Strengthening of Canada-India commercial relationship

India is the world’s fastest growing major economy, and Canada’s relationship with India offers tremendous opportunities for increased business-to-business and people-to-people collaboration that will bolster our shared prosperity.

Today, the Prime Minister announced commitments from businesses which will lead to the creation of more than 5,800 good, well-paying middle class jobs for Canadians. Canadian and Indian companies signed 66 new commercial contracts and agreements – worth more than $1 billion – which will help grow both our economies.

They also demonstrate the scope of connections between the Canadian and Indian businesses and cover a wide variety of commercial sectors, including infrastructure, information technology, aerospace, clean technology, film production, and research and development.

Indian companies invest in Canada

Indian companies will invest close to $250 million in Canada, which will create more than 5,800 good, well-paying jobs middle class jobs for Canadians. These investments include:

  • Tech Mahindra, a leading provider of digital transformation, consulting and business reengineering services and solutions, will announce a strategic partnership and investment in Canada on February 22. This partnership is key to the Government of Canada’s Superclusters initiative. It will pave the way for Canadians and Indians to access cutting-edge future technologies, while creating a niche talent pool and job opportunities in next generation technology areas. Tech Mahindra is committed to its continued expansion in Canada.
  • As a global company present in 45 countries, Tata Consultancy Services is a significant employer in Canada and has been investing in the Canadian marketplace for more than 25 years. A strategic partner to top Canadian businesses, the company will continue to grow its existing operations in Canada.
  • Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology, and next-generation services. that operates in 45 countries, will prioritize Canada as a place to increase its investment in the local market and train local workers in the skills they need for the increasingly digital future to help make Canadian industry even more competitive.
  • Jubilant Life Sciences, part of Jubilant Bhartia Group, will invest $100 million to expand its facilities in Kirkland, Quebec. The facilities are used for the manufacturing and distribution of medical devices that are recognized globally for their high quality and capabilities.
  • Consus Global announced the establishment of an office in Ontario to provide consulting and implementation services to the Canadian and North American markets.  Consus Global is one of the leading procurement systems integrator and services companies in India, working in the fields of cost reduction, procurement to pay optimization, and supplier collaboration.
  • Valiant Communications Limited, one of the leading telecom equipment manufacturers of India, is planning to make upstream business investments in Canada to design and develop products that will be used to monitor and administer distributed power networks based on artificial intelligence. The new operation will also be used to provide customer support services to North American customers.
  • Clarion Pharmaceutical Co., an ISO 9001:2015 company, announced plans to establish a Canadian manufacturing facility that will produce natural health products for export, as well as domestic consumption.
  • Co-headquartered in India and the United States, Softsquare, a provider of Salesforce implementation services, is aligning with Salesforce Canada to launch their cloud solutions practice in Canada. Softsquare is venturing into Canada with the intent of tapping into Salesforce clientele and research talent.
  • Vision Controls Inc., a sister company of Vision Comptel based in Kolkata, India, announced the launch of operations in Ontario in the field of automation. The company plans to scale up operations with recruitment of a local team and to establish a development centre to cater to the North & South American markets, starting in mid-2018.

Canadian companies invest in India

Canadian companies will also invest in India, bring their innovative ideas to the country to capitalize on India’s increasingly stable investment climate and to help its policy priorities. These investments include:

  • Brookfield has agreed to acquire Essar Group’s 1.25-million square foot office complex in Mumbai for $480 million. Essar, whose major subsidiary is currently under insolvency, will use the proceeds to repay their Indian lenders. This is an example of Canadian capital entering the country to help with the recovery of India’s stressed banking sector.
  • Fairfax India Holdings Corporation of Canada announced it is acquiring a 51 per cent stake in the Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd. of Kerala.  This $200 million transaction marks the first time the Reserve Bank of India has allowed a foreign entity to take a controlling interest in an Indian financial institution.  This transaction will inject much needed capital to a region of India needing economic opportunities for its citizens.
  • Quebec-based Darram Inc. and Indian Hotels Company Limited proudly announced the opening of the Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa, located beside the Ganges River in Uttarakhand. Set amidst the Himalayas, this eco-conscious hotel—with an investment of $30 million—will showcase a joint Indo-Canadian design that adheres to the world’s best sustainable development practices.
  • Alacrity India fund, part of Wesley Clover’s global technology start-up initiative, has started operations after completing Securities and Exchange Board of India registration and groundbreaking of their incubator in Pune, India. Co-promoted with the Indian company “Ideas to Impacts,” the company will help Indian start-ups that provide subscription-based solutions to businesses to scale globally. The fund’s first investment of approximately USD$0.5 million is expected in March.
  • Vancouver Film School announced the opening of a campus in Mumbai, located at the Wilson College’s Mackichan Complex, where students will learn the film school’s curricula. Upon completion of the programs at the Mumbai campus, students will have the option to transfer to the Vancouver Film School campus in Vancouver.
  • Dominion Diamond India, headquartered in Alberta, has set up a new shared services office in Mumbai that provides IT support to Dominion Diamond Mines offices and operations around the world. The company has been operating in India since 2005 to sort and sell premium rough diamond assortments from the Ekati and Diavik diamond mines in the Northwest Territories. It employs almost 100 people in India, including the new IT staff. Dominion Diamond Mines works with numerous Indian diamond manufacturers on the CanadaMark hallmark program, to assure the integrity of the supply chain of Canadian diamonds from mine to retail.

