WTCA News: Interview with Ms Uma Reddy, Advisor to WTC Bengaluru, Kochi, Chennai Board of Directors.
13 March 2019

Managing Director of HITECH Magnetics and Electronics Pvt. ltd.; Chairperson, Technology and Innovation committee, Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and industry. Promoter Director, WE Connect Int India & Founder President, eMERG.

Alex: How complementary are we to one another? I mean economically, trade-wise, but of course culturally as well.

Uma: Thank you for your hospitality at WTC Moscow. I bring greetings from WTC Bengaluru . The objective of this visit, is to see how WTC Moscow and WTC Bengaluru can work together to support and facilitate business growth between our two countries, especially in regard to SMEs.

India and Russia are a part of BRICS, and for many years, India has been a good friend of Russia and Russia’s been a good friend of India. Having said that, I think we need to explore business opportunities between the two countries especially at the SME level. Indian companies tend to look largely at the western markets to sell their goods, but I feel after this visit there will be a lot of opportunities for Indian SMEs to collaborate and trade with their counterparts in the Russian regions. Therefore we as WTCs can facilitate trade and economic relations between the two countries within BRICS.

We would like to invite business delegations from Moscow, from Russia to visit us, and at the same time, we would like to facilitate a business delegation to Russia. Thank you once again!

Alex: you started from the regions, coming to Moscow, did you?

Uma: I was in Novokuznetsk, for the Women entrepreneurs conference. - First Women's Forum “Woman’s role in the development of industrial regions” I was a speaker on a panel . The main topics of the panel session included:

 - Promotion of trade and economic cooperation: the creation of the BRICS e-commerce infrastructure

- Involvement of people living in remote regions in digital economy

- Increasing the digital literacy level of the population within the public-private cooperation

- BRICS Women's Business Alliance - a tool to increase the economic activity of women.

I also visited the Kuzbas Chambers of commerce and connected with some of the women entrepreneurs, and I would like to say that there is a lot of similarity in the way the business happens here and in India: business cultures are very similar. Hospitality is excellent in Russia, and we believe that the Indians are also very hospitable. At the same time, I find that the way we do business is very similar. When I see the SMEs in India, especially the women entrepreneurs, and SMEs in Russia (women entrepreneurs), we are very similar in terms of the size of their companies and the way we do business. So I think there’s going to be a lot of opportunities.

It is my first visit to Russia, and I am taking back a lot of new information & looking at new business opportunities between SMEs from the regions especially women entrepreneurs.

Alex: Women entrepreneurs: if I am not mistaken the hidden opportunities for the global GDP are around 12 trillion USD? (A new McKinsey Global Institute report finds that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality. The public, private, and social sectors will need to act to close gender gaps in work and society.)

Uma: Yes, in terms of formal business, large companies, the participation of women in the c-suite is not that strong, but in the SMEs, women are present, and the informal business is much more representative. How to facilitate, formalize and women entrepreneurs scale up is what we as WTCs can also support. And business is mainstream and in the process we support the growth of MSMEs

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