We had a highly inspirational starting day at our Focus India preparatory seminar. It was a full day all about India. We were honoured to welcome H.E. Sibi George, Ambassador of India and Dr Piyush Singh, First Secretary that provided us with valuable insights about the 70 Years Swiss-Indian Friendship and the Indian perspective of doing business in India.

Joint start of the preparatory seminar with all the international student projects
To open this year’s international student projects (ISP), Prof. Dr. Crispino Bergamaschi, President FHNW and Marc Blaser, CEO of Blaser SWISSLUBE gave truly motivational speeches. They emphasised on the fact that the ISPs are remarkable opportunities to apply our acquired knowledge to a practical project that is not only highly interesting but also opens our horizon to other business practices with different cultural perspectives. Marc Blaser, CEO Blaser Swisslube strengthened on the importance of the people to be competitive. When developing our own competitiveness, identifying our own brand is essential. Once we have found the true passion that fulfills us, we can, without much effort, be competitive. The ISPs are a true enabler to explore and enrich our personal DNA and to become the best version of ourselves.

Roadmap to India with Philippe Reich, Swiss-Indian Chamber of Commerce (SICC)
Philippe Reich, Chairman of SICC gave an introduction into SICC’s mandate and the Swiss perspective of doing business India. SICC foster Swiss-Indian bilateral economic and business relations and serves as an advisory role for its members to set foot in India. He pointed out a key difference of Indians and Swiss approach business. Indians are more opportunity oriented whereas Swiss assess the risk before taking a decision. He emphasised on some of the challenges the Swiss may face when considering to enter the Indian market. Pivotal to success in the Indian market is to think long-term, identifying market potential, assessing possible partnerships and find mutual interests.

Open discussion with Michael Enderle – how to conquer the Indian market
Michael Enderle brings along 12 years of experience in living and working in India. We had a fruitful dialogue with Michael talking about his experience of setting up a business in India. Michael stressed the importance to have the right team in place that is built upon trust. Only then it’s possible to solve the even most complex problems. Before any Swiss company should enter India, they ought to have a clearly defined strategy in place, a solid financial base and a reliable and trusted team. Establishing trust is crucial and requires much relationship management. Without a trustworthy network success will be difficult to achieve. Being mindful of family importance is also of great importance. What we can learn from Indians are the entrepreneurial spirit that drive them to achieve their goals.

Indian Culture and History by Aradhna Sethi
Etiquette and Behaviour by Suki Dusanj
Aradhna Sethi and Suki Dusanj gave interactive talks on India’s culture and history, that prepared us well for our onsite trip in March and April. Aradhna explained to us the caste system and how it is impacting people’s lives today compared to the past. Suki Dusanj advised us on appropriate behaviour in India. She encouraged us to be open-minded, not judging, respectful and to be polite but firm.

Overall, it was a truly enriching and fascinating day where we gained many more insights about India. We are looking forward to what the next days of our preparatory seminar will entail.