Pune: Force Motors Chairman Abhay Firodia on Thursday congratulated the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) for having 650 members in 10 years.
He said, “There are huge opportunities in and around Pune. Smaller German companies will get all the support and respect in district places such as Ahmednagar, Satara and Kolhapur, where they can grow immensely instead of getting shadowed by big German conglomerates in Pune. There is a potential to have three times more the number of members in 10 years, if the IGCC, through German companies, expands its operations to the hinterland.”
He was speaking as a chief guest at a function organised to mark the completion of 10 years of IGCC. IGCC President Thomas Fuhrmann, German Consul General in Mumbai Juergen Mohrhard and IGCC Director General Bernhard Steinruecke were the other dignitaries. IGCC Regional Director Natascha Lewandowski was also present.
Spelling out the huge potential for growth, Firodia said, “Pune’s growing middle class, its values and improved infrastructure will help German companies to develop Pune on the lines of Stuttgart.”
Lauding the chamber’s role, he said the IGCC is a business enterprise and supports business. It brings with it an intense understanding of the world of business. Thus, it strengthens the Indian business environment dramatically.
He said, “If I say ‘we are manufacturing engines for BMW, people respect us due to the worldwide reputation of German engineering.”
Recalling his company’s association with Germany, Firodia said, “One of the oldest German companies associated to Pune has been Buckau Wolf (now Thyssen Krupp), which is over 80 years old. My own company started its relationship with Germany in 1915. Initially, we had a tie-up with a small company from Hamburg in Germany. We later had ties with Daimler, which ended cordially after they sold their stakes to us.”
Highlighting the contribution of German companies in generating employment in Pune and in India, Steinruecke said, “German firms have provided over one lakh jobs in Pune while the number for India is 3,43,000 jobs. The estimated turnover of 30 big German companies is around 12-15 billion euros in India.”
Consul General Mohrhard appreciated the fast growing bilateral relations between the two countries and said that the German government agencies such as the consulate, the IGCC, the Goethe Institute etc, are unable to keep pace with growing interest of Indians in Germany. They always run short of space to accommodate people, who come to visit, to learn or to train to these institutions.
He said said these institutional bonds are self-driven and the government institutions are there for the sake of formalities. Universities, NGOs and other such bodies from both the countries have strong ties.
Fuhrmann underlined Germany’s role in India’s development in the past 60 years. He said, “I meet Indian youngsters who are curious to know more about Germany and want to work in German companies.”
Earlier, welcoming delegates, Steinruecke gave an insight into Pune’s association with the number 8. He said the first reference to Pune dates back to 758 AD till today that the IGCC is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018. “Number 8 is a big success story for us and Pune,” he said.
IGCA ProRecognition Manager Isabelle Jenniger, IGCC Deputy Director General Peter Deubet and Radhieka Mehta made presentations on ProRecognition, DUALpro and the Indo-German Training Centre, respectively.
Museum on Jainism
A world-class museum on Jainism is being built near Pune on a 20-hectares of land, for which Abhay Firodia sought help of experts from the University of Berlin. Six young German experts have prepared a world class booklet for the museum. It will open in the near future, said Firodia.