By Jill McCubbin

university-of-ottawa-telfer.gifIn the March episode of, market2world President and CEO Nathan Rudyk interviews five Canadian and Indian executives in attendance at last month’s Telfer India Forum at the University of Ottawa. Four technology executives and one experienced India observer are quick to push aside the myth that India’s only role in the technology sector is as a supplier of outsource labour.

In fact, a compelling argument can be made that India’s most important role moving forward for high tech Canada will not be as a supplier of talent, but as a market for Canadian technology products and services. And Ottawa’s technology sector is well placed to take advantage of this growth — especially in the booming Indian telecommunication, health care and software industries.

Consider the evidence:

  • India’s economic growth is forecasted to exceed 8% percent for 2008
  • India is projected to be the world’s seventh-largest economy by 2020, up five spots from where it sits today
  • According to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Canadian exports to India reached $1.7 billion last year — a 54% increase over 2005
  • The number of new mobile telecom subscribers in India rose from 16 million in 2003 to 65 million in 2006. With 156.31 million subscribers across the country, India has become one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world
  • According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, the Indian healthcare industry has the potential to show the same exponential growth that the software industry showed in the past decade

To get more insight into the opportunities available for Ottawa high tech companies in India, listen to Nathan's interview with Peter Nesbitt — Export Development Canada’s (EDC) Chief Representative for India International Business Development. Nesbitt says that EDC is focusing on India’s middle-class because "it represents the fastest growing consumer market in the world”.

In a separate interview in the March show, Mike Manson, Partner with the TaraSpan Group — a company that accelerates market entry to India for Canadian companies — says that the economic opportunity in India is “at a scale where most Canadian’s can’t comprehend”.

“We’ve exploded this myth that only the big players can play in India. What we’ve found is that if you have a product with a value proposition, Indian companies are moving at such a pace that if they get the value proposition there is definitely room for smaller Canadian companies to enter the Indian market.”

Other guest on the show include; Gary Knee, Vice President of R&D and Operations, Redknee Solutions Inc., Sonam Devgan, CEO of Algol Semantics Inc. and Dr. Praful Naik, Chief Scientific Officer of Bilcare Ltd.

(Jill McCubbin is a conversation architect with market2world communications inc., the public relations and product marketing agency for global innovators.)