Frank Seidel with Wamser Batra USA

Industrial Talk is chatting with Frank Seidel, Managing Partner at Wamser + Batra USA about “Solutions in how your company can succeed in India”.  The following is a summary of our conversation:

  • Succeeding in India with Frank Seidel. 0:04
    • Scott Mackenzie welcomes listeners to the industrial talk podcast and thanks them for their support.
    • Frank Seidel, industry professional, discusses how to take businesses to the next level in India.
    • Scott MacKenzie, host, highlights Frank's background and expertise in the industry.
  • Entering the Indian market for US companies. 5:43
    • Frank discusses the potential of the Indian market for US companies, highlighting its large size and consumer preferences for foreign products.
    • Frank highlights India's low labor costs and potential as a gateway to Asia for manufacturing and exporting.
    • Frank advises companies to take a strategic and well-planned approach to entering the Indian market, involving a market visit and introduction to key stakeholders.
    • Web USA offers a specialized service to help companies navigate the Indian market, including setting up meetings with suppliers, competitors, and potential locations for a manufacturing plant.
  • Setting up and expanding business in India with a US-based consulting firm. 13:03
    • India presents unique challenges for businesses due to cultural differences and complex regulations.
    • India's labor force is 50% of China's size, with a strong male workforce and limited female participation.
    • Frank offers long-term partnership to guide companies through India's complex business environment.
  • Expanding business into India with potential risks and challenges. 20:07
    • Scott MacKenzie is concerned about the risks of expanding his organization into India, but is interested in exploring the opportunity with the help of a trusted partner like Speaker 3.
    • Frank emphasizes the importance of proper preparation, including having the right budget and team in place, before entering the Indian market.
    • Company helps businesses navigate complex Indian market, mitigating legal issues and finding new suppliers.
  • India's business potential and trust building. 25:10
    • Frank from India shares insights on trust and consultative approach in business conversations.
    • Frank Seidel shares his insights on building trust in business relationships.

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Welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots,


and let's go. Alright, once again, thank you very much for joining Industrial Talk. And thank you, from the bottom of my heart, your continued support of this wonderful platform that celebrates industry professionals all around the world, because you are bold, brave, and you dare greatly you're solving problems are truly, and I mean, truly, making this world a better place. We're going to be talking about how to succeed in India. How about that for a topic? Frank is the gentleman the company has. And you know, I'm, I'm stretching myself here. The company is one sir. Batra. And I'm sure I butchered it. But anyway, they go by web USA. And I love the conversation. Let's get cracking. Let me say it again. One, sir. Yeah. Well, I'm sir. Yeah. Well, I'm Sir Batra. Make a note of that. However, you know, as well, as I do, all of it will be out on Industrial Talk. So you don't have to try to figure out how to spell it with me trying to figure out how to pronounce it. But nonetheless, Scott is going to be out there. Frank is the man. Anyway, we've got a busy, busy week coming up, we're going to be broadcasting on site. And I and I just encourage you, to be a part of this expanding ecosystem, go out to Industrial Talk. And if you see some events, and it's we, we constantly add to it, but if you see some events that you know, you're going to be attending, or if you're saying, Wow, that seems like a pretty cool event, I should attend, you know, make it happen. But if you see that event out on Industrial Talk, you know, well that I will be broadcasting from that, that event, so and if that's the case, and you say to yourself, I'm going to be attending, you need to come knocking on the door and say, Scott, I would love to be able to get on that podcast and do something on site. At that conference, why not? Why not? It's all there. It's all there for you. But we always have a great time. And and again, the professionalism that exists at these events, and and just in general, I mean, industry is just a wonderful, wonderful group of individuals, you're a part of it. And so I just can't sing the praises enough of all of these wonderful things. All right. Again, out in Industrial Talk, we have, we have webcast, if you want to have a webcast, you just got to let me know, click on get in contact with Scott, if you have any interest in teaching a specific program that we promote it, we have an LMS right now it's specifically wrapped wrapped around marketing, wrapped around sales, and, and the impact it has to your bottom line, and try to do everything that we possibly can to help you succeed. We want you to succeed. And and I say it all the time. But I truly mean it. This is an education platform. And it highlights all of the industrial professionals around the world, sharing their knowledge, sharing their insights, so that everyone can truly succeed. The second thing is that every single one of these individuals that are on the podcast would love to collaborate, that is just absolutely wonderful. So you can educate, you can reach out to them. You can collaborate, get answers, and then be able to innovate in a way that helps you succeed in the future. That's what this platform is all about. We are constantly adding to it. And I want you to know that you can add to it as well. Go out, click on contact with me. Have a chat. Let's sit at a minimum at a minimum. Just get you on the podcast. All right. Let's get cracking with the conversation. And I'm going to try his last name. But Frank, don't hold it against me. I will be seeing you in a few few days. Frank Seidel. The company is one sir. wom sir Batra and we're talking about India, and we're talking about how to take your business and some of the solutions that you have in and create that relationship in India so that once again, you can succeed. Great conversation, a lot of wonderful, wonderful insights. So, enjoy it. Frank, welcome to Industrial Talk. How are you doing today?


