The FrankfurtRheinMain (FRM) metropolitan region has a very good potential to do business for companies. Major Indian corporate organisations such as Infosys, TCS, Godrej Security Solutions, Persistent Systems, Tata Autocomp, PARI Robotics have already set their base. Other medium and small Indian enterprises also have a good scope to flourish in the region. Frankfurt has advantages of being a leading financial hub and its central location. It is set to play a bigger role as the gateway to Europe post-Brexit, revealed Disha Shah, Director India, FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH. In an exclusive interview, she spoke to Sakal Times.
Q. What advantages does FrankfurtRheinMain offer to Indian companies to set their base there?
The FrankfurtRheinMain (FRM) metropolitan region offers the 4Cs, which are vital for the growth and success of any business, namely - Customers, Connectivity, Communication and Comfort of Living. To elaborate on each of these factors, 35 million customers can be accessed within a 200 km radius in the FRM. The purchasing power in this region is 12 per cent higher than the German national average, thereby providing excellent conditions for sales. The Frankfurt International airport, the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (railway station) and the rivers Rhein and Main provide unparallelled air, road and water connectivity not only across Germany but across Europe. FrankfurtRheinMain, being an extremely cosmopolitan region, communication in English is widely prevalent. Frankfurt ranked No 7 on the Mercer Quality of Living 2017 Index. FrankfurtRheinMain offers diverse options for leisure and entertainment, thus ensuring a high standard of living.
Q. What will be the FRM representation’s role if a company is interested in doing business in the region?
As the official investment promotion and marketing body of the German Metropolitan region FrankfurtRheinMain, we assist Indian companies to expand their business activities and set up operations in our region. Since the start of our Pune office in 2012, our focus has been on providing effective, well-researched and precise information to our clients looking at expanding their footprint in the German market. We offer a host of services to potential investors on a free-of-cost and confidential basis. These include advising on setting up a subsidiary/branch office, finding suitable office space, supporting work/residence permit applications and providing general information regarding tax and labour laws. With localised teams in India as well as in Frankfurt, we ensure seamless support for our clients.
Q. Firms from which sectors and size are welcome in the FRM?
We welcome firms of all sizes to come and explore business opportunities in the FRM, which is very strong in the ICT/Software, Automotive, Engineering Services, Pharmaceutical/Lifesciences, Medical Technology, Biotech, Logistics and Banking & Finance sectors. Companies from these sectors will certainly find favourable conditions for business growth and development.
Q. What has been the success rate of companies already doing business in the FRM since its inception in 2012?
FrankfurtRheinMain has attracted investment from leading Indian corporates such as Infosys, TCS, Godrej Security Solutions, Persistent Systems, Tata Autocomp, PARI Robotics, etc. Besides the large-sized companies, medium-sized family-run businesses, as well as small-scale entrepreneurs, have also successfully kick-started their operations in our region.
Q. How has been the response of Indian companies?
In the last couple of years, we have witnessed a steady and robust influx of Indian companies and students alike. The Indian community in FrankfurtRheinMain with 6,000 Indians and 135 Indian companies is amongst the strongest across Germany. Important Indian organisations, banks and cultural associations such as the Consulate of India, CII, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Gujarati Samaj, Sikh and Hindu temples are all active in the region. Forums such as ‘India Meets FRM’ and ‘India Business Forum (IBF)’ are well-established platforms for the Indo-German business networking. All this has led to a very vibrant and active Indian community in the greater Frankfurt region. Festivals like Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi are celebrated with just as much fervour in the FRM as are the local German festivals.
Q. What potential do you see in the short and the long term?
In the short term, companies can tap into the German customer base. They can gain access to cutting-edge products, innovative technologies and solutions. Companies can also benefit by collaborating with German companies and research institutes in the latest advances in IoT, Industrie 4.0, AI, Green Tech and E Mobility. In the long term, once the Brexit negotiations close in 2019, FrankfurtRheinMain, because of its position as a leading financial hub and its central location, will play an even greater role as the gateway to Continental Europe. Businesses operating out of FrankfurtRheinMain will enjoy uninterrupted access to customers and the ease of doing business across Continental Europe.