Bluebilities: Hello Sir, Welcome to the interview session with Bluebilities.
Hon. Consul General: I should thank you for this invitation.
Bluebilities: Starting with some questions directly, you could tell us about the context of a special bilateral relationship with Europe and Germany.
Hon. Consul General: The core of our Indo-European relationship is definitely not limited to trade or yes, we are looking for technology cooperation as a priority.
Bluebilities: How do you think, does this transnational relationship help the younger generation?
Hon. Consul General: If you see what’s happening in India we are moving from it to unorganized or unprofessional setup to professionally organized setup. Starting from the new technology to the demands and new eco-system even the business eco-system is changing. This is the process that is happening everywhere and the younger generation with the greater knowledge and access to technology.
In the context of our economic association with Europe, it is driven by strong economy of Germany, because as you know Germany’s economy is very strong. They are doing well in all the sectors, their exports are growing, and new innovations and technology are evolving here. Most of the new areas of work are moving to Germany.
For example, the city of Munich has now become the center of the new technology. Especially, when we speak of the Internet of Things, or Artificial Intelligence, or industry 4.0.
That’s a big reason why we have close business and economic relations between India and Germany. It gives a certain advantage to work in this direction.
Bluebilities: India has a very interesting trade relationship with Germany, do not you think?
Hon. Consul General: Yes, in fact when we speak of the origin of the relationship, it started with business, it started with trade 500 years ago. Vasco da Gama landed in Calicut. 1504, the first trade expeditions from Europe, especially from Alsberg, very close from Munich, went to India just after Vasco da Gama landed in Calicut. This important traditional expedition which started with many search expeditions afterwards by the same merchant, so I think it started long time back.
You’re right when you say that’s it’s this inherent advantage between India and Germany.
Bluebilities: In recent times, there has been a spike in the number of Indian students coming to Germany for their bachelors or masters studies. We expect a gap in the number of students eligible for jobs and the number of those who are finding them. How do you think the Indian candidate can compare internationally with local students and professionals?
Hon. Consul General: Yes, this in fact is one of the focal points with regard to recent developments in the Indo-German relations. We have now, I think, more than 17,000 or 18,000 Indian students in Germany, and almost one third of those are in Southern Germany, in Baden-Wuerttemberg. The number is increasing so fast the even the German consulates and the embassy are having a difficult time.
So you’re right when you say there’s an increased inflow.
There are in fact inherent advantages for the Indian students to study in Germany, both at the bachelors and at the masters level. Especially at the master’s level, because of three years now, most of the German universities have started offering most of the master level courses in English. This is a good news because now they are studying the graduation level itself.
Nowadays the trend is diversifying and expanding from the traditional technological streams, students are also opting for business administration, humanities, even medical. I have come across many of the Indian students who are attracted to non-traditional streams of studies.
Germany is known for its qualitative education. I think, and in many of the universities it is free, so I think this is one of the best opportunities here , to study in the university like the Munich KIT or Stuttgart. These are the global centers of excellence, and getting seek an opportunity must have been the dream for students for years.
Most students actually find good apprenticeship and eventually jobs. I have seen many of these students, after working for a few years with those companies, helping them to expand into India who would otherwise have a tough time.
Bluebilities: What are your thoughts on the development of the startup environment in the two countries?
Hon. Consul General: Yes, so I think startup is an area, both in India and Germany are putting a lot of attention to. In India, we have created, at least in the last three to four years, very good ecosystem for startups and that’s why we are now growing fast in the research and innovation sector. We are now number two or three in terms of total startup companies and the capitalization. Basically, the ecosystem of funding, idea protection etc which were missing is now much more easily available. That’s why I see that most of the new entrepreneurship is happening in the startup area.
What are you looking for at the moment? What are you looking for? You’re looking at applying the smart technology to resolving the issues of the city. Now most of these technologies are being evolved, or will come in future, so there is great scope for the technological disruption, by way of having the new startup.
Bluebilities: The Next Question, What Are the Other Initiatives Other than make-in-India, with regard to Indo-German businesses, what are the other engagements and initiatives taken by the Government of India to engage, engage younger generations in German startup culture ?
Hon. Consul General: Make-in-India metal. It is the unique child of a market entry. It has not been to the younger generation, it is to do with the smaller and middle-sized company, which is the backbone of the German economy. Most of these companies are owned by middle size companies.
That is one area which I think I want to say that I’m helping young entrepreneurs, from here to go to India. But other than that, we work with the business here, especially the high end technology, and new innovation sector work. In that way when we interact with them and help them in getting them to India, or getting access to the Indian market, I think it helps them in a very significant way. That’s how we work with the German businesses which are in the high end technology, especially when you think of new and renewable energy, clean and green technologies, IOT industry 4.0, AI that sector, sensor technology.
So the new materials, very important new materials, like carbon composite, because this is the hub, for all those new developments. I think we work very closely with these new futuristic businesses. That gives I think is a good foundation for taking the Indo-German economic relations.
Bluebilities: What is the Bluebilities and the work that we are doing for the Indian community?
Hon. Consul General: Recently I came to know about your work and it is wonderful. I think it’s an opportunity for Indian students and new Indian entrepreneurs.
It’s a very smart way of bridging the gap between Indian students, new entrepreneurs and businesses. It would be very interesting to see the impact of the work on the whole gamut of issues.
This therefore resonates with my vision in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. From the time I took care of the community to become integrated with our work and we are integrating ourselves with the community work. Along with that there is help from companies such as yours.
It’s really great, you can say it’s a very great kind of an initiative. I really appreciate this thing because that’s why I rather see that the community should be working for. Possibilities for the Poor Way for Such Kinds of Opportunity, But Now. Taking the mantle in your own hand, that’s what I’ve always advocated for. We have always supported, facilitated and assisted such initiatives. Thus, Bluebilities is doing a great job by giving the opportunities for the Indian students to get connected to the businesses
Bluebilities: What are your thoughts about the Indo German Pitch Competition?
Hon. Consul General: I think it is a step in the right direction, especially for the young students, looking to have their own independent entrepreneurial ventures.
Bluebilities: We are extremely thankful for your thoughts. Would you like to share some closing thoughts?
Hon. Consul General: I really appreciated your support. I think it is very well organized because we are working for a long time, my consul are telling me and we are really thinking that how we should do this. Thanks a lot for this interaction, I’m really looking forward to meet you, and the other people there, that had come to Heidelberg for this
Bluebilities: Definitely sir, it’s our pleasure.
Hon. Consul General: Thank you very much.
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We recently entered the first ever Indo German Startup Competition at the innovative education city of Heidelberg. Mumbai and Heidelberg and the participation of more than 50 startups. Visit us at www.bluebilities.com/epc18 to know more.