BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS. Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu S. Kumaran, in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon (May 30, 2023), says the India Business Roadshow seeks to build partnerships between businesses from India and Iloilo province. The roadshow gathered nearly 30 Indian firms, which presented their portfolios before Iloilo businesses. (PNA photo by PGLena)

ILOILO CITY – Nearly 30 leading Indian firms from various industry sectors presented their products and portfolios to connect with businesses in this city as part of the India Business Roadshow held here on Wednesday.

“It’s an effort to try and take the conversation about economic diplomacy out into the regions. We have a very broad-ranging business delegation in terms of the sectors that are represented. This is the first India Business Roadshow that we are doing in the Visayas,” Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu S. Kumaran said on Tuesday afternoon at a press conference held ahead of the event.

The participating sectors include Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) and IT-enabled services; health care and pharmaceuticals; engineering and automobile; agriculture, irrigation, and chemicals; renewable, wastewater/solid waste management; and innovative tech solutions.

They wanted to try forging connections that could lead to business deals in the future, through information sharing and active linkage with business groups.

Similar events had been done in Baguio, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Laoag to demonstrate efforts of building partnerships with various sectors in the Philippines because a lot of “economic momentum” can be found in its dynamic regions, he added.

The ambassador said they would like to bring India's dynamism to the Philippines.

Being a predominantly agricultural country, India has begun employing cutting-edge technologies and is now the world’s fifth-largest economy, he added.

“We would like to pass the message that India is interested in a much stronger, much deeper, and more dynamic partnership with the Philippines. And we want to explore all possible pathways by which we can build this partnership,” he said.

The half-day event is set for the whole afternoon of Wednesday at the Courtyard by Marriot Hotel in this city’s Mandurriao district.

An important feature of the roadshow is the Tech to Transform (T2T) program organized by the Indian Women in Enterprise (I-WE) Philippines and the PCCI targeting an initial 26 women micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), who are into food processing and cacao industries.

“This is specific to the technology transfer program, which is a digital empowerment program for women-led businesses,” Priyalashmi Murugesan, I-WE president, said in a separate interview.

The qualified MSMEs will have mentoring sessions throughout the five-month program on e-commerce digital platforms in marketing.

“If they qualify for the program, we are looking at providing them PHP50,000 as seed money so that they can invest in equipment or upgrading, especially for processing. We are very excited to see how that PHP50,000 can change lives,” she said.

At the end of the program, they are expected to write their business plan or financial roadmap and proper marketing plan, she added.

The program targets to train at least 500 women nationwide in the next five years; the first batch catered to qualified women MSMEs from the National Capital Region. (PNA)