Golder Overcomes Hurdles of Doing Business in India
Jul 19, 2012Consultant work in India presents immense opportunities and challenges, according to Russell Merz, Golder Associates' managing principal in the Delhi office, who was interviewed recently by a Canadian infrastructure industry magazine.
Russell's comments appear in ReNew Canada, a national infrastructure publication. The article carries perspectives from a variety of business professionals about how business is done in a country destined to surpass China by 2030 as the most populated country on earth.
Russell acknowledges that many consulting firms have struggled with building a presence in India - whether through partnering with a local firm, starting a small office, or entering the market with a sizable investment.
"Very few have lasted more than a few years, and of those, few are successful," Russell says in the article.
Golder is an exception. Our office in India was established in 2008 to provide global clients with locally based services.
The Golder team, supplemented by technical professionals throughout Asia, has worked on challenging projects all over India related to due diligence, fatal flaw analyses, environmental assessments, site remediation, business continuity risk assessments, water supply and water quality, industrial hygiene and occupational safety, compliance audits, and geotechnical ground conditions.
Russell explains that the need for infrastructure extends to rail, road, ports, power projects and airports - all of which are being expanded and upgraded at a rapid pace. With this fast rate of development comes the concurrent need for water and sanitation infrastructure. Russell says that water supplies are scarce and the necessary infrastructure is also lacking. Sanitation remains a key challenge.
The ReNew Canada article notes that water tables frequently drop, as groundwater is the main source, and flows can quickly lessen once the monsoon season is over each year. Also, surface water supplies come from dams built 50 years ago that have been filling with sediment over the last five decades, so their water storage capacity has been dwindling significantly.
Russell adds that companies like Golder can be successful at introducing specific technologies and services for water and sanitation if they can be adept at maneuvering through the social and regulatory hurdles in India.
He notes that "there are significant business culture differences in how compulsory negotiations occur, agreements are reached, and work is conducted.
It's a constant learning process. "I have worked in India for 20 years and am still learning lessons," Russell says.
About Golder Associates
Golder Associates is a respected, employee-owned, global organisation providing consulting, design, and construction services in our specialist areas of earth, environment, and the related areas of energy. From 180 offices worldwide, our more than 8,000 employees work with clients to manage their environmental and engineering activities in a technically sound, economically viable, and socially responsible manner.
For more information contact:
Golder Associates Corporation
Global Marketing Leader
Tel: 1+ (770) 496-1893
Cell: 1+ (404) 956-4470