Opportunities for women

By providing access to funding, talent, mentorship, and potential customers, Canada and India will work together on initiatives that help women in both countries build thriving businesses. These agreements include:

  • Canada’s Department of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development and India’s Department of Science and Technology announced new funding of $500,000 each for Zone Startups, owned by Ryerson Futures Inc., to support bilateral exchange of entrepreneurial ventures with a major focus on women-led startups. The funding will enable 20 entrepreneurs from Canada to participate in a soft-landing program at Zone Startups in Mumbai, and 20 Indian entrepreneurs from India to participate in a soft-landing program at Zone Startups in Toronto. Zone Startups will also organize an annual two-day seminar in both cities, reaching an additional 60 women in both countries. This initiative follows Zone Startups’ success with empoWer, which has impacted 35 women entrepreneurs in India, and the Next BIG Idea Contest through which 33 Indian startups have entered Canada over the years.
  • Vancouver Film School announced a scholarship competition for all students, and one specifically for women, from across India in the fields of Film Production, 3D Animation and VFX, Game Design, and Digital Design. Students will be judged on their portfolios, and a total of 36 scholarships will be available.
  • The SME Chamber of India has appointed AVC Inc. as their representative for business development in Canada. Under this agreement, AVC will connect small and medium-sized enterprises from both countries, with a focus on women entrepreneurs, in the sectors of agri-food, technology, and arts and culture.
  • The Canada-India Acceleration Program, jointly launched by Carleton University and the All India Council for Technical Education, will empower women entrepreneurs to scale-up their innovative solutions internationally to address global challenges. The program will provide women entrepreneurs with access to funding, talent, mentorship, and potential customers.

Creative collaborations between Canada and India

Canada and India will strengthen our people-to-people ties through cultural exchanges and increased collaboration in the arts that will create jobs in the creative sector and help grow Canada’s film industry. These agreements include:

  • Academy Award Winner Director Roger Christian will direct a feature film called Black Angel, with producing partners Lina Dhingra of Canada’s karmaPRO Entertainment Group and Harald Reichebner of Germany’s Global Filmtime. This epic fantasy feature will highlight the majestic landscapes of Rajasthan, which is known for its beauty and architecture. The $8 million production is slated to start filming in September 2018.
  • Toronto-based True Space Films and Delhi-based Ekaa Films have signed an agreement to co-produce “A Taj Mahal Love Story,” a full-length feature film with a strong woman empowerment narrative. The film will be shot in India with editing and post-production completed in Toronto. The producers are working to make this film an official co-production under the Canada-India co-production agreement.
  • The Canada-India co-production “CITIZEN J,” produced by the Canadian company Karma Film and the Indian company Video Volunteers, is a cross-platform documentary series that examines the role and impact of citizen journalists in indigenous communities in Canada and India on hot-button issues like gender, poverty and the environment.
  • Canadian-based NeGandhi Marketing & Consulting and Mumbai-based Assemblage Entertainment have partnered with Los Angeles-based Whisper Pictures and a Beijing-based subsidiary of CFG on the animated family film Mooned – a story about Jade Rabbit, the Rabbit in the Moon in Asian mythology, and how he and his 357 babies rescue their home from the depredations of two careless human astronauts.
  • Breathing Forest Productions Canada and Bombay Berlin Film Production India are partnering on Permanent Resident, a co-venture feature film which will begin production in the fall of 2018. The project, by writer and director Satinder Kassoana, a Canadian citizen of Indian origin, was selected for NFDC India’s Co-production Market 2017. The film will be shot in Canada and India in English and Punjabi.
  • The Canada-India-Europe co-production Shadow of a Crescent Moon, based on the novel by Fatima Bhutto, will be directed by Oscar-nominated Michael Radford and produced by Canada’s Anand Ramayya and Austria’s Arno Krimmer.
  • Canada-India co-production The Boyfriend, based on the novel by R. Raj Rao, will be adapted for the screen by Brad Fraser, two-time winner of the Chalmers Award and a Canadian Governor General Award nominee. The co-production will be directed by groundbreaking Indian Independent Filmmaker Ashim Ahluwalia, and produced by Canada’s Anand Ramayya and Mehernaz Lentin and India’s Anu Rangachar.
  • Untitled Delhi Police Series is based on true-life accounts of officers in India’s capital. It is a gritty, street-shot depiction of law and order in the world’s largest democracy. Written and directed by Richie Mehta, and produced by Golden Karavan and Ivanhoe Pictures, it is one of the largest ever Canada-India film and television projects.
  • AVC Inc., a Canadian consultancy, has signed an agreement with BWB Films of Mumbai to market BWB’s films in Canada. The first film under this agreement is Saade Aale, which highlights the Canadian kabbadi sports team and the cultural ties between Canada and India. The film will be released in Canada on July 6, 2018. The second film under this agreement is Desi, parts of which will be filmed in Canada this summer.

