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India – what the Gov won’t tell you

India - one of the BRICS members and the country with the second fastest growing economy, after China – has a rapidly expanding consumer class.  Being a fruitful market to trade with and being a member of the British Commonwealth, India has strong ties with UK, which means that UK companies are in a good position to take advantage of trade with India.

A few years ago business opportunities only existed in the traditional economic heartlands of Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, but now the emerging cities of Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Pune and Jaipur are other good cities to do business with. Liberalisation of the Indian economy is rapidly progressing and trade barriers are largely being removed.

India - one of the BRICS members and the country with the second fastest growing economy, after China – has a rapidly expanding consumer class.  Being a fruitful market to trade with and being a member of the British Commonwealth, India has strong ties with UK, which means that UK companies are in a good position to take advantage of trade with India.

A few years ago business opportunities only existed in the traditional economic heartlands of Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, but now the emerging cities of Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Pune and Jaipur are other good cities to do business with. Liberalisation of the Indian economy is rapidly progressing and trade barriers are largely being removed.

Huge investment potential exists in various sectors, such as life sciences, manufacturing, energy and infrastructure. India is a major exporter of information technology and Indian merchandise exports account for about 15% of GDP. The public sector is still important in the production and consumption of goods, but privatisation is gradually spreading.

The professional service and accounting firm Ernst and Young recognises India as one of the emerging biotech leaders, ranked third in the Asia-Pacific region based on the number of biotech companies in the country. The biotech companies in India have an annual growth rate of 37%, one of the highest in the world. The Indian automobile industry is strong as well: it is one of the fastest growing country automobile industries and is predicted to be among the top five vehicle producers by 2014.

There are different terms of payment which can be chosen when exporting to India. The safest mode is T.T. (Telegraphic Transfer or cash advance). The payment is received in advance from the consignee and the full set of original documents has to be sent to the buyer as per the agreed terms. Another mode of payment is the L/C (Letter of Credit). It is a guarantee, given by the buyer's bank that they will pay for the goods exported, provided that the exporter can provide a given set of documents in accordance with clauses specified in the L/C and in a timely manner. In the payment mode CAD (Cash Against Documents), you have to send the documents to the buyer through your bank and they will forward the documents to a bank in the buyer's country, along with instructions on how to collect the money from the buyer.

Choosing the payment terms and the marketing strategy to adopt in India strongly depends on the geographical area you are focusing on. India is a collection of linked markets rather than simply one large market. Successful business in India is best achieved by having a series of regional business plans which, ideally, should address the peculiar characteristics of the different Indian regions.

Language, caste and religion remain major influences over social and political organisation in India; as a consequence, accessing this market requires a coherent strategy for tackling the linguistic and cultural differences and the varying customer preferences and expectations. It is true that most people speak English, and that in India English is the second (or associate language). As such, it is the most important language for national, political and commercial communication. At the same time, however, the Indian accent might sometimes be difficult to understand and only less than 5% of the population speak English fluently. India’s official language is Hindi, which is the primary tongue of 30% of the population. Hindi has at least 13 different dialects and was chosen as the official language because of its connection with India's history before independence rather than because it was the most commonly spoken language. The Indian constitution recognises 15 official languages and, in addition, a multitude of other languages and dialects are spoken in the country.

HSBC has developed a good app to solve any business doubt or curiosity when on the move: HSBC Commercial Banking Country Guides. It is a free app available on iTunes which gives access to HSBC Country Guides, a set of business guides which provide useful and relevant information on how to do business in a number of developed and emerging markets around the world, India included.

By | September 4th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

Game Translation – The Big Challenge

“Video gaming will be the fast growing industry of mass media over the coming decade,” says Tim Cross. Brand building via games apps is becoming a popular way to reach millions of potential customers.

Offering free goods and services instead of mobile ads is one of the innovative approaches Kiip, a San Francisco-based mobile marketing start up, takes. Their mantra is exploiting the “rewards network”: users are rewarded with prizes as a way of marketing products, versus the use of traditional static advertisements. The most obvious use case is games, where players receive rewards for beating a level, for example. With Kiip, mobile ad developers can give their users real-world rewards for achievements in their apps. Kiip says it’s giving out an average of five rewards every second across more than 400 apps, leading to more than 100 million “moments of happiness” in the United States every month.

