Ambassador hosts Indo-French Business Awards & IN2FRANCE event

Launching the event, H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, said: I am delighted to unveil the first edition of the Indo-French Business Awards 2018 and the IN2FRANCE brand.

New Delhi, 11 October 2018

H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India today launched the maiden edition of the Indo-French Business (IFB) Awards and the IN2France event at the Residence of France. Co-organised by the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI) and Business France, the French Trade and Investment Commission in India, the occasion brought together top officials and delegates from the Indo-French business community.

The IFB Awards have been instituted to create a platform to honour the outstanding accomplishments of Indian and French companies based out of India, while IN2FRANCE will promote France as an attractive investment destination for Indian companies. The highly successful evening, attended by eminent personalities from both countries, also saw the felicitation of young and high-performing French professionals through the VIE Awards ceremony.

The 2018 Indo-French Business Award winners were chosen by special jury members. Celebrating the best from the business world, the whole fraternity came together to raise a toast to remarkable achievements in the industry.

2018 Indo-French Business awardees:

  • Best SME of the Year: Technique Solaire
  • Best Entrepreneur of the Year: Suzette Gourmet Pvt. Ltd.
  • Best Indo-French Cooperation:
    Safran India Pvt. Ltd.
    Alstom Transport India Ltd.
  • Most Innovative Product/Service of the Year: Elior India Catering LLP
  • Best French Group in India: Schneider Electric India Pvt. Ltd.
  • Special Felicitation: Yes Bank
  • Jury’s Special Award: Mr Kazem Samandari, Founding Chairman - L’Opéra

VIE Award Winners:

  • Ms Mariette HALOUZE of Keolis, Hyderabad, winner of “Grand Prix du Jury”, awarded for the best dossier for overall excellence
  • Mr Louis HANCQUART of Lyra Networks, Mumbai, winner of "VIE Prix for Creativity", awarded for bringing innovation to his role
  • Ms Aurélie GILLET of Peech India, Bengaluru, winner of "VIE Integration Award" awarded for assimilation

Launching the event, H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, said: “I am delighted to unveil the first edition of the Indo-French Business Awards 2018 and the IN2FRANCE brand. France provides excellent opportunities to Indian companies for business as well as their establishment in the country. Placed at the heart of Europe, France is a gateway for access not only to the continental market but also all the French-speaking African countries. 150 Indian companies are already operating out of France, employing 7000 persons, and we wish to welcome many more. So, choose France!”

Payal S Kanwar, Secretary General - Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “French companies are doing phenomenally well in India and we see a growing interest of new companies wanting to set base in the country. The Indo-French Business Awards symbolise the celebration of their achievements in India.”

Sophie Clavelier, Director - Business France for South Asia, said: “I believe such events as this one today will spark interest among Indian investors to choose France as their next destination”.

Alain Sophr, Managing Director for India South Asia - Alstom, said: "It is a matter of prestige for us to receive this honour from IFCCI in the company of our meritorious peers. India and France have an incomparable alliance that we are happy to represent through our work in India. We strive to continue bringing the best of both countries together. I extend my regards to honourable Ambassador Ziegler for his encouragement and support."

Address of H.E. Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India

Mr Sumeet Anand, Vice-President of IFCCI,
Distinguished guests,

Good evening.

I am very pleased to welcome you to the Residence of France for this special dinner to celebrate the Indo-French economic partnership.

This year has been particularly rich and meaningful for our business relations. The State visit of President Emmanuel Macron in March was outstanding in many respects, particularly its economic outcomes. It gave a fresh momentum to our ties, and your esteemed presence, with an exceptional turnout tonight, speaks volumes on the dynamism of our relations.

This momentum comes from two factors.

1/ On the one hand, French companies are enhancing their footprint in India. Almost 600 French companies are now established in this country. A continuous flow of new investments has placed France among the top countries in terms of FDI. More than 350,000 workers are employed in French companies in all sectors of activity.