Canada sells what India needs

India is the one of the world’s fastest growing economies, and a priority market for Canada in a variety of sectors, including aerospace, clean technology, transportation and infrastructure. Some of the commercial agreements finalized this week include:

  • eCAMION, an Ontario energy storage company, has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services to design and manufacture electric vehicle and bus charging stations in India. With a long-term opportunity of $50 million, this partnership will see eCAMION’s energy storage-supported electric charging technology lay the groundwork for the large-scale electrification of India’s public and private transportation sectors.
  • Starmass Environment Technologies Corporation signed an agreement with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) Water Ltd, a subsidiary of IL&FS India, to add value to their water sector services to address some of the acute and immediate concerns of the water utility industry. They will use some of the very high potential technologies available with Starmass using smart contracts and blockchain technology for leak detection, automated meter reading, and water systems integration.
  • Vancouver-based VeloMetro Mobility Inc. signed a technology, manufacturing, and licensing memorandum of understanding with S P Sanjay & Sons that will assist the company to deploy its electric vehicle technology worldwide, with an initial franchised fleet being deployed in India and potentially throughout the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation area. This new agreement leverages the technology developed in Canada with manufacturing and distribution capabilities in India.
  • IMAX Corporation and India’s leading multiplex chain, PVR Cinemas, signed an agreement to open five new IMAX theatres in India. This marks the parties’ fourth agreement, bringing PVR’s total IMAX network to 15. IMAX works with the world’s most acclaimed studios and filmmakers to deliver audiences an immersive movie-going experience.
  • British Columbia-based MDA will provide satellite data from RADARSAT-2 to ISRO under an agreement with NRSC. The radar data will be primarily used in India for disaster monitoring, to support rescue operations during the rainy season when floods occur, and for agricultural monitoring applications. This contract is an extension of work that has been done for more than 15 years.
  • Toronto’s Pack-Smart Inc., a world’s leading designer and manufacturer of high performance automation technologies, and Reliance Jio, India’s fastest-growing telecommunications and digital services company, reached a cooperation agreement for the implementation of Pack-Smart’s advanced technologies in Jio’s distribution business. The products include SIM card packaging automation, fulfillment equipment, and software applications. This partnership is an important stepping stone towards further collaboration and development, and eventual Pack-Smart technology manufacturing opportunities in India.
  • Jio selected Solace, a leading Canadian IT company, for their messaging middleware appliance to support faster customer on boarding and provisioning. Solace messaging middleware appliances provide high performance, reliability, scalability, and the ability to efficiently route massive amounts of event-driven information.
  • ThinkRF Corp., the leader in software-defined spectrum analysis, announced its expansion to India with the appointment of VigVen Tech Mark Pvt Ltd., an authorized reseller of electronic test equipment, as its channel partner for ThinkRF solutions in that region. This relationship will help ThinkRF quickly enter the rapidly growing India market with a trusted provider of electronic test solutions while expanding VigVen’s product portfolio to better help their customers solve several key challenges in spectrum monitoring and analysis.
  • DataWind launched MeraNet, a patented breakthrough web delivery platform application. Providing a revolutionary internet service to help bridge the digital divide for the billion unconnected Indians, MeraNet delivers unlimited internet browsing on any android smartphone or tablet on the BSNL network at just one rupee/day. MeraNet allows unlimited browsing of billions of webpages for a full year for a one-time annual fee of only Rs.365.

