We have been in India a good while now, and it is fair to say that starting business here is fairly straightforward. It has had its moments, but you roll with the punches. You need a top quality local on your side. We are partnered with one of the top firms in our city, and this draws in good talent for us. If you want to give it a go here, don’t have any preconceptions. Keep your mind open. Indians want to do business with us. So, how exactly did we get going?
Susan, and her business partner, had looked into outsourcing. A trip was even made to the Philippines. But, nothing really settled. We believed in the overall benefits of outsourcing and were keen to keep pursuing a solution. It did not take long to realise the solution could be us.
What about trying India? We had planned to visit for many years and were visiting at the end of 2016. We researched some likely firms to work with and sent off half a dozen emails and got back three replies. From this we made two appointments and slotted them into our holiday schedule. Easy.
We looked in the South of India. Hyderabad offered big city bustle and we have friends there. Vizag was less frantic and by the coast, but we knew no one. Both options were excellent - and we were happy either way. However, Vizag won as the firm we are with is the best fit, and we scored a beachfront apartment! Vizag is also a Smart City.
Each area of India has a different culture. Our state is renowned for being relaxed and easy going. Having visited a few others, the vibe of this area is certainly different. We know that if we attempted to build somewhere else, our outcome might not have been the same. As I write this, our state has been named the easiest to do business with in the nation.
Having been in our last endeavours for over 10 years, we were ready for a new challenge and a long term commitment. India pushes our buttons, so why not live here? What a tremendous chance to live in another country and have an awesome experience.
Starting up, the firm we partnered with got busy finding us staff. With such a huge population, it is easy to find quality experienced accountants that are keen to learn.
Setting up communications is easy. The internet here is fast and cheap. Unlimited 100mb broadband is about $35/month. Mobile phones cost $10 for 90 days, with 4GB of 4G data per day. Wouldn’t these costs be great in New Zealand! Laptops are similarly priced the world over, give or take a few percent. Peripheral hardware is freely available as are most reputable brands.
We outsourced some of our website development to a chap in Chandigarh. How can we expect people to outsource with us if we don’t do it ourselves? There are many sites online that offer outsourcing services. Find your expert and use them. Everything is out in the open and no one wants dud reviews unless they want to crash and burn.
If you want to do the same, especially with IT, make sure you have clear guidelines and expectations. Set specific tasks and know the outcomes you want. We told our man exactly what we needed. We just didn’t have the technical skills and learning them would take a lot of time. We just had to trust someone who did have the skills.
Linking with New Zealand firms online is easy. We have some staff working with remote desktop systems and the software their NZ firms use. Others directly link into Xero. Staff chat via Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom or What’s App. There are many quality apps and software solutions at our finger tips.
Local business people here are trustworthy. We have not been let down or ripped off. Good service is expected and it is usually delivered. Online retail is booming here, so a quick show on your phone of the same product ensures you get a deal. From the start we have said to suppliers that we are here long term. They want our repeat business so give us their best shot.
So our journey continues… If you want to give it a go, consider that most people in business actually want to do business. Some are happy to stay with the status quo, and others are willing to take a risk. We have found that most Indian business people are more than willing to give things a go.
Alternatively of course, you can link in with us. We are here fulltime overseeing operations and have a vast amount of intellectual capital amongst our staff. We have built teams within our greater Team for some clients, and have several exclusive employees. We do not share employees, your staff member only works for you. This way, they become familiar with your clients and your processes. They evolve into being an integral part of your team. Rather than just doing jobs, we are about building long term relationships and providing great service.