Danish Water Solutions in India – IDCC/Grundfos

How can Danish water solutions assist India’s ambitious goals for an inclusive, sustainable development in the water sector?

Thursday January 16, 50 people joined us at Grundfos, Bjerringbro, to discuss the challenges, opportunities and concrete next steps in the Indo-Danish collaboration on water.

With Danish and Indian representatives from the entire value chain, consultants and manufacturers, ministries and associations, the basis for a fruitful discussion were indeed in place.

Challenges, opportunities and bilateral collaborations

The first part of the program was focusing on challenges, opportunities and bilateral collaborations. After six presentations covering G2G and C2C collaborations, new inititatives from the Danish Embassy in India’s Trade Council and financing opportunities, the conclusion remained that Danish solutions can indeed assist India in its endeavour towards an inclusive sustainable development.

Experience sharing

Second part of the program was a roundtable discussion where concrete next steps were discussed. Moderated by Grundfos’ Morten Riis, Group Director, Water Utility, the settings were effective and the discussions fruitful.

To our luck, a delegation from the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying from India joined us and provided much appreciated insights on the Indian bureacracy.

IDCC would like to thank all the participants, H.E. Ambassador Ajut Gupte, all the speakers and presenters and Grundfos for hosting this important event in their beautiful sorroundings in Bjerringbro.

 

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IDCC Roundtable: Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion

Tuesday November 5th, IDCC members gathered at L&T Infotech to discuss diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Anette Papuga, HR Director, Global Operations and Sourcing, shared how LM Wind Power has experienced success with their Diversity and Inclusion program at their two plants in India with a strong support from the local management.

Diversity and Inclusion are quite the buzzwords and for a good reason. Progressing from an overall moral obligation to a business strategy, studies have shown the significant financial impact it brings with it. Companies with a diverse and inclusive workforce are shown to have increased profitability and creativity, stronger governance and problem-solving abilities.

In other words, doing good is good business – much like working with the Sustainable Development Goals, which is also closely linked to this very topic.

Gender equality

While diversity is more than just gender, gender equality is still a major issue in the corporate world. More companies develop strategies to achieve greater diversity and inclusion throughout the group, but how do you implement in countries with different cultural norms and demographic structures?

For LM Wind Power, the initial focus of their Diversity and Inclusion program was to minimize the gender gap in Operations by aiming towards a 5% increase in the number of female employees in Operation, as well as at least one female candidate in the pool for consideration when recruiting for a post.

However, different cultural norms and demographic structures in each and every country makes a “one size fits all” strategy inadequate.

In India, India’s Factory Act does not allow women to work the evening and night shifts on the production floor. A company can apply for a permit to do so, but must ensure the safety of the female employees at the factory as well as travelling to and from their homes.

“It’s not easy. There is a lot of paperwork and considerable cost involved for the companies. But it was an important step for us. The educational and career transformation in India is showing a much larger percentage of female graduates and therefore potential employees. If we have the right structure in place, it is a fantastic opportunity to attract good talent… It is not only about changing the culture among colleagues at work, but for many of these women it is about changing the culture in their communities as well. Female colleagues who determine that working a spectrum of shifts is the right choice for them, are also bringing their families and local communities on that journey too.”

Source: Torben Mølby, Deputy Head of Global Operations, LM Wind Power and leading the D&I program. Read more here

Experience sharing

As intended, the roundtable gave rise to frutiful discussions on the subject as well as related subjects.

No two companies are identical when it comes to organizational structure and setup in India. As such, the combined experience constitute a significant knowledge base in the network.

Drawing on the experience of others is a priority at IDCC and these roundtable is a great way to facilitate just that.

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Cabinet approves proposal for Review of FDI policy on various sectors

FDI easing may help revive growth

A range of economic measures were announced by the government recently to jumpstart and investments and bring the economy back on track.

