The potential for international marketing is enormous for Indian firms. The fast expansion of the international business, as indicated by the current statistics available from appropriate sources is an indication of this. The scope of international business for developing countries is amply demonstrated by the rapid strides made by several developing countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Peopleâ€™s Republic of China. Indiaâ€™s performance, in comparison with these countries has been very poor. Developing countries like South Korea with very good economic performance has such well known multinationals like Hyundai, Daewoo, Samsung, LG, which are making inroads into India whereas India with its massive size and diverse resource base and which has a longer history of industrialization can hardly boast anything of that sort.
The rapid strides made by several other developing countries in the international market, and trends of the growing economic power of the developing countries described earlier are indication of the enormous global business opportunities which Indian firms could exploit.
A look at some of the successful Indian example, covering products ranging from bullock cart technology to high-tech would indicate the strategies Indian firms may employ to seize the various opportunities.
Product modification to suit the requirements of the foreign markets will enable international marketing of many products by Indian firms. Examples include TI cycles. Hero cycles, TTK pressure cookers etc.
Another international marketing opportunity which a number of Indian firms may avail of is the one provided by the vocation of certain industries / segments of the market in the developed countries by the large players as they become unattractive for them. For example, several dominant firms have vacated the ply tire segment in the developed markets as this segment has shrunk due to the popularity of radial tires. Similarly developed country firms have given up several chemical products due to various reasons.
There are enormous international marketing opportunities for developing products that suit the specific markets. The Balsara, for example, developed a herbal toothpaste, brand named Auromere to take advantage of the growing preference for nature based products in the USA. Balsaraâ€™s R&D scored a unique advantage when Auromere was developed as saccharine free toothpaste. The company expanded its market by introducing other variants of mint and menthol. These were taboo for users of homeopathic medicine and therefore it introduced a toothpaste free of such mints. Other variation include Auromere Fresh Mint for the young and Auromere Cina Mint, containing a combination of cinnamon and peppermint.
Indian firms with products of acceptable quality may explore the foreign markets. The Pricol, supplier of dashboard instruments to Maruti, thus entered the US market in a small way and today it is an international player. The Sundaram Fastners, which was adjudged as one of the 20 best Asian companies, is a highly reputed global supplier of automobile parts like radiator caps to dominant players like General Motors. There is enormous opportunity to take advantage of the growing global sourcing. The growing foreign investment in India and development of quality consciousness in Indian firms will encourage the growth of an ancillary sector of quality products and thus enlarge the Indian base for global sourcing.
Firms which are suppliers to foreign firms or whose products are sold under foreign brand names may explore the possibility of selling their own products under their own brand names.
There are a number of products in which the developing countries have advantage like textiles, leather, gems, and jewelry, seafood etc. Although these are among Indiaâ€™s important export items, the nation has not been very successful, when compared with several other developing countries, in exploiting these opportunities.
Many products, which become off patent, provide international marketing opportunities for firms of developing countries like India because of the low cost advantage. A number of them pose technical challenges. The Technocrat Industries, an Indian firm set up in 1972 by two fresh graduates from IIT, succeeded in mastering the technology of drum closures, precision products used to seal drums in which oil and chemicals are stored, competed with the MNC in the Indian market and entered foreign markets . Several Indian pharmaceutical firms are globalizing using generics and bulk drugs as their mainstay.
India is an important exporter of many products like spices and seafood. They are, however, mostly commodity exports. A lot of potential exists for developing their value added exports. There is also considerable scope for quality improvement, product development and value addition in respect of several other categories like leather, textiles, etc.