Tel Aviv University
In recognition of 20 years of diplomatic relations, 2011-12 Israel-Asia Leaders Fellow, Dr. Vasudheva Reddy Akepati, coordinated a panel discussion as part of his fellowship project entitled ‘Destination India’.The event, which was held on January 25, 2012, was co-sponsored by the Israel-Asia Center and the Sofaer International MBA program at Tel Aviv University.
Counsellor, Head of Commercial Wing – Embassy of India in Israel
Topic:Why India? Why Now? India Land of Opportunities
Mr. A. Purushothaman
CEO – State Bank of India, Tel Aviv, Israel
Topic: Indian Financial Sector: Opportunities for VC
Mr. Eli Belotsercovsky
Director – Economic Relations with India & China, Economic Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
Former DCM – Israeli Embassy in New Delhi
Topic: India-Israel: Natural Business Partners
Ms. Anat Bernstein-Reich
Advocate & Managing Partner, Israel – A&G Partners;
President – IIFA Israel-India Friendship Association; Vice President – Israel-Asia Chamber of Commerce; Deputy Chairperson – Israel-India & Nepal Chamber of Commerce
Topic: Doing Business in India: Business, Culture, Approach – Israeli Experience
At the event, Mr. Eli Belotsercovsky, director of economic relations with India at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, described the Israel-India relationship as “intimate” and said the two countries were aiming at completing free trade negotiations by the end of this year.
CEO of the State Bank of India in Tel Aviv, Mr. A. Purushothoman, said that India provided Israel with a gateway not only to Arab countries with which it has no direct relations, but also to large Asian markets such as Malaysia and Indonesia.
Ms. Anat Bernstein-Reich, vice president of the Israel Asia Chamber of Commerce and co-founder of A&G Partners, said Israeli companies tend to make two mistakes when they enter the Indian market: they misunderstand the price-sensitive nature of the Indian economy, and they do not budget enough for the time investment required to see results. Her advice for companies doing business in India was patience, patience, patience.
Ms. Vani Rao of the Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv said that not only is this the ‘Asian Century’, but that this is also the ‘Decade of Innovation’ in India. She advised Israeli companies to look beyond just selling goods to India’s 1 billion-plus population, and that India could also become a manufacturing and R&D hub for Israeli companies.