Dear NBAI members,
Warm greetings to all of you, dear friends, your team and your families. Hope all of you are healthy and safe and looking forward to a bunch of festivals that we will experience with full vim and vigor this year compared to the muted celebrations the last couple of years. By now, I am sure that all your businesses are humming at full efficiencies despite the war in Ukraine and its indirect impact on the Indian economy.
A big thank you to all my fellow NBAI Board members, member companies, The Honorable Ambassador and his team, The CG and his team, the team at IN, stakeholders, business partners and all others for your unstinted support and contributions in the year gone by. Although the year 2021-22 was much better than 2020-21 (which saw extreme business disruption), we did not see normal business operations till maybe August-September 2021 by when the Government vaccination drive infused confidence into industry and citizens and economic activity across sectors was largely restored.
When we “flash back” to 2020-21 and 2021-22, on the one side we faced the debilitating 3 waves of the pandemic and on the other side we saw the resilient face of all stakeholders in the country and the world in general. Collaboration between countries and institutions (and also committed businesses and individuals) to discover and manufacture the vaccine and then to distribute and administer them to the vast populations in each country takes great courage, conviction and swift executive action. The GDP declines that all countries saw finally turned to the recovery phase during the second half of 2021-22 and from that point, there was no looking back. Although the Ukraine war put brakes on the speed of recovery -and brought in an overarching high-cost inflationary environment for most countries – the recovery momentum continues.
During the disruptive years, it was technology in its myriad shapes and forms that came to our rescue – be it vaccine discovery and manufacture, or running conventional business ops, or even engaging with our employees and friends to motivate and energize them. NBAI too adopted the technology platform in a big way, and I strongly believe that these regular virtual interactions helped us bond and network like never before. We hope to continue this member engagement, on a stronger footing, in the future as well.
During the year, NBAI with unstinted support from its member companies and collaborative efforts with other arms of Team Norway, brought out several webinars, workshops on interesting topics ranging from Energy sector, Manufacturing and Financial Sectors, Industrial and Economic policy as well as showcased opportunities for accelerated trade and commence between India and Norway. Towards the end of 2021-22 and the early part of this year, NBAI collaborated with the Oslo based Norway India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI) to launch a new webinar series “Norway-India Success Stories”. The first webinar in this series showcased Orkla’s success in India through its fully owned processed foods subsidiary in India – MTR Foods Pvt Ltd. More such webinars will be brought out – the intent is to bring to you at least 6 success stories each year. Another jointly run webinar was on “Responsible Supply Chain Management” collaborating with Ernst and Young – brought out some interesting action areas on ESG (especially on Governance aspects) for Norwegian businesses in India. Increasingly, NBAI will collaborate with institutions such as NICCI, Invest India, Knowledge partners, other Nordic business associations to bring webinars with rich content and leading speakers in India and Nordics. We request active participation from NBAI members in these webinars – not just through attendance but by participation in panel discussions.
The NBAI member community is now ~45 member strong and has a good mix of Maritime, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Banking and Service sector businesses. Naturally this provides a great opportunity to have interactions with rich content and high value adding interactions amongst our member community. Despite Annual fees remaining unchanged for some years now, NBAI’s financial resource base is quite strong which will enable us to bring you more value-adding activities and platforms for member interactions and engagement. We warmly invite suggestions from member companies to improve NBAI’s activities and engagements.
We have begun our quarterly Board meetings in physical format and during the forthcoming year intend to resume these meetings at various regional centres by rotation. This will provide a great opportunity for the NBAI Board and the regional members to interact on issues of mutual interest. During the year, the Board also desires to establish a discussion forum whereby members are able to log their key business issues which will then be taken up periodically with Government of India either through Invest India or other business chambers.
It is indeed an honor and privilege to represent you all as Chairman of NBAI and am grateful for the unstinted support provided by you all. I look forward to working for and collaborating with you to address issues you may encounter in the times ahead.
On behalf of the Board of NBAI and on my own behalf, I wish you joyful festivities in the months ahead and great success in the rest of the year 2022-23.
Ganesh Shenoy B