The Warehouse Group is keen to import products from India to cater to its growing diversity of customers, its Group Chief Executive Mark Powell said.
Speaking at the first Business Summit of the India New Zealand Friendship Association (INZFA) at Hyatt Regency in Chennai on January 12, 2015, he said that The Warehouse Group was ‘looking beyond China,’ to import products suitable to New Zealanders and that India offered a serious and interesting possibility.
The one-day Conference was jointly organised by INZFA and the Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA), with the sponsorships of a number of companies.
Mr Powell said that the core competences of the Warehouse Group are scale, understanding the New Zealander customer, international logistics and retail, culture that recognises the importance of people and synergies.
“The key requirements are ethical sourcing standards and audits- no exploitation of labour in sourcing industries, product quality, delivery on time- in full, honesty and integrity and trust based relationships. We would like to source from outside China and there is great opportunity in India,” he said.
Established by Stephen Tindall in 1982, The Warehouse Group has grown to be one of the largest retail chains in New Zealand. The Group’s annual sales at the end of July 2013 were more than $2.33 billion, generating a net profit of $73.7 million (after tax, excluding unusual items). The Group, which employs more than 9000 people, comprises The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming and Torpedo 7.
Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, The Prince of Arcot, who was a Guest of Honour at the inaugural session, said that the value of friendship is often estimated as the balance between the needs and deeds of people.
“A friend alone can interpret well the validity of a deed before it is performed and guide a person in the proper direction. We should also work together to encourage peaceful and harmonious relations between nations. I am committed to the cause of INZFA for developing trade and business relations between India and New Zealand,” he said.
BNZ and Indian Newslink hosted the visit of The Prince of Arcot and his wife Sayeeda Begum to attend the BNZ-Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards 2013 (held on November 18, 2013 at Sky City Convention Centre). He was also the Guest Speaker at the Mother Teresa Annual Interfaith Meeting held at the Catholic Church of Christ the King in Mt Roskill, Auckland on Sunday, November 17, 2013. At both meetings, he stressed the importance of universal bond and the need to foster goodwill and understanding.
Wenceslaus Anthony, Founder-Chairman of INZFA said that the Association is based in India to build collaborative partnership for mutual economic development, strengthen the relationship between India and New Zealand in business, education, trade, investment, information technology and software, food processing, dairy, science, health, culture, arts, sports, tourism, films and sectors for continuous engagement.
“INZFA is a people’s movement and will continue to build friendship between the two countries. It is appropriate that we are commencing our journey while India is celebrating the 100th year of the return Mahatma Gandhi to India to lead the Freedom Movement and we need to be part of the change that he stood for and the change that the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proposed while launching his ‘Make in India’ campaign in September 2014,” he said.
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry Advisor Pejavar Murari acknowledged the huge scope that exists for trade between New Zealand and India but there were several challenges and imponderables.
“Most exports from New Zealand relate more to agricultural products and less of manufacturing. India is concerned about food security and our efforts are to bring people above the poverty line. India could benefit from New Zealand’s agro-technology.
“There is rich potential in construction, infrastructure, new and renewable resources of energy and other areas,” he said.
Among the other speakers at the Conference (as reported in our January 15, 2015 issue) were Commonwealth Foundation Chairman and former New Zealand Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand, New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India Grahame Morton, New Zealand’s Consul General (Dubai) Clayton Kimpton and New Zealand’s Trade Commissioner (Mumbai) Kevin McKenna.
Commerce & Industry Joint Secretary J K Dadoo represented the Indian government, while LIBA President Dr Casimir Raj and LIBA Dean Dr G Revathi represented the organisers and hosts.
Additional Reading: Our Editorial, “Dealing with India is no handshake’ under Viewlink