As I often say, the secret of their success is that these companies do not regard India as a short-term market or a business opportunity. They come forward as partners to engage in a lasting relationship with India. They invest, create jobs, and also very much innovate here. They are developing and succeeding not only in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, but also in cities like Kochi, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bhubaneshwar, and Naya Raipur – as I get to notice anytime and anywhere I travel in India.

2/ On the other hand, Indian companies are also doing more and more in France. 150 Indian companies have already invested in our country. I am pleased this figure is on the rise this year. I think that this no accident.

Under the leadership of President Macron, the French government is working very hard to transform the French economy through a series of reforms that are already well underway, including moves to introduce more flexibility in France’s employment market, build a more business-friendly tax environment, and bring a strong focus on innovation. This transformation, backed by a dedicated fund totalling 700 million euros over five years, offers a transparent, predictable framework conducive to investment. As the French President likes to say, France is the new gateway to Europe.

As a matter of fact, the latest independent study by E&Y shows that France is now the most attractive country for industry in Europe, and Paris the most attractive capital - ahead of London for the first time. With over 300 new projects in 2017, industrial investments have gone up by 52% in the course of a year.

Some of the Indian companies that chose France are present tonight, such as Motherson Group, Mahindra & Mahindra, Zify, and Stellapps. I would like to thank them for being here. They will share with us why they decided to invest in France.

I am also glad that a rising number of Indian students are choosing France. The target of 10,000 Indian students in France by 2020 is now within reach. The Franco-Indian Education Trust, created during the presidential visit and to which some of you have already contributed, will help us in this regard.

3/ But, ladies and gentlemen, beyond these good results, I think there is still huge room for progress on both sides. We must continue to act on all fronts. French companies are still sometimes too cautious when it comes to doing business in India, and Indian companies could also do much more in France.

Tonight, over a fine French dinner prepared by Pullman Hotels of the Accor Group, we will present before you what France has to offer through an interactive panel of Indian success stories.

We will also celebrate together the prestigious Indo-French Business Awards to acknowledge the accomplishments of Indian and French companies, based in India and France.

Lastly, we will present the VIE Grand Prix Awards, which recognize high-performing young French professionals for having excelled in their roles in French subsidiaries in India and neighbouring countries.

With Business France, IFCCI, alongside the embassy departments, our Consulates General, our Foreign Trade Advisers, we all share the same objective to strengthen the economic partnership between India and France. And we constantly work as a team, as we are demonstrating tonight.

The French Embassy in India is always at your side today as it was yesterday. It is also your home; it is open to you and will always be there to back you and actively support you whether you want to do business in India or France.

I wish you a pleasant Franco-Indian evening! Bonne soirée!

Indo-French Business (IFB) Awards

Organised by the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI), the nominations of the IFB Awards 2018 closed with more than 50 nominees. The jury – industry specialists from various fields – shortlisted about 20 companies across five award categories comprising: Best SME of the Year; Best Entrepreneur of the Year; Best French Group in India; Best Indo-French Cooperation; and Most Innovative Product/Service of the Year.


IN2France aims to boost the influx of Indian businesses in France by promoting its advantages as an investment destination among international investors, economic decision-makers, and opinion leaders. The event highlighted the latest reforms, especially those relating to the right to work and taxation, which make France an even more appealing place to invest in, beyond France’s widely recognized assets: its position at the heart of the European market, its ability to train talent, and the quality of its infrastructure.

VIE Awards

This award acknowledges the talent and dedication of young French professionals recruited under the Volontariat International en Entreprise programme (VIE - International Postgraduate Internship Programme). Established by the French law of 14th March 2000, the VIE programme offers dynamic young graduates an opportunity to gain a formative professional experience in French companies established abroad, thus also contributing to the latter’s international development. The VIE is open to young French candidates aged between 18 and 28 years, who are sent abroad on assignment for a period ranging from 6 to a maximum of 24 months.

Last modified on 21/04/2022

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