Single brand retail

Especially in the Single Brand Retail sector (SBRT), easing of FDI norms were significant:

  • All procurements made from India by the SBRT entity for that single brand
    shall be counted towards local sourcing, irrespective of whether the goods
    procured are sold in India or exported.
  • The current cap of considering exports for 5 years only is proposed
    to be removed, to give an impetus to exports.
  • It has been decided that ‘sourcing of goods from India for global operations’
    can be done directly by the entity undertaking SBRT or its group companies
    (resident or non-resident}, or indirectly by them through a third party under
    a legally tenable agreement.
  • It has been now decided that entire sourcing from India for global
    operations shall be considered towards local sourcing requirement.
    (And no incremental value)
  • It has therefore been decided that retail trading through online trade can
    also be undertaken prior to opening of brick and mortar stores, subject to
    the condition that the entity opens brick

FDI Changes, 2019

Coal and lignite sectors

The coal and lignite sectors also witnessed a relieve, as 100% FDI is now allowed under the automatic route for:

  • Sale of coal
  • Coal mining activities including associated processing infrastruture, which includes
    • coal washery
    • crushing
    • coal handling
    • seperation

Press Information Bureau Retail

Contract Manufacturing

The easing of SBRT have removed bottlenecks that has kept global brands such as Apple from entering India.

Apple produces phones through its contract manufacturers Foxconn and Wistron in Taiwan. According to the existing policy, local sourcing by Foxconn won’t count towards the US tech giant’s sourcing obligations.

With the new easing of the rules, Apple has proposed to open retail stores in India

Source – Bottleneck removed for Apple

Source – apple proposes to open retail stores in India

 

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Welcome reception for Denmark’s New Ambassador to India, Mr. Freddy Svane

Freddy is ready!

IDCC member companies gathered at Cowi to welcome Freddy Svane back to his position as Denmark’s ambassador to India.

Freddy Svane was welcomed by COO Cowi, Rasmus Ødum and IDCC Chairman and Group Executive Director Ramboll, Søren Holm Johansen.

Freddy served in India from 2010-2015 where he earned the ‘brand’ nickname “Freddy is ready”. He is now returning after having served four years in Japan.

In his speech, Freddy noted how he looks forward to continue developing the bilateral relationship that has witnessed a significant improvement recently. Freddy also noted how pleased he was to see an organization as strong and promising as IDCC, to have surfaced while he was serving in Japan

“I am pleased to see that an organization as strong and promising as IDCC was established while I was serving in Japan. There are strong Danish platforms in India aimed at promoting bilateral trade and investment, but there is also a need for one in Denmark. I look forward to a close collaboration between the embassy in Delhi and IDCC in Copenhagen”

A very warm welcome back to Freddy Svane from IDCC and our member companies.

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2019-2020 Union Budget

On July 5th, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the full budget for financial year 2019-2020. The Budget lists down the Government’s macro-economic plans for boosting sustained economic grow, including how to achieve its goal of becomming a US$5 trillion dollar economy by 2025.

The budget also includes the governments 10-point vision for the next decade:

  • Building Team India with Minimum Government Maximum Governance
  • Achieving Green Earth and Blue Skies through sustained initiatives to reduce pollution
  • Making Digital India reach every sector of the economy to drive inclusive development
  • Launching Gaganyan, Chandrayan, other space and satellite R&D and launch programmes
  • Building all-round physical and social infrastructure to help maximise human potential
  • Water, waste management, and clean rivers to improve India’s Human Development Index
  • Blue Economy can serve as a growth catalyst to establish a $10 trillion economy by 2032
  • Self-sufficiency, export of food-grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables and products
  • Achieving health with Ayushman Bharat (Healt-care Insurance), well-nourished women & children, safety of citizens
  • Focus on MSMEs, startups, defence, auto, electronics, medical devices under Make in India

An overview of the budget can be found here (pptx): Budget 2019-20

A synopsis of the budget can be found here: MBG-Union-Budget-Synopsis-2019

The 2018-2019 Economic Survey can be found here: Economic Survey 2018-19

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New Danish-Indian project to design the power grid of tomorrow

Researchers from DTU (Technical University of Denmark) will use India’s grid expansion as testing grounds for the power grids of tomorrow

Integrating renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind, into the power grid is challenging since these sources are unstable by nature – the sun needs to be shining or the wind needs to be blowing for them to produce energy. An unstable supply of electricity into the grid can cause power failure.

But now researchers from DTU may have found a solution: smart power grids that can anticipate grid disturbances and initiate emergency procedures to avoid power failures.

