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Invest Japan Seminar "Japan-India Innovation Dialogue" in Bengaluru

March 2019

On March 8, JETRO held an Invest Japan Seminar under the title of "The Japan-India Innovation Dialogue" in Bengaluru, India, with the aim of facilitating business between India and Japan. Through the seminar, a call was made to invest in Japan to approximately 140 participants, including from local startups.

Jointly expanding toward the globe utilizing each other’s strength

Declaring that, as of 2018, India had produced eight unicorns, Vice President K. S. Viswanathan of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) from India lauded the country’s fully developed startup ecosystem, saying that collaboration between Japan, with strength in electronics and hardware, and India, with strength in software, will be able to create excellent products marketable in the world. He announced that, with the aim of transferring business and human resources from India to Japan, NASSCOM will jointly set up the Japan-India Corridor with and in Hiroshima Prefecture, through which they will provide various services such as free office space and translation by AI.

Presentation session

Attractiveness and challenges of Japanese market for Indian companies

Vijaya Raghavan; Vice President and Country Head for Japan, Korea and China of L&T Technology Services; emphasized that in Japan it is important to allocate bilingual staff with a thorough understanding of the Japanese language and culture to respond to customer needs in the workplace. He also underscored that patience is necessary in Japan as decision making takes time in accordance with “nemawashi”, a consensus-building process, and "ringi," a system for obtaining approval.
Anand Dureja; Head of International Expansion at OYO, the operator of the hotel reservation site “OYO Rooms”; said that with the Japanese hospitality market estimated to grow by a factor of 1.5 over the next three years, there is much room for entry as there are many independently managed hotels which rely on reservation sites.
Nalin Advani; CEO of the Asia Pacific and Japan at Grey Orange, which provides robotic warehouse automation systems geared toward the Japanese logistics industry; pointed out the critical problem of a labor shortage in logistics despite the growth of the Japanese e-commerce market by 6% a year, and asserted that his company's technology could contribute to solving the problem. He also stated that JETRO's support enabled his company to secure highly motivated and flexible silver human resources with extensive knowledge in Japan, a country where recruiting manpower can be difficult.

Yuma Saito, Managing Director of Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support, explained that the scale of investment by Japanese venture capital (VC) was around 200 billion USD in 2016, and that, in recent years, corporate venture capital (CVC) has significantly increased while collaboration with startups and mergers and acquisitions by large companies are also rapidly growing. He stressed that it is important for local startups to develop a network of contacts with large companies through participating in presentation events for ventures, gain awareness by taking part in acceleration programs and be found by a fund through media coverage.

Aiming at solving internal problems through collaboration with Indian companies

At the reverse pitch presentation session by Japanese companies, Yusuke Mori, Senior Director of the Strategic Planning and Business Development Division at the glass manufacturer AGC, expressed high hopes for collaboration with Indian companies possessing various technologies that his company would like to aquire (such as algorithms, control systems and network platforms), with the purpose of jointly solving issues which have been rising in line with drastic changes in the social environment.
Atsuo Suzuki; Assistant General Manager of Symphony Creative Solutions, which provides solutions in the shipping industry; introduced how his company has held competitions to find startups that may be able to help resolve issues surrounding the shipping industry, such as regarding the booking process or predicting fuel prices. He expressed his desire to incorporate IT technologies, including voice and image recognition and data mining, created by Indian companies. Hidemi Kuwabara, Assistant Manager of the Business Innovation Office at Sojitz Corporation, said that, in addition to being a user of technologies of Indian companies, his company hopes to jointly expand business in new fields as their strategic partner.

