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Industry stalwarts join INZBC Board

Industry stalwarts join INZBC Board – gender diversity strengthened.


Three new members have joined the governance board of the India New Zealand Business Council, two of whom are senior business women. INZBC, established over thirty years ago is the undoubtedly the longest serving and effective Business council in the country.

The new appointees, who are heavy hitters in their respective fields add talent, and expertise on the governance board. The new appointees are Jo Pennycuick (Managing Director, Redesign Group), Esther Guy-Meakin (Manager, International Trade, Beef + Lamb New Zealand) and Earl Rattray (Director, Dairy Link Ltd).

All the three members come with years of experience in the India-NZ trade space and have been pioneers, in their own right. Also, it sets the right direction, in supporting gender diversity on New Zealand boards.

Jo Pennycuick, the owner and founder of Redesign Group who has built the company over 20 years into a globally operated design practice. With offices located in Delhi, Ho Chi Minh City and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Jo can service her clients across the key areas of business trade. The core work for the company is in the hospitality, commercial and retail sectors designing spaces within airports and malls around the world.

Redesign has worked on many airports in Indian including Delhi T3, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Mumbai. International companies include Samsung India, SSP and TFS. Jo’s appointment to the NZ Indian Business council will provide fellow New Zealand companies with in depth knowledge and experience on the ‘know how’ of carrying out business in India.

On her appointment, Jo commented, “I am thrilled to be on the board of the Indian New Zealand Business Council. I hope to bring some value add to the council and provide my experience and in territory knowledge to fellow New Zealanders that wish to enter the Indian market.”

“We are actively working in the airport, hospitality and retail sectors and providing local Indian Corporates and international brands with a unique design service. We are expanding into construction as many companies are now expecting a turnkey solution. The corporates are seeing value in our work in India, and we are now working with Samsung India, Diagio - Jonnie walker and LG for their roll out plans.
These contacts have been secured after 6-7 years of in territory work and persistence. We see that this is a typical length of time for an offshore company to make traction in a new country - especially India”, said Jo.

Esther Guy-Meakin is currently the International Trade Manager at Beef & Lamb NZ.
She comes with a background in trade policy and trade negotiations after a diplomatic career at the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade where she did a range of trade and economic focused roles including, Lead Goods Negotiator on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Pacific Alliance, and India-New Zealand FTA negotiations and Legal Advisor on Services and Investment in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. She also served offshore in the New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi, India for three years from 2014-2016 where she focused on market access for New Zealand companies, and trade and economic policy.

On her appointment, Esther commented “India and New Zealand are natural partners – we share common values such as our commonwealth heritage, a commitment to democracy and English as a common business language. Our trade and economic relationship has been growing steadily, but we could do much more – there is enormous potential.”

“There are increasing opportunities for New Zealand and India to deepen their trade links and cooperation in a range of areas including on services and manufacturing. And in respect of food and beverage and agriculture, there is real potential for New Zealand to be a valuable partner in India’s growth story.”

“After my three years in India, I’m really excited to continue my connection to the Indian community through INZBC and be part of growing the relationship between India and New Zealand.”

Representing the dairy industry, is Earl Rattray, Director, Dairy Link Ltd. Earl has a long-standing dairy industry career, both in farming, and in significant dairy industry leadership roles, including a founding Director of the Fonterra Co-operative Group, and the inaugural Chairman of the NZ Dairy Companies’ Association. Earl currently holds interests in several dairy farming and related businesses both in New Zealand and offshore. He is a cornerstone shareholder and company Chairman of Binsar Farms Pvt. Ltd, a pioneering Indian /NZ dairy farming and fresh milk marketing company in Sonipat, Haryana. Earl manages his own dairy industry consultancy, Dairy Link Ltd, specialising in New Zealand and Asia dairy sector insight and analysis.

On his appointment to the INZBC board, he commented, “INZBC plays a valuable role in building bridges between business networks and between nations. All of us doing business in India benefit directly or indirectly from INZBC activity. We owe it to ourselves to lend it our support.”

Earl’s success in India, is a classic case-study, of ‘how-to-do-it-the-right-way’. He has proven his leadership and business acumen, with the success story in India. Earl can provide a very good insight into how the Indian industry operates and the challenges faced therein.

He further added, “I think New Zealand enjoys a favourable standing in India. They trust us, but being the good folk from a clean country with high quality merchandise is not enough on its own to stay relevant in India. India totally re-sets your comprehension of demand, competition and margins. Step by step, the environment for investing and operating a business there is maturing, and some aspects of company regulation are impressively advanced. The transition from Informal to formal business is palpable, and so is the transition of Indian consumers expectations.”

“New Zealand companies should be at the front of the queue when India eventually begins to reduce its trade barriers, which will happen over time. Meanwhile, there is a lot New Zealand companies and institutions can offer India while they patiently build a presence there. Anything the INZBC can do to support their engagement in India should be encouraged”, Earl commented.

The INZBC treasurer, Bhav Dhillon said that INZBC is excited to have three very experienced and credible professionals on the board. “Having the new members covering three important sectors: Dairy, F&B and Services, gives us an all-round edge, of having a very good pool of talent on our board. Among the INZBC board, we already had representation from the following sectors: Dairy Export, Education, Infrastructure, Logging, Aviation and Logistics. These new appointees add more value to the leadership quotient of the board”.

“A well-rounded board helps us to give the right kind of advice to the industry and the policy makers at both ends of the world, which is what is expected of our Council”.

INZBC chair, Robert Barker said, “We welcome the new board members and hope that this will take our Council a long way, in providing more in-dept insights and on-ground support for other Kiwi businesses, wishing to work with India.”

On the opportunity that a market like India represents, the new board member, Jo said, “The FTA between New Zealand and India is taking some time. However we see that there is a lot of work from our Government being applied to ensure the trade alliances between the countries can solidify. The economy is improving in India which is providing confidence in the market for both local and international companies to invest and expand.”

“India is a wonderfully vibrant and progressive country to work in. Our commitment to the country is long term and will further progress the business in India”, said Jo.

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