India emerging as key investment destination for Singapore

According to Sabrina Ho, to make an in-market presence in India by deploying executive leadership or rehiring Indians returning to India, in that manner Singaporean corporates can directly enter Indian markets without engaging with Indian businesses.

ANIUpdated: Tuesday, October 18, 2022, 08:51 AM IST
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Singapore: The most recent overseas centre was set up in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2018 following growing interest from Singapore firms looking to enter East Africa. Most of the smaller Singaporean firms venturing into these markets do so with the help of local partners, which include joint ventures and distribution partners.

However, Ms Sabrina Ho, regional director of EnterpriseSG's centre in New Delhi feels that there are limitations with a partnership approach as Singapore firms end up having limited exposure to operations on the ground.

This is because most of the work and risk in such partnerships are taken up by the local partner.

"We recommend that companies communicate with their local partners regularly, and consider short-term trips as well, to learn about ... the market landscape," she told The Straits Times, the main English language newspaper in Singapore.

She recommends that firms and start-ups work on building a small in-market presence by deploying executive leadership in India, or by rehiring Indians who have returned from Singapore. This method tends to build a more meaningful and longer-term presence in the market, but Singapore players tend to prefer the partnership approach as it allows them to establish operations more quickly.

Ho further cited how EnterpriseSG has been stepping up on working with partners such as trade associations in India and Singapore, going beyond facilitating business-to-business engagements and networking sessions.

"We work with them to help prime Singapore companies ahead of market entry, as well as build a network of Singapore-based Indian corporates and other contacts for Singapore companies to directly engage, even without entering India directly," she said.

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