40 Indian companies are currently expanding their presence in Hamburg and Gujarat Fluorochemicals, one of the globally-leading Fluoropolymers manufacturers, based out of India and part of INOX group of companies, has chosen Hamburg as the location of its European headquarters.
Gujarat Fluorochemicals GmbH manages sales across Europe, Russia and Turkey from Hamburg presently. The Indian business manager has been won over by the city and plans to expand further in Hamburg in the near future. In an interview with Hamburg News, European Business Head, Deepak Kapoor, said: “When my sector of high performance polymers decided to locate to Europe, moving to Germany became an obvious choice. Germany is the biggest player in all key technologies relevant to our sector – automobiles, aviation, infrastructure, telecom, heavy equipment and chemicals. Germany offers not only well-equipped labs for testing and certifications, it hosts exhibitions and technical conferences on a global level giving us immense opportunities to learn and be well-connected. So we have opted for Germany.
Hamburg has become the most suitable location for European operations. He added: “I need a seaport to transport goods, good warehousing options, quick and well-connected trucking across Europe and Hamburg has it all. Hamburg is a very central location to Western Europe and is home to very large trading and distribution companies.”
“Soft” location factors also important
Gujarat Fluorochemicals’ operations in Hamburg began in 2013 and all kinds of considerations were key to the choice of the company’s first European branch. Kapoor explained: “If my family wanted to come along, then I would need a good residential environment, international schools, professional colleges and universities to learn and grow. Hamburg has all of that.” The Consulate General of India is located in Hamburg to extend diplomatic and cultural support to the Indian society in the city. Hamburg is great in terms of lifestyle and cultural opportunities for personality development. The metropolitan region is attractive; Kapoor loves the exchange of Indian and European cultures including food, music, and movies and would like to cultivate authentic Indian culture in Hamburg. At present, he teaches cooking in a small, intimate circle. In his free time, he learns dancing and does sports. All major Indian festivals are celebrated in Hamburg and Bollywood parties are very common.
Kapoor also values good flight connections from Hamburg and pointed out: “I can fly direct to all major European destinations important for my business and holidays. I often need legal and tax advice in my business and Hamburg is home to many reputed consultants and experts who offer solutions to all business cases.”
Expansion in Hamburg planned
Gujarat Fluorochemicals manufactures and sells Fluoropolymers and refrigerants especially Poly Tetra Fluoro Ethylene – for high-end applications to many everyday products. “We are part of your life – on frying pans, in dental floss, airplanes, cars or mobile phones to name a few.” Currently, Kapoor and a team of ten run the company’s operations in Hamburg and have set up an international advisory staff force, who are consulted when the need arises. He enjoys his office in HafenCity, a modern business district, overlooking the Elbphilharmonie with warehousing operations located in nearby Stelle.
They are well supported and guided by local tax accounting and legal partners who meet the requirements of both Indian and German authorities. “We will continue expanding our base in Hamburg adding more staff this year, and in 2018, if the business situation permits, will plan to start a technical services laboratory followed by processing set-up.“ In 2016, European turnover crossed EUR 50 million and Kapoor is targeting EUR 100 million in 2019. Products offered by Gujarat Fluorochemicals require a high level of quality consistency and technical servicing.
Around 480 Hamburg-based firms have close ties to India and 109 companies have either branches, a foreign representation or production sites there. The share of exports and imports is almost on a par. The main players include Hapag Lloyd Mumbai, Hamburg Süd, Biesterfeld International GmbH, Mumbai, Eppendorf India Ltd., Chennai and Helm India Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai. Conversely, around 40 Indian companies have branches or foreign representations in Hamburg including big companies such as the Indian steel giant Laxmi Mittal and the leading renewable energy solutions provider Suzlon Energy. Additionally, Gujarat Fluorochemicals GmbH, several fashion and food importers such as BOOM International Trading GmbH and Myra Products GmbH operate in Hamburg also.
As part of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, the official Hamburg Representation Mumbai offers their experience, connections and services to German and Indian companies in their efforts to establish and intensify bilateral links.
Networking during India Week Hamburg
Kapoor is likely to feel at home in Hamburg both as networker and gourmet chef during the upcoming India Week Hamburg from November 6-12, 2017. The intercultural week of events is set to be the most varied ever with focal points in commerce, culture, politics, society, law and sport. Several business leaders with ties to India will also attend this year’s festivities.
Networking in Hamburg is one of the city’s bonuses, Kapoor noted: “Networking in Hamburg is easy and there is a good international society. I have just been to a start-up event and could go to an interesting event every week. Like-minded people and business contacts are quick to find. That is yet another unique selling point of Hamburg.“
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