Machine learning methods will change the way the energy system is operated in the future. Groundbreaking new solutions that utilise digitisation could lead to the 100 per cent green power grid of tomorrow,” said Professor Jacob Østergaard, Head of Centre and energy system specialist at DTU Electrical Engineering

Source

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India announces plans for 500GW renewable capacity by 2030

The news were announced Tuesday June 25th, at the 17th meetnig of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) council in Abu Dhabi.

India’s ambitious plans for installing 227GW of renewable energy by 2022 took the industry by surprise and now the re-elected government plans to do it once again, with the even more ambitous goal of 500GW by 2030.

“India would have installed 175GW of RE (renewable energy) capacity by 2022 without taking into account large hydro and 225GW including large hydro. By 2030, India plans to establish 500GW of renewable energy capacity” Anand Kumar, secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said at the IRENA council in Abu Dhabi this Tuesday.

Of the 227GW by 2022, Wind Power projects will contribute 60GW. The distribution of renewable energy sources for the 2030 plans are yet to be announced.

India has recently explored options for offshore-wind, attracting significant EOIs (Expressions of Interest) from global leaders in the industry.

As a world leader in off-shore wind, The Danish government is planning to open a Danish-Indian Knowledge Centre for the Development of Wind Energy in India. The knowledge centre is to be financed under the Danish Finance Act, and the plan is to allocate EUR 7.4 million over the next five years, read more here

At IDCC’s seminar on the very same topic last fall, Denmark’s Ambassador to India, Peter Taksøe-Jensen said this about the opportunities for Danish companies:

“India’s very ambitious targets for implementation of renewable energy makes the country one of the largest and most important markets in the coming years. Outside the massive expansion of onshore wind- and solar energy, India has set aggresive targets for the implementation of offshore wind. The latter is an area where Denmark and Danish companies have build up great expertise and been on the forefront of bringing down costs. That is why, right now, India offers some of the greatest opportunities for Danish companies globally.”

India currently has an installed renewable energy capacity of around 80 gigawatts

Source

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Closing in on the Indian election

The Final Phase

Today, the world’s largest democracy is heading for the final election phase on 19th of May. Since kick-off more than five weeks ago, hundreds of millions of people have been casting their votes setting the course for India’s next five years. All in all, around 900 million people have been eligible to vote, and the voter turnout is said to break all records. Some states have already witnessed the highest ever turnout to date. An increase in woman voters is at the root of the overall increase in the voter turnout this year. Though also young and elderly are reportedly more present than before.

Rules of the game

The important number of seats to win a majority in the parliament, Lok Sabha, and form a government is 272. Due to India’s first-past-the-post system, beating the present government means that a broad coalition must be put together. Both BJP and the Congress Party have such coalitions. BJP’s is called the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), while that of the Congress is the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)

Only a few of the more than 20 parties in the coalitions can provide meaningful numbers of additional seats to the two parties. And while the UPA seemed sure before the election to be unable to win the majority by itself and will need the support of a few strong, regional, and currently nonaligned parties, the better-placed NDA may need this assistance as well.

In 2014 BJP won 282 seats by itself but had to rely on the support of its coalition as some of its seats were gradually lost. This year, however, there is scepticism about whether the party will obtain this kind of majority once again. BJP is, besides the UPA, facing tough competition from regional alliances. The political important state Uttar Pradesh (UP) is an example of that. The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party – traditionally rivals – have joined hands to wrest away UP from BJP’s hands.

Voting in this state is stretched out over all seven phases. The state accounts for 80 seats in the parliament out of which the BJP won a crushing 71 seats in 2014 at their landslide victory. The BJP’s mission to form a government largely depends on how many seats it manages to retain in this state.

However, some has lost faith in BJP’s priorities. The region is home to India’s “leather belt” – an industrial cluster of tanneries that taken together provides direct and indirect employment to hundreds of thousands of local people. Many of those tanneries have been forced to suspend operations due to pollution control measures issued by the BJP-led state government, causing consternation among workers.

 

 

Bollywood Stars turning political candidates

As the election increasingly looks to be a close call, parties in recent weeks have sought to capitalize on star power — especially, BJP which had added several celebrities to its line-up.

India’s elections are fiercely competitive — 8,251 candidates were fielded from 464 parties in the last general election in 2014. Bollywood stars fame means they already have something many novice politicians crave: name, recognition and a devoted fan base. When stars announce their campaigns, their first political rallies are almost guaranteed huge crowds.

