Doing biz in India for Japanese companies difficult compared to China: Maruti official

At present, there are over 4,800 Japanese business establishments in India, of which 321 are in Gujarat.

Doing business in India is very difficult compared to China and Southeast Asian countries, said Kenichiro Toyofuku, director at Maruti Suzuki India, on Thursday.

Addressing 32 businessmen representing Japanese companies from Kobe at a ‘Kobe-Ahmedabad & Hyogo-Gujarat Economic Cooperation Seminar’, organised at Ahmedabad Management Association, Toyofuku said: “In most cases, from the point of view of Japanese companies, doing business in India is very difficult compared to China and Southeast Asia.” Giving tips to the Japanese businesses about investing in India, Toyofuku said, “Last 15 years, most of the economic development in India has happened in metropolitan cities. This is my personal observation... Last 2-3 years, economic development of India is slowing down.” He added business activities in bigger cities in India were “decreasing.”

The comments from the Japanese car manufacturer on difficulties faced in doing business comes despite India improving its score in the World Bank’s global Ease of Doing Business rankings where it rose 14 notches to be placed 63rd among 190 countries in October 2019. At present, there are over 4,800 Japanese business establishments in India, of which 321 are in Gujarat.

“From my experience, small and medium sized companies have more chances to start a business in India,” the MSIL official said, comparing the SMEs to bigger Japanese companies. He however did not expand on his statement. The official said the kind of “services and goods” the Japanese firms plan to bring into the Indian market is “an important factor for business.” Toyofuku said Ahmedabad was one of the potential cities where Japanese companies can find “good partners.”

Toshihiro Horiuchi, director, managing executive officer at Kamigumi Co was the leader of the Japanese business mission. Katsunori Hosokawa, general manager, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and deputy leader of the business mission, was present at the event, which was held as part of the Kobe-Ahmedabad sister pact.