In May 2019, LVI and Global Victoria introduced a delegation of leading Victorian companies in the liveability sector to a range of business opportunities in India – through matched introductions and curated networking.

The Urban Development and Smart Cities Mission – LVI and Global Victoria’s first to India – was designed to meet the increasing demand for international liveability expertise in India. With a rapidly changing environment, there’s now greater ease around doing business in India.

In India, LVI’s activities support the Victorian Government’s India Strategy – a decade-long international strategy – and deliver on the strategy’s commitment to promote Victoria as a valued knowledge and business partner to India.

The five delegates – leaders in architecture, water and environmental solutions and transport – began the mission in Bangalore, before separating into individually tailored business matched programs and reconvening in New Delhi to attend the India Smart Cities Expo.

Each stage of the trip provided an opportunity to learn about the local and international companies and technology currently in India, meet with businesses to discuss real-world projects, and explore possible market level and expansion models of business overseas.

The mission was a collaborative effort – supported by Ms Michelle Wade, Victoria’s Commissioner to South Asia, and Austrade in New Delhi. The tailored business programs were developed with the Victorian Government’s Trade and Investment Offices in Bangalore and Mumbai.

The recruitment process for missions of this kind is particularly important. Curating a successful mix of delegates involves finding Victorian companies of excellence interested in India and at the right stage in business to consider moving into export.

In 2019, to launch the mission and begin recruiting delegates, LVI delivered an India export panel and networking event in Melbourne – with a video link to Ms Wade in Bangalore and a panel discussion with three Victorian companies already working in India.

Mission delegate, Harvey Male, Principal Architect (Melbourne) with The Buchan Group was invited to sit on the export panel to share his perspective on working in India. He also joined the mission to India.

I’ve been on a few trade missions, but this was definitely the best.
Harvey Male, Principal Architect (Melbourne), The Buchan Group

For Harvey, being part of a smaller delegation, as the only architect or urban designer, meant that the mission became “concentrated and more relevant”.

“We would never have, on our own, been able to get in front of 21 companies over five days,” says Harvey. “It helps to get a foot in the door – especially because these are people we’ve got a relevant offering for.”

“Being able to share the skills you have and the way we can work together, where your offer matches what the companies need, rather than trying to compete with locals, is critical when trying to build meaningful connections,” he says.

Last year, Harvey and his team delivered a luxury residential project in Chennai. “If it was in Melbourne, it would be our best residential project but it just happens to be in Chennai. It’s a luxury residential complex very much built around Melbourne’s quality of life,” says Harvey.

We met with 21 companies and normally if you come away with one opportunity after a trip, that’s great. To have two, three or four new connections come about from a five-day trade mission makes it a really useful visit
Harvey Male, Principal Architect (Melbourne), The Buchan Group

“There’s a lot of growth in India and huge opportunities for investment,” says Harvey. “We’ve seen great changes there in the past 10 years, but it’s still a difficult market. Like anywhere, it’s all about relationships and connections, but even more so in India.”

“Austrade hosted an event at the Australian embassy in New Delhi and we met a lot of people there,” says Harvey. “It was very effective and showed how Victoria and Australia can really punch above its weight when it comes to leading on liveability.”

By cultivating a liveability sector connection between Victoria and India, LVI is well placed to develop new relationships and pave the way for new commercial opportunities for leading Victorian businesses, sharing expertise and excellence already in demand across India.

When you can be introduced or vouched for as a delegate on a trade mission, it resonates with people overseas because you’re more recognised and valued as a company representing Victoria and what it offers, than if you turned up on your own.
Harvey Male, Principal Architect (Melbourne), The Buchan Group

Page last updated: 04/05/20