March 5th, 2019 - Jerusalem – A business delegation from India, the fastest growing economy in the world, is visiting Israel this week. “India Week, Israel 2019”, taking place March 4-7 is being hosted by the Israel Innovation Authority, the Embassy of India to Israel, and the representative of the Israeli Trade Mission to New Delhi from the Ministry of Economy and Industry. As part of the event, a delegation of 30 CEOs and chairpersons of leading companies in the Indian hi-tech industry will arrive for the first Israel-India Innovation Conference taking place on March 6th.
Executives from India's Ministry of Science and Technology and the Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA) will participate in the Israel-India I4F Fund board meeting and will announce the second round of the fund's investments in technological collaborations between India and Israel. Simultaneously, a high level business delegation arriving in Israel will be headed by Debjani Ghosh, current President of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), a trade association of Indian technology companies, and former Managing Director, South Asia and VP SMG, Intel. Ms. Ghosh will also be keynote speaker at the conference.
The Indian delegation is arriving to examine up close new technologies developed in Israel, strengthen business ties through new projects and opportunities for investment, and create technological partnerships between the two countries, focusing on several fields of interest: Fintech, e-commerce, cybersecurity, digital health, and mobile. According to conference organizers, the goal is to create an ongoing, long-term economic partnership between the two countries. Furthermore, the delegation will also be meeting with Start Up Nation Central.
On March 6th, the highlight of the week is the Israel-India Innovation Conference, organized by the Israel Innovation Authority, and hosted by CEO of the Authority, Aharon Aharon, India's Ambassador to Israel, Head of India's Department of Science and Technology and Head of the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry Ohad Cohen. The event will include a panel and business sessions, the signing of collaboration agreements with Indian companies, a showcase of India’s technological needs featuring B2B meetings exploring potential partnerships with Israeli companies in the fields of ICT, healthcare, water technology, and AgriTech, and an announcement of the companies and projects that received the I4F fund's grants.
According to Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority: “India sees Israel as an incubator for groundbreaking innovation. Cooperation with Israeli companies and organizations can help Indian companies gain a competitive advantage in the global arena. In order to implement their growth policy, India needs innovative technologies in a variety of challenging fields. For Israeli companies, this is an excellent opportunity to establish technological partnerships with Indian companies and to leverage the potential of the Indian market.”
Among the Indian companies that will sign a collaboration agreement with the Israel Innovation Authority is the Wipro Group, established in 1945 and covering a multitude of fields including ICT and industrial manufacturing, with revenue of over $10 billion. The goal of the group is to locate Israeli companies in numerous fields including, industry 4.0, water and healthcare in order to leverage the group's operations in India and globally. Collaboration with the Israel Innovation Authority will enable the Wipro group to locate Israeli technology companies that match their operations and in return they will provide such companies with a supportive suite including financial and non-financial tool-sets for research and development, adapting products to the Indian market, and implementing products and pilots in India.
Another company is EM3, that is looking to import Israeli agricultural technologies and make them accessible to farmers in India who are unable to benefit from advanced technologies. EM3 is renowned in India as the “Uber of farmers,” renting out equipment to farmers based on time or acres farmed, doing away with the need for farmers to purchase expensive equipment, and giving them access to advanced technology at low costs. The company is connected today to some 200 farmers' support centers and expected to grow to 700 centers by the end of 2019. The pilot agreement with EM3 represents great potential for Israeli companies looking to access Indian agriculture centers and implement innovative technologies suitable for this specific market.
“Over the last year and a half, we have witnessed significant developments in trade relations with India,” said Ohad Cohen, Head of the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry. “In 2018, we observed for the first time in years, a significant 10% increase in the volume of exports to the country. This type of growth bolsters India’s position as one of Israel’s top ten largest and most significant trading partners. We are pleased that our efforts to strengthen economic and trade relations and innovative projects between Israel and India has borne such impressive results and partnerships, including the “Israel-India Bridge to Innovation” program and the “Israel-India R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F),” both launched during the visit of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to India a year ago. Government and business leaders from both countries are constantly examining opportunities for investment and partnerships, not just in the fields of agriculture, water, and security as in the past, but also in innovative fields such as fintech, smart transportation, digital health, smart city solutions, and cybersecurity. The NASSCOM delegation, which includes heads of 30 leading technology companies from various sectors across India, has arrived in Israel to gain exposure to technological innovations and solutions and to examine opportunities for investment and collaboration. This is further evidence of warming trade relations between India and Israel. Representatives of the Foreign Trade Administration in Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry in Bangalore, Mumbai, and New Delhi will continue to serve as a one-stop source for connecting government and private entities in India and Israel, in order to maximize the potential for trade and business relations between India – the fastest growing economy in the world – and Israel – at the forefront of global innovation and R&D.”
Members of the business delegation from India will also attend the OurCrowd annual conference, also taking place this week, and participate in various events associated with FinTech Week Tel Aviv. They will also visit Wix, Pitango, SOSA, Checkmarx, and several startup accelerators.
Background on India’s economy: India enjoys the fastest economic growth in the world, at over 7% annually. In five years, it will become the world’s most populous country. In 2017, the scope of foreign investment in India stood at $40 billion, more than five times the amount in 2005. India's 2018 export, including diamonds, amounted to $2.136 billion, a 10% increase compared to 2017.
During the last few years, since the election of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, India has announced its intentions to change the face of the country. Initiatives include doubling the income of small-scale farmers by 2022, opening 150,000 new healthcare centers in peripheral areas, and transforming 100 central cities into smart cities. These initiatives are backed by extensive financial investment, including $1.7 billion in a new plan for the country’s health system and almost $1 billion dollars in developing agricultural innovations, creating connections between investors and startups, and investment in digitization and infrastructure. India’s ICT sector is expected to generate $225 billion by 2020.