronics has been consistently featuring in the top five trusted brands in India since the past eight Brand Trust reports by TRA Research.
Prominent Indian Companies in Korea:
Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company Ltd: TATA Motors Ltd acquired Daewoo Commercial Vehicle based in Gunsan, Korea for a total price of KRW 120 bn (approximately $ 102 mn) in March 2004. Its cumulative investment now is over $ 400 mn. It is currently second largest MHCV manufacturing company in Korea.
Aditya Birla Novelis: A subsidiary of Hindalco Industries, the flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group acquired Alcan Taihan Aluminium in January 2005. Novelis holds 68% share amounting to about $ 600 mn in Novelis Korea, which is Asia’s number one manufacturer of aluminium-rolled products with state-of-art-production facilities in Yeongju and Ulsan, and employs more than 1,200 employees. Novelis’ total investment in Korea is over $ 700 mn.
IT Majors like TCS, Wipro, L&T Infotech also have a presence in Korea. (https://www.indembassyseoul.gov.in/page/prominent-indian-business-in-korea/)
Q: What is the present volume of commercial trade, its outlook in the next 12 months? What products and services of your country are most welcome in Korea, and, vice versa, what Korean products and services are popular in your country?
A: As per data from India’s Ministry of Commerce, the current trade (2021-22) between India and Korea is about USD$ 20.67 billion. While trade is expected to rise in the future due to the uncertainty driven by COVID & recent surges in Korea & Europe, supply chain shocks, geo-political tensions, it may be challenging to estimate the outlook for the coming months.
--Popular Korean products and services in India are automobiles (Hyundai & Kia together have a combined share of around 19-21% in the Indian passenger vehicle market.
--Electrical & Electronic Equipment from Samsung & LG are common household names in India. Samsung is the second largest smart TV brand in India, with a 17% market share as of Q2 2021. It is also the leading brand in India's overall television market. LG is the third largest smart TV brand in India, with a market share of 11% as of Q2 2021.
--In the smartphone segment Samsung has the third largest market share of 16% in Q4 of 2021 which again is an evidence of the popularity and penetration of Korean brand value in India.
In addition, Korean is currently the fastest-growing foreign language in India--a popular language-learning app called DuoLingo concluded after surveying more than 1,000 Indians. Given the surge in popularity of Korean dramas and K-pop music in the country, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, the growing interest in the language isn’t unexpected.
--India’s exports to South Korea
The major items that constitute the bulk of exports from India to South Korea are mineral fuels/oil distillates (mainly naphtha with 20 percent share), cereals, iron and steel. In 2019, Indian exports to South Korea were valued at US$5.56 billion. The main products exported from India to South Korea were refined petroleum (US$988 million), raw aluminum (US$795 million), and ferroalloys (US$229 million). During the last 24 years, Indian exports to South Korea have increased at an annual rate of 7.95 percent, from US$809 million in 1995 to US$5.56 billion in 2019. In 2020, this value slumped to US$4,9 billion, induced by COVID-19 pandemic led restrictions
Q: What are the areas in your country where you want Korean companies to invest and what are the areas where you wish your businessmen to invest in Korea?
A: India is looking for investment in sunrise sectors like drones, robotics, electric vehicles and renewable energy, energy storage systems, AI & Machine Learning, Industry 4.0, IoT especially in its Smart City initiative to renew urban life & provide robust technological solutions to improve life in rural areas. Size of Indian economy, India’s infrastructure development plans, demography and digital ecosystem, outstanding human resource, private equity, venture capital investments amid COVID-19 and startup initiatives make India an attractive destination for Korean companies. India is to execute 7,400 infrastructure projects totaling $1.5 trillion by 2026 that offer huge opportunities to foreign investors and engineering, procurement and construction contractors. Govt. is willing to extend cooperation to Korean companies in India’s green hydrogen mission to meet climate goals and manufacture green hydrogen.
Q: Korean people, especially the up-and-coming Korean businessmen need rest and recuperation. What are your tourist attractions?
