An outside-in perspective of India

Having spent one year in India as managing director at Maersk Line, Franck Dedenis points out four unique, must-know characteristics for doing business in India:

Managing director at Maersk Line India, Franck Dedenis: "India is a huge country. Several states are two or three times as big as major Euopean countries. That means different stages of development and it brings some complexity."

1. Scale: “India is huge, and it takes time to get used to. If you want to open a market, you need thousands of containers. Travelling easily involves three hours of flight and four hours by car. You need planning and structure. Otherwise you will get lost in it.”

2. Youth: “More than 50% of the population is below the age of 25, and the energy, momentum and enthusiasm is overwhelming. The challenge is to capture it and direct all the energy and ideas towards a goal. You need to create an environment that can unleash the potential.”

3. Order in chaos: “You have to look above what you see, to understand how India works. Traffic can look like a complete chaos, but if you step back and look at the big picture, it works. It may not work as efficiently as you might hope, but it works, and that goes for a lot of things.”

4. Entrepreneurship: “You see people taking initiatives all the time, and people find ways to make things work despite any challenges. That gives me a lot of faith in this country. Understand that, find out what it means to you in the business and then put in structures to make the most of it.”