Skip to content

N.K. Goyal, CMAI

Sunday, June 7th, 2009
N.K. Goyal, CMAI

N.K. Goyal, CMAI

Following is an interview with Mr. N.K. Goyal, president of the Communications and Manufacturing Association of India (CMAI), the subcontinent’s leading trade promotion organization.

Q: With a population of over 1 billion, India has one of the largest labor pools to draw from. How has that labor pool changed in recent years to make it more attractive to Korea and other IT powerhouses?

A: Earlier, India was only known for cheap labor, but now India is one of the largest producers of technically qualified engineers. The Indian expertise for BPO/KPO/ R&D is well known. India has a large pool of engineers and professionals available to Korea for the IT/Telecom sector for research & development, manufacturing and services. CMAI has been playing an active role in promoting HRD activities between Korea and India.

Q: What can Korea offer India and vice-versa?

A: Korea is well known for broadband with the highest penetration rate for faster than 10MBPS speed, whereas India is lagging behind. Hence, there is very good scope for Korean companies dealing in broadband to come to India. India is also opening up 3G, Wimax and broadband wireless, hence this represents other emerging opportunities. India is adding over 15 million wireless phones per months. That means a huge market for wireless equipment, handsets, VAS, etc. CMAI has been arranging B2B meetings in this regard in India.

Q: During the current economic crisis, what is the impetus for the IT sectors of the two countries to work closer together?

A: Not only for India and Korea, but throughout the world everybody is banking upon the ICT sector to revive the entire economy. It is not only the ICT sector itself, which will give a boost to the economy, but with the assistance of ICT, all other sectors would also get a push.

Q: What is the state of the trade balance between Korea and India and what do you predict for the near and distant future?

A: Gross trade between India and Korea has crossed the US$15 billion mark and is growing. More than 150,000 people from each country have visited the other. We hope this figure will rise more than 8 percent in the coming years.

Q: Is the government of India making efforts to make it easier for foreign companies to operate and invest in India?

A: Yes. Already 100 percent FDI is permitted in the manufacturing sector without any license required for the ICT sector. In respect to telecom services, FDI up to 74 percent is allowed. The approval process has also been liberalized.

Q: India and Korea both are leaders in various labor and materialsintensive industries, such as steel making and shipbuilding. As these industries become more technology intensive, will this lead to more competition or cooperation between the two nations?

A: We do not think there is any need to worry for competition, because of the huge market in the world. Moreover, even as of now, Korea and India are not competing but are complimenting each other.

Q: In recent years, India has seen economic growth rates exceeding 8 percent, while Korea’s growth rate seemed to peak around 5 percent and has been in decline for the past four years. What are some things that Korea can learn from India? Or are the two countries at completely different levels in terms of economic maturity?

A: The growth of India’s GDP is attributable to a huge market and a comparatively tight banking system. The huge market is present because of the low penetration of telecom, internet, etc., whereas in Korea the penetration is already high. It is expected, that, with the demand picking up in Asian markets, the economy of Korea would also grow.

Q: There has been talk of recreating the “Silk Road” for the 21st century. Can you explain what that means for the countries located along that fabled route today?

A: The Silk Road was very good for initiating business in the earlier days. However, now, it is more of a historical and sentimental feeling rather than actual usage, because the goods can be moved much faster by air cargo, etc. However, it would be in the best interest of both countries to ease restrictions on the movement of persons from both sides and relax visa regulations. There is also a very good scope between Korea and India for the promotion of health and medical tourism and education promotion. It can work both ways because of excellent facilities in both the countries.

Q: Your organization represents many of the biggest tech firms in India. From your communication with CEOs and other decision makers, is Korea currently on their radar in terms of expansion, cooperation and investment?

A: Yes. Korea is high on the radar of almost all the companies. CMAI arranges B2B meetings and takes part in international exhibitions and trade shows in India and Korea on a regular basis.


N.K. Goyal is a founding member and chairman emeritus of thez Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association of India (TEM A); serves on the Council of Electronic Hardware Association of India TEM A Export Promotion Council, Govt. of India; and is senior vice president of the Himachal Pradesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

Login or register to tag items

Open source newspaper and magazine cms software