Building people-to-people ties through education

Canada and India will increase their partnership in education to strengthen our people-to-people ties, while encouraging joint research and development projects and spurring entrepreneurship and innovation. Canada-India education agreements include:

  • Niagara College and INSCOL Healthcare are embarking on a multi-year program to increase global access to health services through nursing education for 1000 Indian health professionals, addressing a global shortage of skilled nursing professionals. This agreement will generate more than $50 million, driving economic development and job creation in Ontario.
  • University of British Columbia and Mitacs will provide 10 inbound and 30 outbound student research internship awards to strengthen the bilateral connections with Indian energy research institutions. The exchanges will be aligned with the University’s initiatives in clean energy, energy access, and mobility, as well as developing industry-led training and research consortia. This partnership is part of a funding project worth more than $3.5 million over three years, shared among some Canadian universities, Mitacs, the Ministry of Human Resource Development of India and the World Bank.
  • Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Waterloo and Mitacs will provide five inbound and 10 outbound student research internship awards in partnerships with selected IITs to enhance cross-border entrepreneurship and technology commercialization activities bilaterally in the field of nanotechnology. The internships will be conducted in close coordination with Waterloo’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. This partnership is part of a funding project of more than $3.5 million over three years, shared among some Canadian universities, Mitacs, the Ministry of Human Resource Development of India, and the World Bank.
  • University of Toronto and Mitacs will provide 15 inbound and 50 outbound student research internship awards to strengthen the partnerships with institutions in India. The initiative will be aligned with their engagement with the city of Pune’s Smart Pune Program that is focused on affordable housing, immigrant migration, digital interoperability, and cybersecurity. This partnership is part of a funding project of more than $3.5 million over three years, shared among some Canadian universities, Mitacs, the Ministry of Human Resource Development of India, and the World Bank.
  • Simon Fraser University and Mitacs will provide 10 inbound and 10 outbound research internships to strengthen its partnerships with India’s elite network of Indian Institutes of Technology and provide students with opportunities to gain advanced research skills and global competencies. This partnership is part of a funding project of more than $3.5 million over three years, shared between some Canadian universities, Mitacs, the Ministry of Human Resource Development of India, and the World Bank.
  • This first ever initiative in India by the National Academy of Construction, in partnership with Starmass Canada, is a milestone in Indo-Canadian cooperation and will help build capacity in India’s technical workforce. This partnership will impart key skills in assessment, evaluation of structural soundness of ageing physical infrastructure, rehabilitation, operation, and maintenance areas, leading to the protection of Indian physical assets. The estimated value of this partnership is $2 million over a period of 5 years.
  • Vancouver’s Langara College signed an agreement with technology firm Optimus Information in Noida, in partnership with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. The three-year deal worth $80,000 creates a pilot program to support Langara College Computer Science and Business students for four-month work-integrated learning placements at Optimus.
  • Father Fénelon Catholic School in Pickering, Ontario and St. Kabir School in Ahmedabad, India launched a partnership for participation in the Global Gandhi Peace Program, which is focused on teaching non-violence to children and youth. These two schools will pilot a program developed by the Indian Centre for Environment Education and the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust. The program will be launched globally on October 2, 2019, which will mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Carleton and Nirma University will sign a memorandum of understanding focused on supporting research collaboration, capacity building, and other forms of academic partnerships.
  • Durham College, Fanshawe College, Georgian College, and St. Clair College have launched a mobile app for prospective students from India. This app, developed in India by Maple-Assist Inc., will provide relevant and credible information about the colleges and their application programs, and assist students in their transition to Canada. This app is expected to be used by over 25,000 prospective students in 2018.
  • Niagara College and the International Institute of Hotel Management, an Indian leader in hospitality and tourism education, have established a new partnership to support two-way mobility and skills transfer as part of Niagara College’s vision of being Canada’s global college. This new partnership deepens Niagara College’s education footprint across India.
  • Seneca College and FORE School of Management announced a partnership to deliver online executive education programs for working professionals in India and elsewhere on Tech-Mahindra’s state of art Learning Management System. The first program under this collaboration is an online, 11-month executive management program that features an optional two-week global immersion program. The program will be delivered in Toronto, Canada.
  • Seneca College and INSCOL Healthcare announced a partnership to provide internationally trained nurses with additional knowledge and skills to competently care for individuals and their families experiencing cardiovascular illness. This two-semester postgraduate certificate program will combine theory and clinical courses to provide the knowledge, skills, and judgment to practice safely in an acute coronary care setting.
  • University of Toronto and Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay announced a student mobility partnership creating bi-directional learning abroad programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Participating students register at the host institution for the full academic year or a minimum of one academic term.

