The individual market exploration trip to India, presented by Mike D. Batra and Dr. Johannes Wamser from Dr. Wamser + Batra GmbH, the individual India consulting for complex projects and customized consulting solutions.

The Indian market is increasingly attracting attention through sustained growth. For many branches of industry, it is already said to be a "giant market", as some media like to proclaim. However, it can often be observed that sales lag behind expectations after market entry has been completed.

So, are you really quite sure that the information you have about the market corresponds to reality? Perhaps you should take another look at your documents from the point of view of "Are the sources used really reliable? After all, you don't want to make the mistake that unfortunately still many German companies make by relying on the figures of dubious studies or the almost always far too optimistic representations of Indian industry associations or Indian government institutions etc.

You want to do better and find out beyond doubt whether the Indian market is "ready" for your products. What is the best way to proceed now?

A logical first step would certainly be the preparation of a market study on India.

And with that you are already "in the middle of India", because in a country where you don't even know how many inhabitants e.g. the capital Delhi has, where about 60% of all companies belong to the "unorganized" sector, i.e. are not registered, and where even the line ministries deliberately "prettify" or simply invent facts and figures, the results of a classic market study are often quite worthless, at least questionable. And if you add to this the sometimes quite "generous" way Indians deal with facts and figures, such a study, if you rely on it, can even be dangerous. Here are some typical stories:

    • Quote from an Indian market study of a quite renowned Indian market research institute from the year 2006 (text translated): "In India at the moment about 8 million passenger cars are built". The small but subtle mistake: What was meant were motor vehicles, i.e. all motorized vehicles, from motorcycles and autorickshaws to tractors and trucks. Passenger cars reached only about the million mark at that time. And that makes a difference, whether one speaks of 1 million or 8 million passenger cars...
    • In a market study prepared for a German electrical engineering company, the development of demand for a defined component is presented in detail. The client was enthusiastic, because the market potential shown was significantly greater than expected and would absolutely justify production in India. It was only by chance that it came to light that the author of the study had misinterpreted a technical term and then described the market for a completely different product...
    • In a study on the availability of skilled workers, the Ministry of Commerce of the Indian state of Maharashtra writes in 2005 that there are currently around 5 million trained skilled industrial workers in the state. In the same study - two pages later - there are only 500,000 skilled workers, a difference of a factor of 10. Asked about this discrepancy, the state's industry minister proposes a "compromise", literally: "What's the problem? Just take the mean value"!

But even if reliable figures are available, that alone does not help. Even if you know, for example, that around 50 million Indians could afford a refrigerator, you still don't know how to reach and serve this market. Therefore, we recommend an alternative approach: Simply take a look at your market and its environment yourself in the form of a market reconnaissance trip.

In doing so, it is absolutely necessary to determine the potential, environment, competition and the general conditions that you will have to deal with in the Indian market. The experience of most entrepreneurs shows: You will only get realistic and reliable information about your industry if you experience the market "hands-on" on your own skin and look at it with your own eyes.

"An individual market reconnaissance trip allows you to compare your assessment of the maturity of the Indian market on the ground with reality through discussions with potential customers, distributors, dealers, and even competitors," says Dr. Johannes Wamser.

Mike Batra adds: "You absolutely have to check statements about the market and the environment on site. It is not enough to look at India from a 'distance' from Germany or to base your decisions solely on theoretical studies. India is then so different in practice after all that only a trip there will enable you to make an informed decision."

During such a market reconnaissance trip to India, you should also be able to see the usual distribution channels and areas of application of comparable products, e.g. in the context of factory visits. It is also important to find out whether and where which products and technologies are used by competitors and for what reasons.

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