By Richa Chakravarty
If you are looking to explore wider markets and wish to tap the 27 countries of the European Union (EU), here’s something you should know so that your entry into those countries is a smooth one. Conforming to all the statutory, legal and market requirements is essential to trigger business in EU countries. The requirements are related to: 1) consumer health and safety; 2) corporate social responsibility (CSR); 3) environment; and 4) other buyer requirements.
In order to coach Indian electronics companies about the demands of the EU markets, a two day workshop was jointly organised by ELCINA and Automotive Components Manufacturers’ Association (ACMA), supported by the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), an agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands.
Philips and Volkswagen are among the many successful companies in EU. While Philips focused more on environmentally sustainable and greener products, Volkswagen concentrated on the optimal interests of suppliers and other stakeholders, along with environment protection measures. The success stories of both companies within EU offer Indian firms wishing to explore that market a number of lessons.
“Any trader, manufacturer or distributor who wants to trade in EU has to understand the importance of CSR as an important part of the supply chain,” said Ana Maria, senior consultant in CREM BV Company, at the workshop. “Apart from fulfilling the credibility and sustainability criteria, a company also needs to disclose product labels, which is an important aspect of marketing and selling a company’s product, and to communicate to the consumer information, the company’s image, values and the perceived value of the product,” she added. Therefore, when a company designs a label for the EU market, it must take all these factors into consideration.
European buyers are highly conscious about human and environment health; hence, they prefer green products, unlike Indian consumers. Buyers in EU prefer quality products along with a full material declaration. Thus, while trading in substances of very high concern (SVHC), the exact composition of the product should be reported to the customer. Especially, the presence of any SVHC in quantities higher than 0.1 per cent should be reported to the customer.
Commenting on the necessity for such informative interactions and the usefulness of the workshop, one of the participants, Kamaljeet Taneja, assistant manager, purchase, OSF India, shared, “We not only got to know about trade functionalities, legal and marketing requirements, but also about different market trends and technologies. EU is much ahead in standards, especially when it comes to energy efficiency and conservation.”
The workshop also highlighted India’s business potential in EU markets. “India has immense scope in European markets in the field of design and innovation. Europe can also take advantage of India’s EMS industry as 38 per cent of the final products assembled by Indian EMS companies are for global markets. India’s industry can, therefore, boom if trade with EU runs smoothly,” said Guenther Fandrich, CBI expert, electronic components and systems.