Foreign companies have been motivated to enter into collaborations with Indian firms by the increasing gains that can be made by producing brands in India and selling them into the Indian market. Indian companies have been motivated by the scope for gaining technical and marketing expertise from foreign partners. Foreign and Indian partners in such collaborations include Armani, Arvind Brands, Barbara, Benetton, De Witte Lietaer, Esprit, Gokaldas, Jockey, Levi Strauss, Marzotto, Rajasthan Spinning & Weaving Mills, Raymond, Vardhman Group, Vincenzo Zucchi, and Welspun. On the other side of the coin, Indian companies are acquiring foreign companies—notably in the USA and Europe—which are suffering from declining competitiveness and facing severe financial problems. Indian firms are attracted in particular to companies whose brands enjoy considerable popularity in their home markets as those brands can be manufactured more cheaply in their Indian plants. Welspun has acquired UK-based Christy, GHCL has acquired UK-based Roseby’s and USA-based Dan River, Malwa Industries has acquired Italy-based Emmetre and Jordan-based Third Dimension Apparels, and Alok Industries has bought UK-based Hamsard. In February 2006 the Indian government started to open up the retail sector by allowing FDI of up to 51% of the equity—with prior government approval—in the retail trade of “single brand” items. However, many firms will continue to pursue franchising rather than investing in their own outlets as it offers a cheaper and faster way of expanding retail networks and increasing the spread of product distribution. This is particularly true in a country as large as India where it is costly to achieve a wide geographical spread. Apparel companies such as Benetton, Lacoste and Levi Strauss have adopted this approach—as has the Spanish retailer Mango and the UK retailer Marks & Spencer.
FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT (FDI) POLICY
Recent upsurge in foreign investment
MAJOR FOREIGN COLLABORATIONS AND BRANDS IN INDIA
Bhilwara Melba De Witte
Welspun Zucchi Textiles