The Swedish Chamber of Commerce India

For and with the Swedish Business Community since 2007 

With the supportive endorsement of a large and important part of the Swedish business community in India, the Swedish Chamber of Commerce India was conceived as an initiative by the former Ambassador of Sweden to India, Mr Lars Olof Lindgren and the former Trade Commissioner, Mr Fredrik Fexe during the spring of 2007. The Swedish Chamber was inaugurated in Mumbai in September 2007 and the first elected Board consisted of the Managing Directors of Sandvik, SKF, Handelsbanken, Ericsson, IKEA, Kapp-Ahl and Volvo.

John Odmann, the first Chairman of the Chamber, who at the time was the Managing Director for Svenska Handelsbanken in India, together with the Chamber’s first General Manager Cecilia Oskarsson, established the Chamber and laid the foundation to what it is today.

Before leaving India and the Chamber, John remembers the starting days: “I moved to India in the beginning of 2006. It was amazing to be greeted by a boundless optimism bordering on certainty that this was India’s decade. It was time for India to step up and regain her rightful position as one of the global economic power houses. In January 2006 the BSE-index was getting closer and closer to the 10,000 mark. Waiting at the Exchange was a music band ready to celebrate the breaking of another important milestone for corporate India.

2006 and 2007 were full of events that confirmed the unstoppable surge of Incredible India. More mobile telephones were sold here than anywhere else in the world, India won the first T20 world cricket championship and a woman of Indian decent travelled in space with NASA. The BSE index continued to reach new peaks. India announced the world cheapest car and unveiled a serious space program. Domestic as well as international companies in India reported record earnings attracting a score of new international Indian subsidiaries and joint ventures.

Looking back, it was only a matter of time before the Swedish business community in India came together to form the Swedish Chamber of Commerce. Not unlike many other start-ups in India, the period from conception to final delivery was longer and more “painful” than originally envisaged. A veritable obstacle-course was finally completed in the spring of 2008. It couldn’t have been done without the pro-active help of the Swedish Embassy and the Swedish Trade Council.”

Since its inception, the Swedish Chamber has been dedicatedly focused on bringing value to its members by creating different events, network opportunities and catalytic platforms for business development, exchange of experiences and to further the value proposition of Sweden.

One of the major products from the Chamber is the Business Climate Survey, a yearly survey taking the temperature of the business and investment climate in India as perceived by the Swedish business community. The survey has over the years gained traction, and is used extensively in the work on government to government level, in communication with state governments, as business promotion and by media as an indicator of India’s development as a business partner.

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