On Tuesday, 17 October 2017, GOInternational officially launched their Indo-Finnish Market Entry Acceleration programme with a beautiful evening do that befitted the occasion. Delegates and guests, all key ecosystem players, congregated in the stunningly beautiful Mirror Room inside Helsinki’s opulent Hotel Kämp, to receive a glass of wine and a warm welcome to the evening by GOInternational’s CEO, Mr. Mohammad Shabbir.
Mr. Shabbir set the scene by recounting India’s impressive story, as one of the world’s fastest growing emerging market economies. With the launch of Narendra Modi’s $15B Smart Cities Mission, mass urbanization is introducing new challenges in providing enhanced quality, performance and interactivity of services for its 356 million youth population. The rapid transformation and growth, enabled by technology & innovation is creating unique opportunities for the Finnish and the wider Nordic innovation ecosystem.
The knowledge, technology and skill sets of Finnish and Nordic companies can not only contribute to India’s transformation; but can also create opportunities for co-creation and collaboration with the Indian ecosystem in order to enkindle global markets for Nordic solutions. In response to this, Shabbir revealed that GOInternational is harnessing these challenges, together with Indian counterparts, utilising Finnish know-how through GOInternational’s Market Entry Indo-Fin Acceleration Programme for Series-A Start-ups, SMEs and Corporations.
Guest of honour at the launch event, H.E Vani Rao, Ambassador of India to Finland and Estonia, delivered a captivating keynote speech which gave a top-lovel perspective on the trade opportunities between Finland and India. The Ambassador explained that the IT and BPO sectors now contribute 61% to India’s GDP, over-taking the Agricultural sector at an exponential rate. Amb. Vani Rao underscored that Trade relations between Finland and India are at $1.2 billion in terms of value. Which is good but far below potential. She sees that Finland’s strengths in education, innovation and energy are a big match for what India requires and thus, sustainable, long-term co-operation would be a win-win scenario for both countries. H.E further stated that the Embassy would like to project to Indian companies that they can come to Finland, establish their operations, register their products and through Finland launch into the European market; it’s about creating long-term linkage between the ecosystems of both countries. She pledged her support to the accelerator programme pointing out the necessity of such a dedicated bridge to connect the vibrant start up and innovative ecosystems on both ends of the corridor. She said:
“This is where GOInternational plays a very important role because there is considerable ignorance in India and Finland about each other’s strengths and markets. Organisations like GOInternational can facilitate and make the journey easier for companies from both sides”
H.E Vani Rao’s speech was succeeded by a Reverse Panel session, whereby members of the panel discussed the lateral, supranational opportunities to collaborate and co-create Smart City, Health Tech and Education Innovation projects. Ecosystem players, solution seekers and solution providers in the room deep dived into specific projects and learned how to participate in the Acceleration Programme. Stepping up to the rostrum to join the Ambassador, were; Dr. Suraj Kumar (Chief Mentor, Neeti Foundation & Co-Founder Kronstadt), Rickard Damm (Principal of ThirdRisk Ventures), Shamit Ghosh (CEO of Noise2Info), Jaana Auramo (Chief Technology Adviser at Tekes), Timo Teimonen (CEO of Aqsens Health Oy), Jari Handelberg (Chairman of Board, SSCI Oy – Start North) and Vesa Riihimäki (Head of Startup & Growth in Nordea, Finland).
Moderated by Mr. Shabbir, the conversation quickly found it’s leitmotif which mainly pivoted around the significant need to find partner companies in the respective countries in order to share and capitalise on core competencies. Ghosh explained that the Nordics are particularly known for their product innovation and India is particularly good at frugal innovation. Auramo supported this notion by stating that whilst Finnish companies are ‘super good in their technologies’, they lack the Indian customer insights and thus require support with frugal innovation. The Ambassador further compounded the message by stating that It is very important to be sensitive to issues like price points in the Indian Market. In conclusion, the Indian Government is trying to make it easier for foreign companies to set up business in India, but anyone exploring the idea of entering India’s emerging market must be diligent and do their research. Ghosh emphasised that the numbers are exciting:
“About 600 m Indians will live in smart cities by 2030. Around 65% of India’s GDP will come from these smart cities”
Bringing the agenda to a close with a very poignant talk about understanding the fundamental necessities that will help a corporation to transition from a €million domestic firm to a €billion multi-national, Head of Strategic Marketing at Tieto, Mr. Raghunath Koduvayur, discussed change management and the need for structure and processes.
“Bridging the borders needs to happen and this is where the GOInternational accelerator will play a vital role”
The GOInternational Indo – Finnish Market Entry Acceleration Programme enables and facilitates this co-creation and collaboration between Indian and Finnish/Nordic ecosystem to players from the initial analysis of market fit, to conceptualization, to identifying opportunities & partners, to assisting in establishing pilot projects and setting up operations & continued growth. The programme allows entrepreneurs to focus on what they are good at – running their businesses while GO International and its influential and far reaching partner network supports them with a structured process & knowledge base and experience to make growth happen. Mr. Shabbir concluded:
“In effect, our Indo-Finnish Market Entry Acceleration Programme is a vibrant ecosystem of cross border growth and an enabler for startups and SMEs in international markets through a co-creation model. But the accelerator will also be an useful vehicle for the corporate world to be in touch and work with the latest disruptive innovations and the innovators.”
The evening drew to a relaxing close with informal conversation over wine and light refreshments.
Feel like you missed out on a great night?
JOIN US for the next phase of the Indo-Finnish Market Entry Acceleration Programme!
FAST TRACK YOUR MARKET ENTRY TO INDIA NOW BY JOINING US FOR OUR SMART CITY BIZHACK INDIA!
SMART CITY BIZHACK INDIA is the first Indian-themed side-event at SLUSH, which is 100% dedicated to unveiling the vast opportunities in the Indian market for Smart City Innovation. GOInternational’s three day event will offer Series A Start ups and SMEs a bridge to access live marketplace opportunities for conducting business in India.