Benelex countries comprising Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg provide big business opportunities for Indian IT companies. Rabo Bank based out of Netherlands and Nasscom organized a seminar to promote business opportunity between the two regions. Nasscom projects that software exports from India to the Benelux countries are expected to go up from 3 percent in 2000-01 to 5 percent in 2003.
The Indian IT presence in Europe and Benelux countries is not impressive due to barriers such as cultural differences, more inward style of functioning in Europe as compared to the US and language. Therefore despite the potential in Benelex countries Indian companies have very limited ground presence. It is thus imperative that Indian companies utilize the acquisition alliance route for enhancing their presence in these markets.
Hans Slob, Senior Analyst at Rabo International said, "Indian companies should seriously explore the possibility of acquiring IT companies in order to establish presence in the region."
Companies in both the countries have matured technologically and are now ready too look for international alliance. While Indian companies have developed the necessary skill sets, companies in Benelux region are keen to outsource software development to India to help tighten the bottomlines. Some of the areas where demand for software development is expected are W-LAN, VoIP, security, managed services and embedded software.
At the same time, Indian companies can look for collaboration in areas of mobile applications like messaging, where these countries have developed advanced applications.
Biotechnology is also being mooted as a huge area for cooperation. While the Benelux countries are advanced in medical biotechnology, India has more experience in agri-biotechnology. The Indian opportunity in biotechnology lies in businesses such as data mining and data storage. A number of Indian IT companies has evinced interest in biotechnology.