India is on its way to become one of the most important countries in the world. This is mainly due to private sector which plays a key role in safeguarding high, stable and sustainable economic growth, social development and environment friendly conditions. The public sector is taking care for a conducive, efficient and powerful legal framework.
IGEP’s concept of permanent strengthening of the private sector, with focus MSMEs belongs to the mainstream of the political agenda. Facilitating and increase of domestic and international cooperation, particularly in trade & investment has priority. The private sector and entrepreneurs successfully create additional employment and income. At the same time they help to fight poverty, to fulfill social and environmental minimum requirements. Together with the government they guarantee education, skill development and the building of a just & reasonable society.
Dr. Dietrich Kebschull with Mr. J. Klein
Our journey started in 1986 when the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the former German chancellor Dr Helmut Kohl decided to take immediate measures to reduce the trade deficit between the two countries. The first action which was taken was to appoint a panel of experts. The goal of the mission was to identify the right approach. After discussions with the industry, associations, experts and government officials it was recommended to set up a project whose objective would be to increase India's exports to Germany and subsequently to reduce the trade gap. This was the hour of birth of the Indo-German Export promotion project, which was, on behalf of German Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ), managed by the GTZ. A Project, better known by its abbreviation IGEP.Read more +
The project was unusual in that it was promoted by the desire on the part of the heads of both governments to achieve rapid success in overcoming the Indian trade deficit with Germany. The aim of the IGEP project was to especially increase the export revenue of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in India by making them more effective in areas relevant to competition. In addition, the project was also designed to help improve the general business climate and to have a positive impact on the framework conditions for exporting industrial goods. The IGEP project also focused on providing the most appropriate advisory services to export oriented SMEs. In addition, the first public-private partnerships were initiated and implemented. Experts from Germany were assigned to support training institutes for the export sector. The IGEP project was designed to benefit firms in sectors where India had a competitive advantage (for example carpets, textiles, garments, footwear, gems & jewellery, silk, pharmaceuticals, bicycles, auto ancillary parts, IT, software and electronics) by helping them gain access to the exports markets, particularly in Germany and in the European Union (EU) in general. The IGEP project enabled Indian SMEs that had so far been producing for the protected domestic market to make the geographical and qualitative leap to the demanding European markets. As a result of the initiatives introduced by IGEP, during the period 1988 to 2005, there was an above-average increase in Indian exports in the sectors promoted by the project. In 1991/92, India achieved a surplus in its trade with Germany for the first time since independence. This positive result could be repeated a few times in the 1990s. IGEP had also been actively involved in generating awareness regarding new norms, standards and legislative provisions in respect to the environment. IGEP followed a practical and pragmatic approach for disseminating newly emerging framework conditions on the European markets and at the same time to adequately help Indian trade and industry to cope with these new provisions. Besides these activities, IGEP has published numerous information studies and booklets to keep the industry and the consumer aware of the latest developments in these respects.Read less -
Professor Dr Dietrich Kebschull is presently the Chairman of IGEP, New Delhi. He has been in India since 1987 as Director of Indo-German Export Promotion (IGEP), which was run by the Indian and the German Governments. Dr Kebschull is today also the Representative of the German Federal States Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein for Economic Relations. The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), an initiative of European retail companies initiated by the Foreign Trade Association (FTA) based in Brussels, appointed him as the official representative of BSCI in India. He was also the Chief Programme Coordinator of EU-India and Investment Development Programme (EU-TIDP) between 2005 – 07. In his work he always put special focus on the social and environmental impact of private sector activities. He was instrumental in the introduction in 1994 of the RUGMARK-label, which assures that carpets are produced without illegal child labour and helped to avoid a boycott of Indian carpet exports. For his work in the carpet industry, he was awarded with life-time award by the Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC) of India. IGEP under him developed a new standard ISES 2000/2020, which is to be seen as a predecessor of SA 8000. The ISES standard became after the first tests in the Indian shoe and textile/garment industry the basis for the BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) of today’s Brussels bases Foreign Trade Association. Social and environmental compliance has been introduced in sectors like carpets, leather, handicrafts, jewellery, natural stones, mica, textiles & garments and many others are normally financed by exporters and importers from the private sectors. In the RUGMARK initiative five schools and one children’s home with boarding schools are run in the region of Varanasi-Mirzapur-Badhoi in Uttar Pradesh for the children of weavers and other poor sections of the society. At present about 2500 children attend these schools. In addition, the Little Keb Schools have been introduced in New Delhi and in Jharkhand. Today, four such schools for the weakest sections have been established. They all provide officially acknowledged education and offer first courses in vocational training. Regular health care is organized, in addition to special campaigns for villagers, who do not have other access to medical care. For his work in India he has been awarded by Export Promotion Councils, associations and institutes. In 1995 he received the German Cross of Merits by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Sridhar Subramonyan, Director of IGEP Consult, heads the strategic business development and market research function of IGEP Consult. He has over 35 years of diverse work experience in market research, opportunity mapping and market structure analysis. Other areas of expertise include market entry in India, market development, due diligence and distribution network set up.
Sridhar Subramonyan has assisted several international companies to establish their businesses successfully in India. He leads a well-qualified and motivated team in business development and market research. Sridhar strongly believes in teamwork and that an organization’s strength is dependent on the investment made in training, motivating and mentoring its key resource – its people. He holds an MBA in Management Information Systems (MIS) from the Maastricht School of Management, the Netherlands.
Sharda Subramaniam is the Dy. Chairperson and the office head of IGEP. She has more than 30 years of experience in international trade and development. After graduating at the Delhi University, she got a master degree (MBA) in International Business. Working with national and international organizations, government authorities and business she achieved a deep knowledge in planning, supervision and implementation of projects. As a founding member, she played a decisive role in building IGEP’s structure and reputation. She was directly involved in the strengthened the export performance of several key Indian industries such as textiles, carpets, leather, stones, gems & jewellery and automobile components and was part of the leadership teams of some major trade development initiatives such as the EU funded Trade & Investment Development Program (TIDP). As the Managing Director of the Rugmark Foundation, she assisted the Indian carpet industry to successfully deal with various national and international challenges and to remain as one of the major export-oriented sectors in India. She was also giving direction to international companies in sourcing products from India. This directly helped Indian exporters to maintain their image, reputation and reliability in the highly competitive international markets. The same is to be said for her share in developing social and environmental standards.