EU businesses missing huge opportunities for growth in Indian market

Paris, France, 6th June 2006 - EU businesses will struggle to remain competitive in the global marketplace if they do not move quickly to capitalise on the opportunities that India presents, warned Jacques Creeten, Managing Director, Sales and Marketing, FedEx Express, Middle East, India and Africa, at a press conference in Paris today.

Creeten was joined by Sanmit Ahuja, Commonwealth Business Council, Director, Indian programme, in calling for EU business to do more to make the most of this expanding and profitable market, or risk losing out.

The EU is the largest trade partner of India accounting for about 20% of India’s global trade, with India’s exports to the EU valued at US $ 17.25 billion. However, India is only 12th on the list of all trading partners of the EU accounting for just 1.7% of total EU trade. *

Despite the challenges such as import tariffs and quantitative restrictions, India still offers huge opportunities. Creeten urged EU companies to follow some critical steps to capitalise on these:

1. It is important to take the time to understand the people and culture.

2. The workforce has outstanding technical skills, but since traditional Indian companies were small and family owned, companies need to invest in developing leadership and management skills.

3. Employees who are made to feel part of the corporate culture very strongly identify with the brand on a personal level and feel a strong loyalty to the organization. Therefore rewarding and recognizing employees is very important.

4. Invest the time and resources to fully understand regulatory and government policies to be in complete compliance with the system requirements to get projects/plans approved expeditiously.

5. Approach India as an untapped frontier with unlimited possibilities. Unlike entering mature European markets, there is a great deal of room for entrepreneurial ventures.

Creeten said,

“During my time in India over the past seven years I have seen enormous changes – and those changes are only going to accelerate. The ongoing growth of India is inevitable, and it will continue to evolve and dominate the world’s trading stage. As a long time arbiter of free trade, and the leading express transportation provider in India, FedEx urges business to move quickly to take advantage of opportunities that await them.”

“Although there is work for business to do, we are pleased that India is taking the initiative to grow and attract investment by making the marketplace more accessible, developing a comprehensive VAT system, a lessening of tariffs, and investing in infrastructure.”

Sanmit Ahuja, Commonwealth Business Council, Director Indian Programme added,

“The EU as a block may be the largest investor in India, but if we look at the investment of individual countries, it is minimal in some cases. So opportunities are abound for businesses to take advantage of the economic explosion going on there.”

FedEx was the first express carrier to make a significant investment in India through its air network. In April 2005, FedEx launched a flight that doubled capacity from India to Europe, which was followed in September 2005 by the launch of an Eastbound flight which doubled capacity from Europe to India and to the rest of Asia.

FedEx continues to invest in India and recently announced further strategic investments. This additional investment meant Eastbound and Westbound capability for both Mumbai and Delhi, and the best connectivity between India, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas. This, combined with an expanded branded retail presence, a new trucking network and almost doubling the amount of employees ensures that FedEx connects more of India to more of the world - 4,348 cities and towns across India, covering almost 100% of the import/Export market.

About FedEx Express

FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, usually in one to two business days with the delivery time guaranteed.

About FedEx Corp.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $32 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 260,000 employees and contractors to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit

*(Source: PIB; Government of India)