Smart Otaniemi exploring India: opportunities await in an expanding market

For the last few years, Business Finland has been scoping out the Indian energy market to find opportunities for Finnish companies at one of the most temptingly growing business locations in the world. India’s growth is largely driven by a rapidly growing middle class, which among other things, sets new requirements in the field of energy. This ongoing development has made it clear, that it was about time to start planning closer energy cooperation between India and Finland. Luckily, the evaluations reveal that the market situation seems to be in just the right stage for the Finnish companies to step in:

– In Finland some of our biggest assets lay in power grids and energy efficiency, which are very important focus areas in India as well and offer a good starting point for cooperation. As India is eager to find holistic solutions and comprehensive development processes, Smart Otaniemi was our go-to-companion when we decided to arrange a fact-finding trip to India, says Senior Advisor Nina Jacoby from Business Finland.

The visit took place in January 2020 in Delhi and Bangalore, and included fair visits, meetings with utilities and system integrators as well as local representatives of Finnish companies.


Screening the electrical industry at Elecrama

The fact-finding started at Elecrama fair, which is a showcase of the Indian Electrical Industry ecosystem and one of the largest congregation of power sector operators. The event offers a platform to connect with Indian industry in respect of technology, new trends and future energy transition. Organized by Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturer’s Association (IEEMA), it gathers more than 1250 local exhibitors as well as 450 foreign exhibitors under the same roof. The aim is to display complete spectrum of solutions that powers the planet from source to socket, and everything in between.

– The visit started with a close up to the local business oriented attitude: slightly confused, we stepped into a heavily overbooked minivan, which we thought was the official shuttle bus arranged by the event organizers, but eventually found out being just an entrepreneurial idea of a local van owner, Jacoby laughs.

During the fair, Smart Otaniemi Co-Creation Manager Sanna Öörni held an energy efficiency themed presentation at one of the Elecrama side events, the World Utility Summit. The presentation caught attention and presented some of the key findings of Finnish energy competence to a wide audience.

More than 1.5 billion USD of business to be generated

India has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world for some time, and despite the latest hiccups, it remains an interesting territory for businesses to seek for new opportunities. India is expected to become the fifth largest economy in the world by the end of 2025, and the Elecrama organizers have estimated, that just within the energy sector there is more than 1.5 billion US dollar worth of business to be generated.

In that connection, undoubtedly one of the most delightful outcomes of the fact-finding was the substantial amount of collaboration proposals received during the trip.

– The goal is to create continuous and immersing dialogue and project flow between Finnish companies and Indian electricity market to increase mutual understanding and shared knowledge, and to help regenerate the market. Smart Otaniemi can have a significant role in achieving this target. Eventually, that would also help the Finnish SMEs to find suitable business partners and gain a firm foothold in the Indian market, Jacoby sums up.

Text: Nina Jacoby, Business Finland & Tytti Nikunen, VTT