Fostering innovation ties between Canada and India

Both Canada and India will benefit from agreements focused on joint research and development investments that will allow our countries to work together on common issues. Innovation related agreements include:

  • Kinectrics Inc., a Canadian energy technology company, has teamed up with the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University in Gandhinagar, Gujarat to set up a one of a kind conductor testing, R&D, and forensics laboratory. With an investment of $1.75 million each, the local economy is expected to grow by close to $4 million very quickly. The ground-breaking ceremony took place on February 19, 2018, and construction will start immediately.
  • Venus Group and Safritel Canada Inc. signed a joint venture, which will focus on automotive innovation and R&D initiatives to develop new automotive advanced emissions technologies, best in class automotive seat adjustment, automotive ecosystem technologies, and cloud connected solutions for connected and automated vehicles to improve driver connectivity. The investment will see an R&D centre established in Ottawa, followed by manufacturing facilities in India and Canada.
  • Carleton University’s Canada-India Centre for Excellence and Participatory Research in Asia, in partnership with other leading centres in India and Canada, are launching a program to develop capacity building programs in the administration and planning for Smart Cities projects.
  • IC-IMPACTS and SenseIndia, part of Starmass Group, a global provider of turnkey solutions for infrastructure, will collaborate to monitor the health of bridges and public infrastructure using high-tech sensors. This venture represents success of small and medium-sized enterprises to collaborate across international boundaries and expand technological innovations in infrastructure, energy, and the environment.
  • Ontario’s Communitech and Hyderabad’s T-Hub announced the intent to partner in support of global commercialization of each other’s technology companies. They will share space, programming, and mentorship, and create a program where companies of both countries will join to resolve a corporate innovation problem.
  • Hyderabad’s T-Hub and the University of British Columbia signed a statement of cooperation to establish a market access bridge allowing growth stage start-ups and scale-ups from both countries to enter Indian and Canadian markets successfully as part of their global expansion. Both partners have further agreed to support aspiring student entrepreneurs from both countries in solving problems of global relevance through co-creation.
  • University of Toronto and the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay announced a partnership to deepen collaboration and the innovation ecosystem between Canada and India. Together, they will develop capacity and ideas exchange for both countries, develop the next generation of Indian faculty, and grow higher education capacity in India to accelerate joint research, industry engagement, entrepreneurship, and mutual market access for Canada and India.
  • The University of Toronto and Biocon Ltd., India’s leading biopharmaceutical company, have signed a collaborative research agreement to identify a novel set of biological assets for complex diseases with a goal to address unmet patient needs. The collaboration, negotiated by the Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics, will leverage the scientific expertise of Biocon scientists at its research centre in Bangalore and Dr. Sachdev Sidhu’s team at the Donnelly Centre at the University, continuing their productive research partnership and applying their unique strengths toward finding solutions for global health issues.
  • IC-IMPACTS and Tata Consultancy Services, a global IT leader, will jointly fund mobility of Canadian graduate students to conduct research at Tata Consultancy Services Innovation Centers in India. Indian and Canadian researchers will be immersed in fast-tracking solutions to infrastructure, water, and public health challenges facing India, Canada, and other nations.
  • Showcasing Canada-India joint research and development collaboration to innovate new age medical equipment, Jubilant Draxlmage, in close collaboration with the Ottawa Heart Institute, has developed RUBY-FILL, a cutting-edge product which enhances the way that patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease are both diagnosed and managed. This product has received approval from the Ministry of Health in India in 2018, and first sales have now commenced.
  • British Columbia’s Rick Hansen Institute and IC-IMPACTS have forged a strategic partnership with researchers at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre for an innovation project to develop and commercialize technologies that address secondary complications in people living with spinal cord injuries.
  • The Blockchain Research Institute of Canada, a world leader exploring blockchain opportunities and challenges, will initiate a memorandum of understanding with India’s NASSCOM. This partnership will accelerate India’s adoption of this technology for innovation, prosperity and good government.
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