 

The Gandhi siblings’ combative campaign

The leader of the Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, seems now all but defeated by the election five years ago. Currently, he is on a combative campaign and was welcomed by a cheering crowd in the Gandhi stronghold of Amethi in UP a few weeks ago, one of the two seats he is contesting from. The other one being Wayanad, Kerala.

His campaign has been a bumpy ride though. The Supreme Court agreed to hear a plea to direct the Election Commission of India to debar him from contesting the polls after he allegedly had acquired British nationality. The allegation of dual citizenship was quickly rejected by his sister, Priyanka Gandhi and was later, however, dismissed by the Supreme Court.

Nevertheless, this highlights the trajectory the election has taken. As the end draws near it has turned into a mudslinging game. The Gandhi siblings are accusing the government of neglecting the people. Priyanka argues that development work has been overlooked and that Narendra Modi has lost his connection with the population. She blames him for spending more time enjoying Biryani with neighbouring states and making hollow promises instead of progressing the country. She further states that people in the country who voice their opinions are put behind bars on charges of being anti-national.

Rahul Gandhi is likewise accusing Narendra Modi of overlooking unemployment in the country and making national security the key narrative of the election after the incident with Pakistan in February. Gandhi’s argument is that the largest threat to national security is unemployment and bad conditions for workers. Among others, he attacks the demonetization, which the Modi-led government issued in 2016. Reports suggest that at least 5 million people lost job opportunities, which Gandhi calls a “disaster”, arguing forcefully that the currency ban hit people’s lives hard.

Rahul has pointed to employment generation and farmer welfare as the key priorities of the Congress, should they be elected. He has reached out to the people in Ludhiana with the promise to put all the party’s strength into reviving small and medium businesses. That way, he argues, India will be able to challenge China.

 

Modi’s battleground

Narendra Modi put up a roadshow when he, during the third election phase, cast his vote in his home state of Gujarat. He is contesting from Varanasi which will be voting on the seventh and final phase on 19th of May. Modi won the seat in 2014 with a huge margin of more than 300,000 votes. There was speculation that opposition parties would field a common candidate to take on the prime minister in the high-profile constituency, however that did not happen.

Modi accuses the Congress Party and the state’s regional parties of pandering to their vote bank in the Muslim community and not holding those responsible for terror attacks accountable. He compares the recent attacks in Sri Lanka to terrorism in India. On a day of rallies that also took him to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, the Prime Minister targeted the opposition, accusing them of going soft on terror and giving terrorists a long rope just for votes. Addressing a rally in Maharashtra, he also attacked Rahul’s decision to contest from Wayanad in Kerala besides his traditional seat Amethi.

 

An open wound

The soon three-decade long issue on the demolished Babri mosque in Ayodhya has been haunting the election. The site of the mosque has been a potential explosive point of religious tension over the demands from Hindu activists for the construction of a temple for the Hindu god Ram. An expeditious construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya is part of BJP’s manifesto.

Modi also promises swift action against terrorism:

“This new India will enter your home and kill you. We will respond to a bullet with a cannon… When you vote for BJP, your vote will come directly to Modi. This is the land of Lord Ram, this is the land of the country’s dignity.” Modi has pitched BJP as the only party that can eliminate terrorists “inside their homes”, an apparent reference to the Indian Air Force strike in Pakistan’s Balakot in February.

 

The counting of votes will be conducted on 23 May.

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IDCC Newsletter March 2019

Want to know what we have been up to so far in 2019?

Our latest newsletter is out and summarizes our latest activities, news from India and our pipeline for Q2.

IDCC activities:

  • IDCC Annual Meeting
  • Vibrant Gujarat
  • India in Jutland
  • Partnership with Air India
  • Mergers and Acquisitions in India

News from India

  • India and Denmark sign Letter of Intent to establish an Indo-Danish Centre of Excellence on Offshore Wind Energy
  • Denmark expands its Strategic Sector Cooperation
  • Can Modi live up to his promises from last election campaign?
  • How India will consume in 2030: 10 mega trends

Program for Q2 2019:

  • Roundtable: Public Tenders in India
  • Cold chains in India

Read it here

 

 

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