Ontario stealing our thunder

This stuff just drives me nuts (you may have to sign up to read this article).

From the Toronto Star:

“For the better part of the last decade, we were missing in action,” said Economic Trade and Development Minister Joe Cordiano, who is to open a new trade office in the Indian capital of New Delhi today.

The 22-member delegation, led by Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, is on a 10-day mission to Mumbai and New Delhi to convince Indian companies to set up shop in the GTA. It is the team’s second trip to India. The first, last year, was more exploratory in nature, said McCallion, adding that while she experienced culture shock last year upon arriving in India, the transition was easier this time.

The team made one pitch last week in Mumbai at the annual 4-day meeting of NASSCOM (the National Association of Software and Service Companies), held at the swanky 5-star Grand Hyatt Hotel in North Mumbai, near the airport.

The association has 600 members including India’s largest high-tech firms such as Tata, Infosys and Satyam, all of which already have offices in Canada.

The alliance hired a consulting firm to target 40 small-to-medium-sized Indian software firms at the conference that are likely candidates to set up operations in Greater Toronto. They ended up meeting face to face with about half of those targeted.

Saurabh Mehta, owner of Avani Cimcon Technologies Ltd., a small software company in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, about 450 kilometres northwest of Mumbai, skipped the president’s speech to meet with GTMA members.

Mehta, whose $2 million (U.S.) company specializes in software solutions for the financial services sector such as banks and insurance companies, employs 100 people in Ahmedabad.
The company has served U.S. clients out of an office in Santa Rosa, Calif., since 1993, “but doing business in the U.S. is getting more and complicated due to security concerns after 9/11,” said Mehta, adding that the wait just to meet with U.S. embassy officials in New Delhi for an interview for a visa is six months.

He is considering either Vancouver or Toronto as near-shore locations from which to expand his business in the U.S. and was impressed with the GTMA’s showcase effort.

Vancouver or Toronto as near-shore locations.

Please tell me how Vancouver or Toronto can be positioned as near-shore locations. Near-shore locations are supposed to be communities close to large economic areas (like the US) but that offer more competitive costs (so that outsourcers can service the large market at a lower cost).

Atlantic Canada is the logical near-shore alternative in Canada but the larger urban areas have stole our thunder.

Good for them, shameful for us.

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0 Responses to Ontario stealing our thunder

  1. David Campbell says:


    It seems PEI is in on the India game as well:

    “We are looking for a pool of young investors from all over India who are willing to settle down in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island,” said Kenneth A Clark, president of Island Business Initiatives Inc, a Canadian company.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Keep in mind that the GTA is a BIG place. Many of the new industrial parks there are subsidized by city, regional, provincial AND federal funds. These are springing up all over the place. Plus, you need EDUCATED people to work in them, and the GTA has a constant stream of highly qualified people coming through the many universities. Clearly there is little that NB can offer in that regard. That doesn’t even get into cultural differences which would make Indian representatives feel like aliens walking around most of the streets of NB.

    You also have to consider that Ontario has airports and services to airports just about every place in the GTA. And it is an hour to populated parts of the US, whereas NB is still a good two days drive from any city. Not that that is a BIG concern.

    If you actually look at housing costs the maritime cities aren’t much lower than in southern ontario, and food prices are no lower either, which means that if YOU were a business owner in India, it would take a HELL of a lot of money to get you to think seriously about NB over Ontario.