By Umesh Pratap Singh
Peru is a country with a total population around 30 million; out of that 66% is urban population. Its capital Lima only contributes 35% of the total population.
The rural population is totally dependent on agriculture. However, tourism is one of the biggest industries other than mining and fishing. However, as the biggest businesses from Peru are – mining and there’s gold, which India is importing. Most of the companies are active in the mining segment, a few have rolled back too. Among these, is the fast growing group – Archean, which is really achieving milestones in Peru, with its innovation and mega achievements .
Agriculture is a rural support system and in this segment, Olam International is doing fairly well. They are procuring coffee and exporting from Peru to other countries.
Tourism is pulse of the country. Numerous tourist spots are available in this country – there are plenty of beaches, forests , mountains, historical sites and many more places to explore. This segment is not untouched by Indians. There is Mr Guru Sharma heading Travel Group Peru. However Mr Dhanjay Patel ( popularly known as Jay Patel ) is in the business of serving Indian food via his two restaurants in Lima – Mantra Restaurant (in Benavidesh) and other is Mantra Restobar Garden (in Tarata). Both are situated in Miraflores, in the heart of capital. Some more restaurants are on the way, as Peru is known for its variety of popular foods.
However, the local industry is not big, but yarn import is significant and India used to contribute hugely to this segment . Pharmaceutical industry is an evergreen industry and we, Indians have a remarkable presence in this market. Indian-born Mr Rohit Rao owns a manufacturing unit, along with a giant distribution company called ESKE Group. Indian companies, with local subsidaries are Intas, Glenmark, Hetero and Ipca have a significant presence; and over hundred companies are working through local distributors too. India´s own Ayurvedic segment is represented by Himalaya Drugs.
Film distribution and Movie screens are dominated by Indian owners. It would be an injustice, if I do not mention the Kapoors. Ms Sushma Kapoor and Mr Arun Kapoor, owns the group of companies that account for UVK movie distribution; there are plenty of screens in major locations of Peru and hotels in Lima as well. Mr Ajay Gupta and Ms Geetu Chugani co-own the other movie screen chain, called Cinemrama too, which has a significant presence in Lima.
Skilled manpower is basically lacking in the country and this paralyses industrial development, but default country policies are drafted considering the same pattern. There has been no big change in policy, as such, since Fujimori’s (popular President known for his revolution – later on jailed for corruption) time. TCS is providing services in Peru, through its various offices in different part of the country.
Automobile industry is absolutely dependent on import; even the nuts and bolts are not manufactured locally. Mahindra is present with its SUVs, but Bajaj has gained significant inroads into the two-wheeler/three-wheeler market, and TVS and Hero are also trying to gain a footing in the market as well.
Peruvians love to celebrate, no matter what the occasion. Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins all hang out together talking, eating, drinking, and dancing on Sundays, Saturdays, on holidays, or anyday for that matter. So friendly are they, that in fact, Peruvians don’t drink their own bottle of beer, but share one at a time amongst everyone, filling small glasses over and over again!
Lima has a branch of Geeta Ashram Temple with Indian Priest Pt Ravindra Nath Upadhyay, (its head office is in West Delhi) where Indians meet every Sunday afternoon, as a routine following of pravchan /Bhajankeertan.
Of late, the Indian Cultural Center has been functional, courtesy Ambassador Mr Sandeep Chakrovorty and various activities are ongoing, notably Hindi Classes, Yoga Classes; Indian Classical Dance (Bharatnatyam /Kathak) classes are going on, on a regular basis .
Plenty of Sindhis are well established with routine trade businesses, mostly from China. However, the total Indian population who are stationed in Peru is less than 500, so routine grocery items are not easily available in Peru.
Peru is peaceful as compared to other Latin American countries. It has certain places, which stay open for 24 hours , though one must be conscious and careful. But, by and large, most of the tourist places are safe.
The history of Peruvian culture is very rich. Its Inka culture and their belief was quite similar to Indian Hindu beliefs. However local historians are very rare, and most of the theory comes from Europe and is seen from an American prospective. This gives immense opportunity for Indian archaeological department or some interested organization to discover the facts.
Let Peru be a discovery all its own, one full of excitement. There are plenty of things for everyone but, in the spirit of exploration and adventure, you can figure it out for yourself!
[Umesh Pratap Singh, originally from Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradeshis is an independent business professional, living in Lima since 2009. Umesh is involved in Business development into Latin America of HiGlance Laboratories pvt Ltd as independent business partner . Offers regulatory and business development alliance. His other than professional commitment Involved in cultural development activities with Embassy of India in Peru, teach Hindi en Spanish to Local students, and supporting to Ayurveda Developments into Latin American countries. ]