By | Dr Pavan Soni | IIM-B Innovation Evangelist
The World Trade Center (WTC) needs no introduction. The famous Twin Towers of the New York depicted the imperative of having a destination where businesses can congregate, not only from across the country but globally. Today the World Trade Center Association (WTCA) has over 300 WTCs present in 100 countries, and in India we have these at Mumbai and now in Bangalore. This newly built WTC, designed by world famous HOK Architects from New York, is 32 floors high, with a capacity of over 1 million square feet! It’s indeed a jaw- dropping experience looking at this structure.
I happen to know the MD of WTC Bangalore and that’s how got to see the building and meet the people behind the act. The gigantic building houses a well designed office space, meant to promote cross-country trade, especially for Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs). I was introduced to the vision of the institution, the planning ahead, as well the role WTC envisages to play in promoting international trade in this connected economy. Will talk more on this, but first up- the key services offered by WTC.
For the members of WTC, the global institution offers Trade Information and Marketing Research; Business Services; Group Trade Missions (to various countries); Trade Education Services (seminars and workshops); and Trade Shows and Exhibition. Needless to say, WTC leverages its legacy of over 70 years and 100 nations, giving a multinational perspective and advantage on a business.
While at the discussion, three questions cropped up in my mind, viz:
- How different is WTC from any other government organization or trade body, such as CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, NASSCOM, etc?
- What should an organization, especially SME (Indian or from abroad), gain from association with WTC?
- What’s unique about WTC vis-a-vis any other business destination in Bangalore, in terms of hosting an event or meeting, etc?
Taking cognizance of my questions, and sure am not the only one to have such questions, the team came up with impressive responses.
While there are over thousand industry and trade associations in India, WTC serves a complementary function. When Indian firms reach out to the world, the typical routes are through Indian Consulate or through their foreign business partners. But small firms can’t afford these. That’s where WTC chips in. I like to call it the United Nations of Business. Presence in 100 counties is a solid enough reason for someone to consider banking on WTC for their trade promotions. Hence WTC complements the efforts of GoI bodies as well other government and private association in helping business go global.
While I alluded on the benefits to SMEs via association with WTC, let me portray a scenario. Say there’s a coffee plantation company from Brazil that wants to explore trading opportunities in India. Right from doing a market research to helping with translation services and educating on local laws, to getting a contract off the ground, WCT does it all. Any other one stop shop that comes to mind here? Not really. All the more important for SMEs as they can’t afford costly services at start of the business.
Apart from offering Incubation Center for foreign businesses, board rooms and meeting room facilities, and from huge exhibition areas, WTCs strength lies in its location. Located at Brigade Gateway, one of world’s largest integrated lifestyle enclave, WTC is well connected via Metro to various parts of the city, is next to Indian Institute of Science, ISCKON and other government and private institutions. Good reason for firms to host their partners here.
The bigger question is, can Bangalore be the New York! We have long lauded this city of its tech talent, but we all know that the city offers more than what meets the eye. So I invite you to see for yourself Bangalore’s newest trade destination- the World Trade Center and get your perspective widened!