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FDI in Udaipur: Interview with Dr. Frank-Jurgen Richter

frank-richter“I could well imagine to see expatriates settle down on the lakeshore…”

The above quote come from Dr. Frank-Jürgen Richter, the Chief Executive Officer of Horasis: The Global Visions Community, Switzerland. UdaipurTimes.com (UT) had the privilege of communicating with the CEO of Horasis, before and after his trip to Udaipur, earlier this month.

We present below the excerpts from an interview with Dr. Richter, which were taken through email. However, before the excerpts we would like our readers to understand the Horasis philosophy and know about Dr. Richter.

Horasis’ philosophy states that its professional guidance to corporate leaders is based on three fundamental values:  Sustainability, Principled leadership and Community Building and that Horasis believe in a new leadership credo, which dispenses with power and embraces generally accepted principles.

This philosophy was explained to us by Dr. Richter as under:

“Always we hope to benefit the globe though our informed discussions.  Global leaders from different governments and commercial firms exchange ideas that can lead to a better world and these ideas may be initiated by these leaders when they return to the home base.”

Prior to founding Horasis, Dr. Richter was a Director at the World Economic Forum. Dr. Richter lived, studies and worked in Asia for almost a decade where he helped develop and manage European Multinationals’ China operations.

He is a leading analyst of international business and emerging economies and has recently authored “Global Future, Six Billion Minds and Recreating Asia“.

In his various seminars he has addressed audiences at the World Economic Forum, Brookings Institute, Harvard University, Beijing University, Royal Institute of International Affairs and various other high-level corporate events including the Global India Business Meeting.

Following are further excerpts on his interview.  

What are the main differences between the deliberations at World Economic Forum and Horasis’s meetings?

I think the WEF has become a little too large now, and others have opined that the speeches of leaders are now designed for consumption ‘back home’ – especially as there is a strong media presence.

At the smaller Horasis meetings there is time for delegates to meet and discuss with each other; and under “Chatham House Rules” they may be outspoken without fear of Press reporting: we have no media presence per se. Also, Horasis is mainly focused on topics of relevance to business leaders; we are much less political than the WEF.

“Udaipur is greatly contributing to the image of an ‘incredible India’…”
Your view point on the Indian system as compared to other Asian countries? India is run by entrepreneurs. The tremendous entrepreneurial spirit of India’s business leaders makes the country’s economy so special, so different – entrepreneurship is India’s engine.  

Your book, Global Future, Six Billion Minds and Recreating Asia” could definitely provide valuable inputs to the students as well as practicing business managers.  Could you please give a very brief account of its contents and how to make use of them to our readers?

 This book is about sharing knowledge within a world which outsources many physical objects and tasks.  To promote understanding and working methods we must also ‘outsource our knowledge’.

This is done very well by some of the major globalized Indian firms… exchange knowledge of how to do things better which increasingly involve innovation and sustainability.  The book examines management challenges and innovation opportunities in the light of the profound impact of globalization and the emergence of the knowledge economy.

It shows how to build excellence by leveraging the vast global knowledge pool of the “six billion minds” that make up the emerging knowledge economy, which is driven by the convergence of business and technology. In fact, showing how fast the globe progresses, we need to retitle it to be “Seven Billion Minds”.

“Udaipur has a great future… “
  In perspective, what role does Horasis see of a Tier II upcoming city like Udaipur play in the economic growth of a country the size and demography of India. Do you suppose that in the light of the current scenario, there could be possibilities of foreign direct investment in the region – i.e. corporates from foreign locations setting up shop here, especially in Marble and Tourism?

I had a good time in Udaipur. I very much like the city.  Udaipur has a great future. Already today, it is one of India’s top tourist destinations. Udaipur is greatly contributing to the image of an ‘incredible India’, with its lakes and palaces.

The City helps to create a fantastic image of India overseas – a contribution that is not easy to grasp in mere figures. But this contribution to India’s overall growth is a fact.

I attended a wedding in Udaipur with 15 more people from outside India and I hope they will come back to do some business her. It is now time to attract foreign direct investment.

Investors have lots of choices; they make up their investment decisions by taking into account many different variables. One important variable is the visual attractiveness of a place and Udaipur scores high when it comes to attractiveness – I could well imagine seeing expatriates settle down on the lakeshores.

Even more important than the ‘soft’ sectors are the ‘hard factors’, ie administrative support to attract FDI, logistics/flight connections, number of employable staff, etc.

Udaipur could develop a comprehensive concept to attract FDI a good starting point is Udaipur’s exisiting strength, marble and tourism. But I would not limit FDI to these sectors. IT, manufacturing and professional services could be other entry points.

compilation by: Mansoor A Bohra and Zaheer Abbas

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  1. Mubarak says

    We don’t want FDI in Udaipur.. We don’t want Udaipur to turn into a 2 tier or whatever tyre city.. We don’t want to kill our villages and expand the city.. These so called big guys will only mess-up the beauty of our city for the sake of their own big pockets..

    If we don’t protest now, we will lose it all.. If we can’t improve the green belt and ecology of Udaipur that makes it a beauty then just let Udaipur be as it is..


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