I'm doing very well, Scott. Thank you.


So that hey, I'm so glad that you found time on your schedule, and your flexibility. Listeners, we were scheduled to talk the day before. And of course, I was busy and and he was gracious enough to be flexible and to talk about a really cool subject. But before we get into that topic, for the listeners out there, Frank, give us a little background on who you are, and why you're such a great professional.


Absolutely. German born European raised, American cured if that's you had to work through that one.


Like, I'm not going to do this. Right.


Lived in four countries, but the majority of my life in the US and worked in proud proximately a dozen different countries, including India. And normally with large teams from around the world. The managing partner at Wamser Batra USA, lovingly called WB USA,


thank you. Right? Yeah, I yeah, I was looking at the URL. Ah, okay.


And our goal is, we want US companies to succeed in India, period. That's what we're here to do.


That's interesting. Give us give us an example of me, let's say I'm a company and what would be some of the reasons why I want to get engaged with India,


with India itself, because it is a huge market. I don't know if if the listeners are aware of that. But the combined buying power of the middle class in India is very much like that of the US, it's somewhere between 10 and $11 trillion. Obviously, they have different spending patterns and their individual spending power is quite a bit less than in the US. But overall, the spending power is enormous. And so it's a it's a very interesting market for the right product. For example, consumer products or service products. One of one of the examples that that is always funny to, to tell is that they have wonderful ice cream. India makes fantastic ice cream, it's really yummy. So for us going over there and testing, training ice cream, it's just delicious. But guess what? They prefer American ice cream. They want to they want to have our ice cream, and they want to eat it. And that's what they what is very popular over there. And so that that's odd. Yeah, they did. But they like foreign products, they really do. Even though their own products are very good. But they they prefer to spend their money on foreign products. Because it's it has status attached with it. And status is very important for the end consumer. Isn't


it? Interesting? Yeah. Yeah. Now, that's a two way street to if I want to try to sell into India, that's one. But then if I want to, if, if it's conversely, coming into the United States, you deal with both sides,


you have a well, and there's yet a different play actually, if a manufacturing company produces an India and an exports from there to other foreign countries other than the US. So you expand your market, not just into India, but beyond India. So it's your gateway into Asia, for example. So there are many different plays, exporting from India back to the US might be a little cost prohibitive because of the high tariffs. But that doesn't mean that it wouldn't make sense to do because the production cost in India is the lowest in the world at the moment. Is it really it is it's the lowest labor cost in the world at the moment.


