Hamburg Business Centre
Schleswig-Holstein Business
Centre (WTSH)
Investment in Schleswig-
Holstein (WTSH)
BSCI Representative Office in India
Social Compliance and BSCI
IGEP - Certification
of Natural Stones
German-Indian Round Table (GIRT)
Mica and Stone Project
Rugmark Foundation India
The Little Keb-School

The Initiator: Dr. Dietrich Kebschull


Dr. Dietrich Kebschull (*1940) is chairman of IGEP, which is headquartered in Gurgaon in the Indian capital region of New Delhi. He studied economics in Germany and received his doctorate in 1968 with a dissertation on export promotion in Italy. His professional career began in 1965 as a Research Assistant at the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI). He then worked as a journalist and Chief Editor of business journals and was Head of Department as well as Academic Director at the Institute for World Economics (HWWI).

Very early he specialized in the areas of foreign trade, developing countries and international marketing. In 1968 he received his first teaching assignment for Development Policy at the University of Hamburg. This was followed by guest and honorary professorships at home and abroad, including Bielefeld and New Delhi. He still has educational commitments today in Indian business schools and universities. His teaching especially focuses on issues of international trade and marketing. After numerous study visits and project assignments in Asia, Africa and Latin America, he took over the management of the Indo-German Export Promotion Program (IGEP), which was created in 1987 following a proposal of the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. IGEP was established as a joint program between the two governments by the Indian Ministry of Commerce (MoC) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and carried out by mid-2005 by the German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ). At the request of the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoC & I) the work was further continued with the official Indian support from the IGEP Foundation as a private organization. The main goal is to promote particularly small and medium-sized enterprises in foreign trade and foreign investment and to ensure the sustainability of their commitment.

The German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) appointed Dr. Kebschull as member of the Scientific Advisory Board in 1972. Beforehand he has served as a chairman at BMZ for 10 years. He also worked in his areas of expertise as senior special adviser for international organizations such as UNDP, UNCTAD , UNIDO, the European Commission , the World Bank and the IMF. He worked for many years as a member of the Planning Commission of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Special Committee of the Federation for Development Policy in Bonn.

In his current position as Chairman of IGEP he continues the eighteen years of project work as a governmental organization. It still focuses on improving the trade and investment relations between India and Germany, other European countries as well as selected developing countries and emerging markets. The priority of IGEP is to advise small and medium sized companies in all questions to improve their competitiveness, including establishment of subsidiaries and partnership companies. On behalf of the country's Ministry of Economy, Transport and Innovation (MWVI) he represents the economic concerns for SMEs of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the federal state of Schleswig Holstein in India. Concerning the latter he represents the WTSH Business and Technology Transfer GmbH in Kiel. In this capacity, he directs the Hamburg and Schleswig -Holstein Business Centre in Gurgaon, in the Capital Region of New Delhi. As IGEP chairman, he also is an official representative of India, the representative of the initiativeís social impact (Business Social Compliance Initiative - BSCI) of the European Foreign Trade Association (FTA) in Brussels.

In addition, he serves on the board of the RUGMARK organization as a freelance consultant. He is a founding chairman of this institution, established at the beginning of the 90's, whose aim is to secure and promote the manufacture and export of Indian carpets without child labor. This sector has previously faced the threat of an international trade boycott threat, which endangered the existence of thousands of people in poverty-stricken regions.

During his time in India he supported about 4,000 Indian and German companies on all aspects of export. He planned and organized more than 500 trade fairs in India and abroad. He participated in the founding of over 50 joint ventures and subsidiaries. Consequently he helped a large number of medium-sized companies to enter the market in India and EU states.

His supporting role in the establishment of design and quality verification institutions in India, often in collaboration with German and other international institutions, proved very successful. This way sustainable cooperation could be promoted. He is still a member of the Executive Board of the National Institute for Design and development of the footwear industry, the product and development center of the Indian jewelry industry and several private institutions.

While the focus was initially placed primarily on marketing, product quality, management and design in the field of export and investment promotion, Dr. Kebschull recognized very early the importance of key issues of social standards and environmental protection and its importance for producers, consumers and the international competitiveness. He played a key role in the Indian economy regarding sectoral regulations to avoid negative effects of sanctions due to European and American regulations. He initiated the RUGMARK system opposing illegal child labor since the beginning of the 90's. This way the imminent collapse of industrial carpet production could be effectively prevented. To this day, more than 15 million rugs carrying the RUGMARK label have been exported.

Dr. Kebschullís and therefore IGEPís efforts to enforce the German ban on the use of penta chloro phenol (PCP) as well as other much broader laws prohibiting the use of harmful and carcinogenic dyes, formaldehyde, nickel, heavy metals, mercury, etc. have been very successful. Removing technical barriers to trade (TBT) and the introduction of sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards (SPS), the IGEP consultancy continues to play a prominent role under his leadership.

In addition IGEP introduced an Indian expression of the ISES 2000/2020 standard in the mid-90ís. The ISES standard is referred to as the predecessor of SA2000. The ISES standards form a basis for the "Initiative for social acceptabilityĒ (Business Social Compliance Initiative) of the International Foreign Trade association (Foreign Trade Association FTA) in Brussels since the first test projects in the Indian textile and leather industry have been realized. Since then, the standards for social and environmental sustainability in areas such as carpets, leather goods, crafts, jewelry, natural stone, mica, textiles, clothing and many other sectors have been successfully introduced.

IGEP connects trade and investment promotion as well as environmental and social responsibility with a variety of social activities and programs that are funded by exporters, importers and other companies in the private sector. Through the initiative RUGMARK six schools and an orphanage with a boarding home were launched. In the Varanasi - Mirzapur - Badhodi region in Uttar Pradesh they are open to children of weavers and other poorer classes. Currently about 2,500 children attend these institutions.

In addition, so-called "Little Keb-Schools" were built in New Delhi and Jharkhand. To date, three such schools for the poorest strata of the population have been created, and more are planned. A recognized education as well as basic courses of vocational training is offered in all facilities. Moreover regarding health care appropriate measures for special cases, epidemic prevention and treatment are provided.
Dr. Kebschull has been honored and awarded by export promotion agencies for Handicrafts, carpets and jewelry, the design and development institute of the footwear industry (Noida) and the Central Leather Research Institute in Chennai.
In 1995 he was awarded in recognition of his outstanding work and achievements for India's economic development and international cooperation, the Federal Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Dr. Kebschullís social commitment also involves the Rotary Club of Delhi Midtown, where he served as president in 1997/96, so far the only German in India. Afterwards he continued to attend various social functions.

His professional activity priorities are reflected in many of his publications. He is author and co-author of 21 books and has written more than 40 feasibility studies. More than 200 papers in scientific journals and a further 500 shorter representations in newspapers business magazines business bear his name.

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