A: Indian hospitality is world famous and India is a tourist’s paradise for the sheer diversity it has in terms of natural landscapes and cultural diversity. It’s cultural dates back to more than 5000 years and supposed to be origin of various religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism. Things to do in India include the opportunity to experience an array of sacred sites and spiritual encounters, while nature lovers will enjoy its sun-washed beaches, lush green national parks, and exciting wildlife sanctuaries. The various wild life safaris are absolutely enchanting and one can see wide range of wild animals in natural surroundings. From the magnificent Taj Mahal in Agra to the holy sites of Harmandir Sahib (formerly the Golden Temple) in Amritsar and the Mecca Masjid mosque in Hyderabad, visitors to this exotic country will discover a trove of spiritual, cultural, and historical treasures.
Some of the must visit places include:
1. The Taj Mahal, Agra; including Agra Fort
2. The Holy City of Varanasi
3. The Golden City, Jaisalmer
4. The Red Fort, Jantar Mantar New Delhi
5. The Gateway of India, Mumbai
6. Pink city, Jaipur
7. The Beaches of Goa & Kerala
8. Periyar National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary,
9. Ellora Caves, Aurangabad
10. Mehrangarh Fort (Jodhpur)
12. Northeast India- Meghalaya, etc.
(India’s Ministry of Tourism website can provide you an exhaustive list to cater to ones’ needs and requirements.)
Q: What are the most important festive days in your country? Please elaborate.
A: Some of the important festivals in India are:
--Holi: Holi is a Hindu festival that has been celebrated since ancient times. The Holi Festival is celebrated as a way to welcome spring season, and also is seen as a new beginning where people can release all their inhibitions and start fresh. Holi' marks the onset of Spring. Throwing of colors to each other is the signature of this festival. Therefore, it is often referred to as the Festival of Colors. Mythologically, Holi is associated with the legend of the demon King Hiranyakashyap and his son Prahlad and sister Holika.
--Diwali/Deepavali: The festival celebrates the victory of light over darkness. Hindus across the world celebrate Diwali. This festival of lights is one of the most popular in India, and during Diwali the faithful pray to the Hindu goddess of wealth Lakshmi.
In addition, India being a religiously diverse country sees celebration of the festivals of its minority communities as well. For instance, Christmas is very popularly celebrated by many Indians. In addition, Muslims celebrate Ramadan. Sikhs celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti, etc. which are all national public holidays in India.
Q: Please add whatever other details that you might consider to be important.
A: India-Republic of Korea (ROK) relations has made great strides in recent years and has become truly multidimensional, spurred by a significant convergence of interests, mutual goodwill and high-level exchanges. In course of time, ROK's open market policies and the New Southern Policy found resonance with India's economic liberalization, 'Look East Policy' as well as “Act East Policy”.
Trade and economic relations gathered momentum following the implementation of CEPA in 2010. For the few years -2017, 2018 and 2019, the bilateral trade volume has constantly crossed USD 20 Billion. The bilateral trade in 2018 was USD 21.494 billion and USD 20.7 billion in 2019. In 2018, exports from India accounted USD 5.884 billion, registering a growth of 18.8% and exports from ROK accounted for USD 15.610 billion registering a growth of 3.6%. In 2019, exports from India accounted for USD 5.6 billion and exports from ROK accounted for USD 15.1.
India &Korea are looking for a target of achieving USD 50 billion by 2030. CEPA upgradation negotiations are ongoing to further increase the trade volume.
Major items of India’s exports to Korea are mineral fuels/oil distillates (mainly naphtha), cereals, iron and steel. On the other hand, Korea’s main export items are automobile parts, telecommunication equipment, hot rolled iron products, petroleum refined products, base lubricating oils, mechanical appliances, electrical machinery & parts and iron and steel products.
The total number of Indian nationals living in ROK is estimated to be around 12,000, which includes around 300 PIOs. A large number of Indian scholars are pursuing post-graduate and Ph. D programs, mostly in pure sciences in Korea. During the past few years, many professionals mainly in the areas of IT, shipping and automobile have immigrated to ROK. They are working mostly with companies like Samsung, LG, Hyundai TATA Daewoo, TCS. There is also significant number of students and academicians in the universities.