26 May 2010
Naresh T Narwani is Chairman and CEO of Hong Kong-based NTN Group Ltd, which designs and manufactures gift and premium products, watches, audio-visual equipment, home appliances, computers, computer accessories and peripherals.
Its gift and premium brand CRYSTOCRAFT, which uses STRASS Swarovski crystal, is distributed in markets worldwide. In Six Questions, the NTN Chairman explains why he’s focused on India.
Tell us about your business.
NTN Group Ltd was established in 2009. Our subsidiaries, K Crystals and Gifts Company Ltd, promotes, markets and exclusively distributes our CRYSTOCRAFT brand in India and the Middle East. The brand is made up of a full range of gifts and ornaments, figurines, home décor and jewellery made from STRASS Swarovski Crystal, which has been a supplier for our brand for almost a decade now.
NTN is also engaged in promotion, marketing and distribution of our in-house consumer electronics and IT brand DINATRON, which is designed in Hong Kong and made in the Chinese mainland.
You took part in an HKTDC business mission to India in January. What insights did you gather from that trip?
I had already planned to visit India for business at about the same time and decided that, to develop new contacts, it would be more fruitful to join a targeted, professional mission.
We met several potential buyers during business-matching meetings in Mumbai and Delhi and succeeded in closing deals with a couple of buyers and also followed up with other potential buyers.
What is your assessment of the Indian market and its potential, and what are the unique advantages it holds over other emerging markets?
We’re currently dealing with a few buyers in Mumbai and Delhi. It is not very big volume but it is satisfactory. We’re proceeding step by step to ensure smooth dealings.
As we all know, India has a huge and young population, second only to China, with tremendous growth opportunities. There has been a revolution in recent years with regards to the buying power of a new class of executive middle class consumers, which forms the backbone of the Indian market. Demand will only continue to increase because of ongoing market reforms in India.
You are taking part in the upcoming Lifestyle Expo in Mumbai in October. What do you expect to achieve from this consumer product fair?
I was, in fact, the first exhibitor to register for the Lifestyle Expo in Mumbai. Basically, our plan is to promote our brands, look out for more distributors in other regions and help our existing distributors generate more sales.
What advice would you give for prospective traders interested in the Indian market?
First, for all your dealings, it’s best to go step by step. Second, understand the culture, as it plays a very important role in buying decisions, along with personal relationships. India has many festivals, and celebrations are main reasons – or excuses – for buying decisions. When it comes to payment terms, in all business dealings it is always best to follow bankers’ advice, which is: “You must make sure the buyer has the capacity to buy and the ability to pay.”
Why did you choose to set up business in Hong Kong?
I have been living in Hong Kong with my family for almost 20 years now. Hong Kong has become my home. I find Hong Kong one of the best places in the world to live and do business in.
The city’s banking and finance services are world-class, and some of the biggest trade fairs are held in Hong Kong, helping to generate business globally. The Chinese mainland is also nearby and provides tremendous growth opportunities for business.