Theo Paphitis travels to India, to see if three intrepid British companies can succeed in one of the fastest-expanding economies in the world.
With cultural ties going back centuries, India and Britain have many things in common. But is doing business one of them? Or are we worlds apart?
Theo travels to Mumbai (with its 14 million population), and Central India to see how three very different British companies, with three very different products, try to make their dreams a reality.
There’s luxury watch manufacturer Bremont, whose stainless steel watches cost up to six thousand pounds a pop.
Regenatec, a company trying to find enough green oil to sell their diesel converter kit in the biggest diesel market in the world.
And Marmite, the classic British breakfast spread. Will the Indians love it or hate it?
All three companies have got their work cut out.
How will Bremont’s very expensive, highly-engineered but very understated stainless steel watches go down in a country which likes its watches to be made of gold?
How will Marmite sell a very British product to a country that’s hardly short of strong flavours of its own?
And how easy will Regenatec find it to locate large volumes of ethically-produced pure plant oil, so as to take on dirty diesel, in a country whose biofuel industry is still in its infancy?
And if they can get past their specific challenges, there are wider difficulties to overcome.
With its fiendishly complicated import duties, its very different bargaining culture and its sheer size, doing business in India is going to be anything but straightforward for our British companies.
What sort of pitfalls will trip them up when they’re trying to do business in a very different culture?
Doing business in India
India’s economy is one of the fastest expanding in the world, with a rapidly expanding consumer class. The UK has strong ties with India, and UK companies are well positioned to take advantage of this growing export and investment market.
Thinking of taking your business idea to India? Before you do anything, explore our videos where Theo and experts from The Open University Business School offer advice on business overseas.
Talk to UKTI for a UK government perspective.