Israel and India have a strong and growing trade partnership, and one of the “star” sectors is certainly the water industry. As we reported in the Israel NewTech blog, the election of Narendra Modi as India’s Prime Minister last year is predicted to give a major push to the cooperation between the two nations in the water arena, as Modi places strong emphasis on improving the quality of India’s water facilities.
This prediction is beginning to come true. The Israeli Economic Offices in Delhi and Bangalore, in cooperation with Israel NewTech, hosted ten Israeli companies in February for fruitful events and discussions with Indian water companies. The delegation was headed by the Director General of the Ministry of Economy in Israel, Amit Lang.
One of India’s most ambitious goals, and the focus of this delegation, is the cleanup of the very polluted Ganges River. One of the events -“Cleaning the Ganges River – Business Opportunities” – was also attended by Mr. Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director of National Mission for Clean Ganga, Ministry of Water Resources, and a representative from the World Bank. Another seminar focused on “Water Resource Management in Urban Areas.”
We spoke with Yoni Ben-Zaken, Economic Officer in Delhi, about the opportunities for Israeli water technology companies in the Indian plans for the Ganges cleanup:
“The huge challenge that is cleaning the Ganges, and that the new Indian government is taking very seriously, will include dozens, even hundreds, of specific projects,” says Ben-Zaken. “Israel’s greatest advantage lies in the expertise of Israeli companies in treatment of industrial wastewater.”
The Economic Office in Delhi and Israel NewTech have mapped out the sectors involved in polluting the Ganges. These include the food & beverage industry, paper industry, and distilleries. This extensive preparatory work enables Israeli companies to attend delegations that are very focused and bring them directly in touch with the companies who are in need of wastewater treatment technologies.
Another major opportunity for Israeli companies are the large Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) companies in India. These large infrastructure companies, such as Jindal, Wipro Water and others, are showing very strong interest in Israeli water technologies, according to Ben-Zaken.
“Penetrating the Indian water market is not a short process, and requires perseverance, but the pay-off can be very significant indeed,” concludes Ben-Zaken. “Israeli water companies like Aqwise and BTC are already doing business in India, and we are working hard to make sure that list will grow. The cleanup of the Ganges, and the cooperation with Indian EPCs, are two large opportunities we’ll do everything we can to make sure Israeli water companies take advantage of.”
The Delhi event was followed by events in Bangalore. The Israeli companies which participated in the delegation are: Amiad, Arad, A.R.I., Arrow Operations, Baran International, BioPetroClean, Mekorot, NaanDan Jain Irrigation, Palgey-Maim and SolidAT.