Invest Karnataka 2016: Ambassador leads a business delegation
H.E. Mr François Richier, Ambassador of France to India, led a 59-member French business delegation to the Invest Karnataka 2016 Meet, in Bengaluru on 3-5 February 2016.
Bengaluru, 3-5 February 2016
Reflecting its prominent position among leading foreign investors in India and Karnataka, France was chosen as First partner country for the Meet.
The 23 French companies who participated, specialise in the urban development, smart cities, urban transport and energy sectors.
A French Pavilion was set up by France. The Pavilion showcased the products and services of all participating French companies and partners.
A France Country Seminar was also organised on 3 February, which was inaugurated jointly by Mr François Richier, Ambassador of France to India, and Mrs Ratna Prabha, Additional Chief Secretary, Karnataka Government, who delivered the welcome address.
This delegation, whose visit was organised by the Regional Economic Service of the French Embassy, had French companies already established in Karnataka, as well as representatives and companies from the French Chambers of Commerce of Nîmes, Nord de France, Reunion Island and Rouen.
The French companies who participated, all leaders in their respective domains, were chosen for their particular technologies, specially adapted for use in Indian conditions and environment. They include: Alcatel Lucent, Alstom Transport, Dassault Systèmes, Egis, Engie, JC Decaux, Keolis, Lafarge, Lumiplan, Pomagalski, Ratp-Transdev, Safran, Schneider Electric, SDV/Bollore, SNCF, Socomec, Solaire Direct, Suez Environnement, Systra, Thalès, Véolia, Vossloh-Cogifer, Vicat.
Apart from participation at the Invest Karnataka 2016 Meet, the delegation also held meetings with the Hon’ble Chief Minister, the Minister for Industries, and high-level officials of the Karnataka Government:
Mr. Siddaramaiah, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka
Mr. R. V. Deshpande, Hon’ble Minister for Large and Medium Industries, and Tourism
Mrs Ratna Prabha, Additional Chief Secretary – Commerce and Industry
Mrs Vandita Sharma, Additional Chief Secretary – Infrastructure
Mr Maheshwar Rao, Commissioner of Industrial Development and Director of Industries and Commerce – Department of Industries and Commerce
Presence of French companies in Karnataka and India
With more than 1000 French companies present in India, France is the third biggest investor in this country. Further, during President Hollande’s State Visit to India in January, the target was set of ten billion dollars investments in India from French companies over the next five years.
The French presence in Karnataka is notable in the aeronautics and space sectors (Airbus ingénierie, ATR, Dassault, EADS, Eads Astrium, Eurocopter, Mach Aero, Recaero, Safran, Snecma, Turbomeca), electronics and IT sectors (CapGemini, Gemalto), electro-mechanical industry (Alstom, Areva T&D) and the agriculture and food (Sodexo). Also present are Axa, Saint Gobain Crystals & Detectors, Alcatel-Lucent, Decathlon, the ACCOR group and French banks (BNP Paribas, Calyon, Société Générale).
Out of the 1051 French companies in India (coming from 394 major companies), 156 are based in Bengaluru - i.e. 15% of the total. Therefore, Bengaluru ranks as the third most important Indian city in terms of French investment after Mumbai and Delhi. Further, most of the French R&D activity in India is conducted in Bengaluru; 7 French companies (Alcatel–Lucent, Alstom, EADS, Faurecia, L’Oréal, Sanofi, Schneider Electric) have their R&D centres in Bengaluru. Overall Karnataka State is the third biggest host of French industrial sites in India (140 in Maharashtra, 82 in Delhi and 62 in Karnataka).
Several French companies in the IT sector are also based in Bengaluru, including Cap Gemini, Valtech, Dassault Systèmes and Sogeti. Further, French companies are also present in the aeronautics sector in Bengaluru (Airbus India Engineering, Safran, HICAL NSE, Recaero, Mach Aéro and GAD Aerospace). In the financial sector; Bharti-AXA General Insurance, AXA Business Services, three principal French Banks: Société Générale, Crédit Agricole and BNP Paribas. In the agro-food sector, the French company Roquette Frères is based in Karnataka. In the Urban Development sector various French companies are implied on: the Bangalore metro project (Systra, Alstom Transport, Thalès), buses (Lumiplan), the water sector (Suez Environnement, Degremont, Veolia India), street furniture (JC Decaux), the Bengaluru-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (Egis).
The investments made by French companies are long-term, aimed at producing in India for the world market. Some of the companies have been here for more than a century. Thanks to their massive investments all across the country, with remarkable success stories, French companies are already contributing to the ‘Make in India’ initiative and will do more in the near future.