This company is going international and has recently signed up with the UK-based sushi chain, Yo! Sushi, to offer free sushi by using the apps that have integrated Kiip’s service in the UK. CEO and co-founder Brian Wong says that up to now the engagement rates have been very encouraging.

The majority of users are between the ages of 18 and 34 and are an equal mix between male and female users, with ads coming in from big names like Disney, Best Buy and Procter & Gamble.

The gaming industry is booming and there is a growing demand for professional game translation and localisation: both games and free offers through apps like Kiip when translated and localised will be able to carry out a global marketing strategy in split seconds. It is absolutely crucial for the games to be written in the players’ mother tongue, so that they will not waste time self-translating words that they cannot easily understand to enjoy the games.

There are two big challenges when translating games: the translation company, like SanTranslate, often has to translate the game when it’s at the development stage.  Only words are given to translate without any visual aids.  Once this is done, the app or game has to be tested and checked. Different languages require different approaches to test the games, for example:

  • Functionality testing: functionality testers look for general problems within the game itself or its user interface; they also test that the application works the same under different environments, such as browsers, OS, devices and social media platforms.
  • Load and performance: load testing requires either a large group of testers or software that emulates heavy activity. Load testing also measures the capability of an application to function correctly under load.
  • Localisation: expert testers in the local market of choice check and validate translations, symbols and other common L10N problems.
  • Usability: gamers are notorious for not reading instructions. Surveys and research reports are completed to investigate whether users understand the product.

Launching a multilingual game demands the cooperation and the liaison of many different experts including a translation team that specialises in games, a translation project manager and multilingual game testers.  Each must carry out their duty accurately and carefully to provide trendy and creative translations.

By | August 16th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

Translations critical for global fashion brands

The first two quarters of 2012 showed a rise in profits due to growing sales in emerging markets for major brands such as LVMHPPR and Luxottica. The top market is China, where luxury goods makers are gaining profits on sales of high-end handbags, fine jewellery and fragrances. Paris-based LVMH, said its sales went up by 26%, with 29% of their revenue coming from Asia, outside of Japan, the group’s largest market. Italy’s Luxottica, the largest eyewear maker in the world, said its first-half profits jumped 20.6% to EUR195.5 million: sales rose by just 1% in Europe, but were up by 35% in emerging markets.

Luxury brands aren’t the only ones who benefit from emerging markets; high street brands, such as Zara, H&M, Topshop and Next, are involved globally as well. Due to globalisation, people study, work and travel abroad. It can be a nostalgic buy or love of a brand, but customers are now more willing to make online purchases from overseas sites, and the business prospects of this trend are very promising.

Some countries do not see much success in online sales due to credit card security issues or because locals find it more convenient to shop in a store than buy online. Generally speaking, though, the rate of growth in online marketing is nearly double that of normal retail stores. The number of UK online shoppers is expected to reach 31.8m by 2013, and online sales in Europe are expected to grow to 190m online shoppers by 2014. 44% of retailers are selling from the UK to overseas locations while a further 14% intend to start doing so.

GSI Commerce International has commissioned a survey of over 2,000 UK adults and their online fashion buying habits. According to the report, almost half of the surveyed consumers prefer shopping for clothes and accessories online. Almost 64% of those surveyed visit fashion retailers’ websites to research items they like before deciding to buy them on the high street. 56% of consumers like online fashion outlets that allow them to filter searches by size and colour. Half of those surveyed said they liked being able to rotate and zoom in on products, while the same number also found hover boxes that offer additional product information useful. Customer reviews on items were considered to be important by 44% of the consumers surveyed. On the contrary, videos and pictures of celebrities wearing products (5%), being able to share content (3%) and audio descriptions of items (2 %) offer little incentives for consumers to purchase online.

For international brands it is important to keep the same image throughout the global market place. Translating their websites into different languages for the regions they are targeting for export is important for fashion brands so they can reach a large number of customers. People are more likely to search on Google (except China and Hong Kong where Baidu and Yahoo are preferred, respectively) in their native language, so online shops translated into different languages outperform those that are only presented in English. An example of a centralised portal translated into different languages is Zara. The company manages its global flagship stores to keep the same brand image and simply translates it into different languages keeping consistency across all regions.

By | August 9th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments
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