Gitesh Agarwal, Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – IndiaA festive-season chat with Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – India, Gitesh Agarwal

How is the festive season celebrated in India?

India celebrates Christmas with the same joy as it does Diwali. The colour red is seen across key cities and there is festive décor in shops, malls, hotels, churches, homes and schools. Big sales are everywhere, so everyone can play Santa. Restaurants serve special brunch menus, and plum cake is a big ritual. Bangalore alone has more than 100 Christmas events planned.

What were some standout achievements for TIQ India in 2019?

It’s been a year of connection. We have seen heightened engagement – such as 2 Indian innovators visiting QODE 2019 in Brisbane, successful visits to India by companies who received grants under TIQ’s Developing Future Leaders Program, visits by many Indian customers, and an 11-member women entrepreneurs’ mission to Queensland through Study Queensland. One big achievement was a very successful METS (mining equipment, technology and services) mission to the international mining exhibition in Kolkata. The 11 Queensland companies who attended made up almost 75% of the Australian presence there.

What are you most looking forward to in 2020?

Australia will engage with India very strategically, including through the Australia India Business Exchange program. TIQ has lots of plans, starting with a Study Queensland trade mission, potential launch of Q-PODs, the Indian Innovator campaign, the North Australian Education campaign etc. We also have new team members joining in December 2019, so it will be all hands on deck. Exciting times ahead for sure.

Any new year’s message you’d like to share with Queensland exporters?

‘Why India?’ is a question being answered by Australia, with strategies and reports on India released at both state and federal level. In our experience, all the companies who actually spend time in India meeting companies and exploring opportunities go back as advocates of the India story. If you’re interested, please do reach out to TIQ India, and take a journey.