See, what's interesting, is I'll run some ads will run some Google ads. And without a doubt India that whole area hungry just based off of the data hungry for information. Yeah, it's it's i It's an amazing observation just backed up by data. So you take that hunger. You recognize that there's there's this interest there but I'm not good at creating opportunities in India, how does somebody go about doing that? I mean, how do you, it's like, I see it, we can manufacture something in India, and then we can have access to other markets. And again, to your point, maybe it's cost prohibitive to bring it into the United States. But then there's other other markets to, you know, use. So how does somebody, first off think that that's the right strategy.


That's a, that's exactly where the rubber hits the road we have. So when a company decides to go to India, it has to be a really strategic decision, right? They have to have budgets, they have to have the right team. You can't just use somebody internally from your company, because they might be from India, or they have been to India to say, hey, why don't you go over there and start this up for us?


And they have done that? They have done that? Unfortunately, yes, yes.


Those kinds of things do tend to not go anywhere. So what we advise is to actually, you have to go to India. And I don't mean just, you have to have a goal, why you want to be over there, right? So let's, let's take this top down, the sea level says we wanted to go to India, here objectives. Let's put a trip together. And so we have something very special at web USA, where we actually we invite clients to come to India and tell us ahead of time, like, Okay, what would you like to see who, what would you like to accomplish, and we do it, it's a, it's a market visit, basically, where we set up the entire itinerary, we show your competitors in your space, we show you suppliers in your space, we show you locations where you could put a manufacturing plant, or maybe buy an existing one, we have the whole thing planned out from start to finish. So it's not like you can buy this at the you know, at the next travel agent, no, no, you need to have a company who puts this together for you. And we have a special team to do that. And then we actually travel with you around all of these locations. And we introduce it to people, we start the conversation, and nine times out of 10 the market visit is so productive. And it's so insightful, that the team of the company goes back and already knows right there on site is like wow, are there opportunities that we didn't even know existed? There are some low hanging fruit, we we can slice and dice it this way. So it's a very interesting way for people to get to know the country and where they might want to start prospering over there.


Do you facilitate that sort of thought process? Because if I, I can I can just say, Hey, I think India would be a great place to set up shop, I could just have that sort of a while watching TV, but I don't have really any any depth to that thought process? Do you help facilitate that or help clients that are interested and try to refine that? Subjective that strategy?


Absolutely. Basically, for every lifecycle for every stage in the lifecycle, do we help us companies or international companies to get established in India, whether you want to found a or create a company, or you have an existing company, but you're struggling with compliance and regulations or something like that, or you are established, and now suddenly, your manufacturing plans workers this, they go on strike, so you're in crisis mode, we have people we have boots on the ground that can go into these locations and actually help to de escalate, like we've done some for other companies before. Or you'll find that after, you know, two or three years, your trusted partner in India turns out to be not so trustworthy, and that has been damaged or you need to know the you know, the extent of the damage. We can go in, we have forensic teams, we can figure this out. And we are not beholden to your partner. We work for you as a US company so we can actually give you the information the way it should be presented. India is people speak English over there, but that's pretty much where the similarities stop, right?


It's your whole Yeah.


You have to be very careful not to mistake that India is a very, very different beast from doing business in the US or anywhere else in the world. It's its own thing. And so the local context of India to understand that is very important in order to be successful over there.


It had, I can only imagine I can, the opportunities there, but you have to make sure that that's, that's the cultural side, right, that you have to be quite adept and skilled. But that's where you and your organization comes to us and helps bozos like me, who are not that savvy when it comes to things like that. What about how does it differ than China? Let's just, you know, let's just sort of lay it out there. And, and, you know, China comes to mind, take us through that.