Introducing strategic fields and measures for supporting startups by four local authorities

Representing local authorities in Japan, presentations were given by the Osaka Business and Investment Center (O-BIC), the prefecture of Shizuoka, the city of Hamamatsu, and the prefecture of Ibaraki.
O-BIC introduced the "Osaka Innovation Hub," which was established with the aim of creating innovation in Osaka, and "Hack Osaka," an international innovation conference. It also announced the opening of a facility named "Xport," which was jointly set up by the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) and the Osaka Institute of Technology (OIT) for unique industries and academic organizations to form an open innovation hub. Shizuoka Prefecture presented on the fields in which each of its regions specializes; pharmaceuticals in the east, food chemicals in the middle and photonics in the west; and promoted the Agri Open Innovation (AOI) project based on strong ties between industry and academia within the prefecture. Hamamatsu City introduced its public incubation facility “Hamamatsu Innovation Cube (HI-Cube)” and 11 universities and junior colleges, while touting the low-cost offices and promising young human resources within the city. Ibaraki Prefecture explained that numerous institutions are engaged in R&D in fields like robotics in Tsukuba Science City, a hub for high-level research and education, where more than 7,000 foreign researchers reside. It emphasized that it is able to provide a network with startups born from many universities and research institutes in the city in a one-stop manner, and with international schools and hospitals that can accommodate English, it also openly welcomes families.

Call for Indian and Japanese companies to work together

Assistant Director Sachino Taki of JETRO Bengaluru explained that the Japan-India Startup Hub, a framework to facilitate joint innovation for the Indian and Japanese economies, was established at JETRO Bengaluru in 2018, as a part of an agreement between the governments of both countries, and that JETRO is currently supporting approximately 70 Indian companies among 85 active in Japan. She also promoted the fact that while JETRO’s Invest Japan Business Support Centers (IBSCs) usually provide free office space for up to 50 days, this period is extended to 100 for startups.
Bringing the seminar to a close, Chief Director General Kazuya Nakajo of JETRO New Delhi touched on the 2018 launch of the JETRO Global Acceleration Hubs, which assist both Japanese and overseas startups in expanding business overseas and within Japan respectively, in regions with ecosystems across the globe, including Bengaluru. He also stressed the importance of Indian companies taking root in the Japanese market and expressed his hope that they aim at global business development alongside Japanese companies.
At the networking reception, consultation desks were set up by the four local authorities presenting at the seminar, Okinawa Prefecture and JETRO in order to respond to inquiries from local companies.

Outline of the seminar

Date and time Friday, March 8, 2019  13:30 - 17:00 (Networking session: 15:55 - 17:00)
Venue Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru
Co-organizers Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Carnegie India, Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC), National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM)
Cooperation Consulate-General of Japan in Bengaluru; Government of Karnataka; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IJCCI)
Visitors Approximately 140
  1. MC
    Takashi Suzuki, Director General, JETRO Bengaluru
  2. Opening remarks
    K. S. Viswanathan, Vice President, Industry Initiatives, NASSCOM
  3. Presentations by Indian companies
    P. V. Vijaya Raghavan; Vice President and Country Head of Japan, South Korea and China; L&T Technology Services
    Anand Dureja, Head of the International Expansion, OYO
    Nalin Advani, CEO Asia Pacific and Japan, Grey Orange
  4. Overview of Japanese ecosystem
    Yuma Saito, Managing Director, Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support
  5. Reverse pitches by three Japanese companies
    Yusuke Mori, Senior Director, Strategic Planning and Business Development Division, AGC Asia Pacific Pvt. Ltd. Global Technology Networking
    Atsuo Suzuki, Assistant General Manager, Symphony Creative Solutions
    Hidemi Kuwahara, Assistant Manager, Business Innovation Office, Sojitz Corporation
  6. Introduction to JETRO services
    Sachino Taki, Assistant Director, JETRO Bengaluru
  7. Presentations by Japanese local authorities
    Liang Yu, Manager, Osaka Business and Investment Center (O-BIC)
    Toshihiko Takeda, Deputy Chief Representative, Shizuoka Prefecture
    Yuki Tashiro, Senior Office Clerk, Industrial Promotion, Hamamatsu City
    Yoshihisa Nagai, Global Strategy Team Manager, Ibaraki Prefecture
  8. Closing remarks
    Kazuya Nakajo, Chief Director General, JETRO New Delhi
  9. Networking reception
    Consultation desks set up by Prefectures of Ibaraki, Shizuoka, Hamamatsu City, O-BIC, Okinawa, and JETRO