India is home to thousands of large companies that compete on the international arena, and that accept nothing less than best-in-class partners and supplies. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the automotive sector. Swedish companies have a distinct opportunity, having supplied its own regional champions for decades, and possessing proprietary knowledge on how to realize these solutions cost-efficiently. The presence of Volvo and Scania, and to a certain extent Volvo Cars, can serve as useful bridgeheads for Swedish companies when entering India.
In a developing country like India, natural resources and basic materials are high in demand. The proud Swedish traditional industry around wood, paper, and pulp is no exception. As literacy is on the rise, and the full migration of text to digital formats is still many years away, the demand for printing paper is increasing in India. Also, the increased consumption in the country generates demands for all types of packaging paper, and more advanced products like cellulose-based hygiene disposals. India has around 600 paper mills, many of which are of a very basic level and poorly maintained, making them potential customers for Swedish equipment and process know-how. The entire industry is also dependent on import of raw materials, a trade that is growing steadily, and where Swedish companies can expand.
Another industry where the match between India and Sweden is obvious is the healthcare and medical technology sector. Though, regulation can be an obstacle, not least in the product registration process, India is gradually cleaning up its bureaucracy in the domain. As a developing country, healthcare is critical for India to increase the quality of life of its population. The closely related biotech sector is more challenging to operate in, with two ministries and multiple other interest groups regulate the largely Indian-dominated industry. Still, India remains an interesting location for conducting clinical trials, and with the right partner, there’s plenty of business to be had in the sector.
India’s population is not only getting used to professional healthcare. The urban families more and more try to shield themselves from the humid and sometime scorching climate. This is driving the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) industry. In fact, no other sector we studied has higher expected growth than HVAC, which is estimated to grow its revenues by 30 percent each year in the foreseeable period. This is not only driven by new installations, but also upgrading existing products and systems to new, more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly technologies.
Energy demand inevitably increases with the economic growth plan. The environmental damages done by using coal as the main energy source in increasingly discussed in India. Recently, India has been progressive in identifying clean energy alternatives in a range of alternatives, including solar, wind, and biofuels- Swedish companies have much knowledge to bring to India in this, and no where is the demand for the end product (energy) more certain.
The emerging middle class in India (around 250 million people and growing with more than 10 percent per year) offers an opportunity for almost every company in the B2C space. The Indian retail market is notoriously value-concious though, and companies should focus on careful customer segmentation and identifying low-cost distribution options to ensure growth is also profitable.
Other sectors that are of certain interest for Swedish companies are the sectors of food, infrastructure, construction equipment, basic metals and telecom.