China, or let's do the other way around. India is today where China was probably 30 years ago, from a population perspective. So right now, the day is enough labor force in India, to represent the two to equal that of China 30 years ago 50% of the population in India is under 26 years, just Oh, yeah, just appreciate that. Right. So there is a very, very strong labor force, males, especially the female role in India is different than that, in China. In China, women were willing to go for weeks and live in dormitories and work for the money and you know, be away from their family, whereas in India, women are homemakers, they raise the children, they take care of the house. Now, the in Davos, you saw that there was a play that women are now encouraged, and provided with tools and resources to also enter the workforce. And should that really happen, then, India is absolutely unstoppable. Because that's just one of the Achilles heels that the female workforce for us is probably going to remain quite small. But nevertheless, with 1.4 billion people in that country, so more than China ever had, and 50% of those are under 26. And there's a very strong part of that population that is male, and they are hungry to get work. Because there aren't enough jobs in India. So if you're a large manufacturing company, and you have the money to go over there, you can produce at a very low labor cost, but it has to be set up the right way. Otherwise, you will not get the right results. And this is where we help companies to think through it from A to Z from start to finish. And we will accompany them for throughout all lifecycle. So as I said, all the stages that lifecycle we we have been there, we've done this for over 20 years, 2000 projects. And so we kind of have the ability to look around the corner and a little bit. And that comes in quite handy.


Do you let's say everything tracks the way I want it to track and I'm, I'm I've got my my business set up, done it correctly, I'm dealing properly with the culture we're, we're doing what we need to do. And that whole interaction that dynamics that exists with the business that's great. Are you there even in the long term, like you don't just say here's the keys to the car, good luck, that type of thing. After a while long


term then we're I think where we shine is where we help companies to really get to the next level. An example is Lufthansa where they were trying to expand their their spots in in Delhi. They are so their flights bots, right? Because you only get that many coming in and out of the airport. And it took almost two years to establish the right relationships in order to obtain more permits to fly in and out. And those are the kinds of things where we can guide companies through the labyrinth and and how to set up the relationships, what to do what not to do so it continues to be a cultural exercise and education. But as you get to the different levels and success within India, there's still another layer above that. And we can help you guide through all of that. So So we're not just handing over the keys, we would actually like to be long term partners for the entire duration. Yeah,


I, that would be the the biggest concern on my part. It's like I get it. I see the the economic and strategic benefits of a of a relationship in India, and trying to expand that. But the biggest risk would be, oh, my gosh, I'm all alone now. And and I've got to try to figure this out. And then my concern would go through the roof. But then, but then I have Sherpas like you that. Don't. Don't do that.


That's right. Yes.


What's, what's the biggest roadblock? What's? Why would I? I mean, it sounds I mean, I can kick the I can go to you and kick the tires and saying, I've been interested in expanding my organization into India, and then be able to access markets in a different way. I can I can have that conversation with you. And you would be honest, and say, maybe it's not the right time, or yesterday is a good time, this is how I would that's okay to have that conversation with you. Right? Oh,


totally. We want you to, to be successful, right? Number one. And so if in the conversation, we feel that you're, you, as a company, have not done the homework, or the legwork, to make sure that India will be a success, we will point that out. Because, you know, just like we want you to be successful, we also cannot take on a project that will fail or that we know well free off from the onset. That's why it has to be a very frank accommodation. And it's okay, because maybe you're ready a year or two down the road. Who knows? We don't want to get into situations where suddenly we are going to have an issue on top of having to battle in India. That's not right. Right.


See, that's, that's perfect. Because that's you when you went across the board, if I come to you, and I'm not ready, but I'm still learning. And I might not be ready for a year, year and a half, two years, whatever the timeline, at least I'm, I've got this dialogue with you.


