Early this week, Anand Sharma, India’s commerce minister stated that the warm bilateral trade relationship between Africa and his country is expected to hit $100 billion by 2015 and the target could well be achieved before the end of 2013.
It is on this inspiration that Tata Group, an Indian company which begun its operations across the continent in the late 70s seeks to catapult its presence in key industrial areas across African nations.
Tata started operating in Africa in 1977 and now gets 2.3% of its revenue from the continent. It aims to grow its business in Africa by 30% a year by increasing its presence in African mining,automotive, infrastructure and hospitality sectors, according to a company official in a press briefing on Monday held in New Delhi.
The group, which runs the Tata Chemicals Magadi plant in Kenya’s Rift Valley, has concrete plans in place to venture into seven new countries in the next 3-4 years, making the total tick to 20 countries in the continent.
Invest in Africa.
So far, Indian telecommunications companies such as Essar, Bharti Airtel Ltd and automotive companies such as Bajaj Motor World Ltd and Tata World Motors are fast investing their resources in Africa in a bid to establish new trade markets for their products, establish brands and influence consumer preferences.
According to Mr. Sharma, the bilateral trade between his nation and the African continent is most likely to hit $100 billion by 2015 and the target could well be achieved in 2014 if the right measures are hatched. Sharma said that Indian investments in Africa are now close to $50 billion.
Tata group which currently boasts of five companies successfully operating in Africa, earned a total revenue of $100.09 billion (around Rs475,721 crore) in 2011-12, with 58 percent of this coming from businesses outside India.
Tata Africa Holdings was established in Johannesburg, South Africa as a subsidiary of global trading company Tata International in 1994 and serves as headquarters for Tata operations in Africa as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata International.
According to R.T. Wasan the head international business (commercial vehicles) unit at Tata Motors, the company will put in place measures to guide the sell commercial vehicles in Africa.
Wasan also observed that it takes anywhere around $5-10 million to establish a joint venture for assembly operations.
Currently, Tata Motors has a vehicle assembly facility in South Africa from where it produces its vehicles for the export market. Public service vehicles such as Indica are, however, exported to South Africa.