A delegation of French companies, led by Mr. Pierre Gattaz, president of the French Business Confederation (MEDEF), went to India for five days from September 24th to September 29th.
This delegation gathered 60 business leaders among the most advanced and innovative French Companies from a wide range of sectors. Most of them are long-term investors in India and others are actively prospecting new opportunities in this market which already welcomes French investments. There are 400 French companies in India which employ more than 350,000 people.
As the second most inhabited country on the planet, India has also been one of the most dynamic economies over the past decade.
It was the first private delegation led by the MEDEF in India over the past ten years. The delegation met several representatives of the Indian Business community and of the French business community already established in India.
During the meeting with the Indian Prime minister, Mr. Gattaz expressed to Mr. Modi his wish to strengthen business ties between France and India. Mr. Modi welcomed the French private sector initiative and underlined the growing trade relations which France and India are currently experimenting – France remains one of India’s top ten sources of Foreign Direct Investment. He wished to see more French companies taking advantage of growing investment opportunities in India.
The French delegation also travelled to Mumbai and Bangalore, the Indian hub for start-up, where it was welcomed by local representatives who gave to the French entrepreneurs a better view of opportunities at the federated scale in India.
Particularly involved in the climate change issue, French business leaders have put an accent on clean energies and smart cities. Indeed, India has a potential of 175 GW for clean renewables. French companies already provide 10 per cent of India’s total clean energy. Both the increasing infrastructural needs and the growing demand for clean energy create important margins of progression in India.
The country’s ambition is to produce 40 per cent of its energy using renewables by 2030. French companies hope to take part in the “Clean India” program which intends to depollute the Ganges and to improve waste management. French companies specialized on this issue as well as transport companies are particularly mobilized to answer to Indian needs.
A lot of progress can be achieved with the support of the private sector, especially in the agro-industry business. In between 40 and 50 per cent of all products transported in India are lost because of the absence of an efficient cold chain. This remains a major issue for a country with such an important population (1.3 billion).
Also, Cities will receive more than 500 million inhabitants by 2050. This concentration will lead Indian authorities to create 108 new cities which are expected to be as modern as required by the population as well as having a low carbon emission. India also offers several opportunities in transports, health, IT, banking and insurance.
The country will remain a critical market for foreign companies in the upcoming years.