Absolutely, yes. And you know, you have to have the right budget in place, and you have to have a team in place. And then your expectations need to be probably adjusted. Now, if you're already in India, and you're running into issues, we'll which inevitably, everybody is going to, because it is a complex entity in India itself, then we're always happy to have a conversation. I mean, this is what we do, right. And we can probably diagnose the situation pretty quickly, and then devise a plan in order to turn these things around. To give you another example, there was a and I can't say the name of the company, but it's a global alternative energy company. They had a partner who unfortunately misappropriated intellectual property, and then dragged him through the court system in India, which needs to be avoided by any means, because there is no wind situation there. And after about 10 years of having gone through that they finally came to us. And we had a person who we could put in place right away, to basically de escalate that crisis. And the partner made it impossible for them to continue doing business in India, but they wanted to be in India. And so over the course of two years, we help them to re enter the market. We took we helped them to get rid of any legal claims. And we helped him to completely renegotiate a new set of suppliers. And then within two years, they could restart their efforts in India. This is how important the market is for many companies that they will not only battle for 10 years, but then say, Okay, Let's reboot this. And in two years, we can start again. Now hopefully, if you're in a situation where you have a problem, we don't have to go through this. This is a very extreme case, but so much damage had been done. And so this is another reason why it's good to work with a company like ours where we can help you to set up the structures properly to protect yourself, and then help you find the right trade partners. and suppliers and so forth. Because all of these things are very different than anywhere else in the world. Very complex, and they need to be done right?


What what do you think outside of all of the other conversations we've been having? What's it sounds like a, at, at a minimum, have a conversation, just at a minimum, to be able to talk about it and learn a little bit more. What are some of the what's the roadblock from not? Not doing that? Like, what would prevent somebody from doing that?


Probably not knowing about us. Yeah. So this is why it's good that we're talking about yes. Now. So anybody who is interested in having a conversation, they Our doors are open, we're happy to have any kind of conversation, and I'm sure it's going to be a very stimulating, stimulating conversation. We have people from around the world who can chime in into the conversation and have had decades of experience in in India. So any kind of specialized knowledge that might be required? We can make it available.


I mean, it does it that I would be looking for somebody, and it always gets down to trust. I mean, it's it's doable, but it's Who do you trust? And then of course, you and your organization has sort of the street cred to be able to stay here. We've done it before we've been through the good and the bad and the ugly, we know what, what to do what not to do that type of approach. Sounds like a winner for me.


Yep. Because it's not a sales conversation. It's it's a result, you know, a consultative issue resolution conversation. Yeah. What's your issue? Where do you want to be? How do you get there? It's very simple, right? That's why nobody has to be afraid that you're going to put my sales hat on and I'm going to try and shove this down your throat. No, that's not how we how we roll. That's


good. Well, this was a fascinating conversation. I enjoyed it. How do people get a hold of you, Frank?


I have. You can reach me via email at


I'll have it out there and Industrial Talks. Yes. Okay. Well, yeah, we'll do that. Yes. What are you? Also do you have?


Are you out there on in LinkedIn? On LinkedIn? Absolutely.


Yes. Yeah. See? And that's always that's always really easy to say, hey, here, there he is, right there. And everybody wants to look at your stat card. And, and it just makes sense, right? Anyway, so I'll have that too, as well. Well, you are absolutely wonderful, Frank.


Well, likewise, thank you very much. God, I really enjoyed this.


All right, listeners, we're gonna wrap it up on the other side, we're gonna have all the contact information for Frank. So reach out to him, we will be right back. You're


listening to the Industrial Talk Podcast Network.


That another great conversation. I've always wondered about India. What are the steps? And I think the bottom line, the bottom line is that you have to find that trusted individual, the one that can truly that organization that can truly make it happen, right? You don't want to just you just don't want to do you want to find out information, but is it the right thing? That's where you you need trusted individuals. Frank? Wamser. Batra? Yeah, Wamser? Wamser. Yeah. All right. Reach out to him. Find out more. It's all out there and Industrial Talk, no doubt about it. All right. We're building a platform and ecosystem that you need to be a part of, you just go out to Industrial Talk, boom, right there. Reach out to me, get on the podcast. If you're at an event, and I'm there. So reach out to me. I try to make it as easy as possible because we're all focused on the success of industry. Be bold, be brave, dare greatly. Go to India. Hang out with Frank, change the world. We're gonna have another great conversation shortly. As you know, so stay tuned.

Industrial Talk is chatting with Frank Seidel, Managing Partner at Wamser + Batra USA about “Solutions in how your company can succeed in India”. 
Scott MacKenzie

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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