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ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

IE Singapore to help SMEs tap the Indian market

It signed two MOUs with India's top co-working space firms.

The International Enterprise Singapore inked two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with India's top co-working space 91springboard and SKP Business Consulting (SKP) to help SME's break in the Indian market.

The partnerships were in recognition of India's growing importance to Singapore companies. Having worked with over 200 companies exploring business opportunities in India over the past few years, IE Singapore said it has seen rising interests from SMEs in the market.

IE Singapore's Internationalisation Survey 2016 reflected the same sentiments, revealing that Singapore’s cumulative investments into India grew by 30% to reach $29.6b as at end 2015.

IE Singapore Assistant Chief Executive Satvinder Singh said the city-state has been deepening relations with Indian states and cities to boost partnerships for Singapore companies, including SMEs.

"However, we recognise SMEs face challenges in making their first in-market forays, including in-depth market understanding such as customer needs, regulations and tax policies. SMEs are also hoping to connect to potential partners and market advisors. Our partnerships with 91springboard and SKP aim to reduce the barriers to entry and help them set up initial in-market presence," he said.

Here's what you need to know about the two deals:

To help companies set up in India easily, IE Singapore is working with 91springboard to offer over 10 co-working spaces in major cities including Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Noida.

Beyond an office space, SMEs can conveniently access business advisory services through 91springboard’s pool of 70 service providers covering business incorporation, financing, legal, HR management and tax.

SMEs, especially first timers, can connect with key business contacts through the co-working space’s network of 650 start-ups and 3,000 members, and shore up market knowledge through its mentorship programmes, workshops and seminars.

To help SMEs understand the business environment, market needs, and find business contacts quickly and efficiently, IE Singapore is partnering SKP[3] to conduct market research, competitor analyses, and devise suitable market entry strategies for companies seeking further insights. SMEs can also identify potential partners and clients through business matching services.

IE Singapore’s partnerships with 91springboard and SKP come on the back of a series of initiatives to help companies enter India. These include recent MOUs between the Confederation of Indian Industry[4] (CII) and three local universities[5] to build a talent pool for Singapore companies through overseas attachments of undergraduates with Indian companies, as well as MOUs with the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and city of Pune to collaborate in urban solutions, manufacturing, logistics services, port technologies and tourism.

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