While Japanese companies enter the Indian market after careful evaluation, the delays in execution of various projects can discourage companies from further investing in India, was the common refrain of all the panellists at ‘Financing India’ webinar series.
The focus of the webinar discussion was on Japan. The panelists were (in alphabetical order) Harjot Singh Narang, President, Dentsu One; Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Director – Sales & Marketing, HMSI, and Sanjay Panda, Managing Director, IJ Kakehashi Services. The session was moderated by RN Bhaskar, consulting editor, FPJ, while opening remarks were delivered by Vaneeta Raney, head of BMM, SIES.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) is the the wholly-owned Indian subsidiary of Honda Motor (Japan), which is acknowledged to be the largest two-wheeler company in the world. Guleria stated, “Since 1999, Rs 11,000 crore of investment has gone into India. We started mass production in May 2001. We started selling from June 2001. We sold close to 55,000 units annually in FY 2002. Today, we are selling around 5 lakh units per month. We have come a long way since then.” He added that a lot of development and resources have been allocated by Honda Motor (Japan). This was possible as Japanese companies come to India with a long-term vision.
Harjot Narang, who has worked with various Japanese brands in his career, asserted that Japanese companies are slow in decision-making. “They go deep and evaluate; and then make a decision rather than taking a quick decision and changing it again and again.”
Echoing these thoughts, Sanjay Panda said, “Japanese are slow at decision making but high in commitment. But in the case of India, we are quick at decision making but lack commitment. Japan looks at long-term orientation, India is weak in long-term thinking.” He added that such factors are critical in attracting investments from Japan. “There is a need to put in place an execution strategy, especially when you are working with a country that is working with precision and planning.”