The Lille Region: an attractive destination for Indian businesses

India - 04/10/12


The Lille Region (Northern France) is at the centre of the wealthiest consumer market in Europe with a population of nearly 80 million within a 300 km radius. Within easy reach of decision-making centers including Paris, Brussels, London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt, the region combines a strategic geographical location with outstanding transport infrastructure - high speed train, 3 major international airports nearby (Paris, Bruxelles, London), proximity to Antwerp and Rotterdam ports - and leading positions in high technology industries in Europe. Less known than Paris but still widely opened to the world, the Lille region has been remarked by Indian investors as a promising business destination.


Leading French institute of digital design opens in India

The Lille region boasts of an internationally renowned institute in the digital sector: Supinfogroup. Today, this cluster of schools trains some 1,200 students in animation, video games and industrial design. On finishing their studies, those young professionals are immediately snapped up by major animation studios like PIXAR and DREAMWORK or by games companies of international repute such as GAMELOFT, UBISOFT and HYDRAVISION.

Supinfogroup’s reputation now reaches as far as India, where the group of schools has been selected by private investors to set up a campus dedicated to multimedia and video games at in Pune. Built and financed by the Indian real estate magnate, D S Kulkarni, the brand-new campus has already welcomed 350 students. The investors were particularly impressed by the quality of films presented by the students and by the prizes that they have won at several international festivals, a resounding endorsement for Supinfogroup’s expertise and excellence! 

Titagarh Wagons acquired Arbel Fauvet Rail as its first international investment


In 2010, Titagarh Wagons, India’s leading wagon makers, acquired the assets and business of the French wagons and rolling stock manufacturer Arbel Fauvet Rail (AFR) based in the Lille Region. Leveraging on AFR’s expertise in wagon manufacturing and as many as 15 patents on various technologies, this deal is expected to provide Titagarh Wagons with an additional production capacity of up to 5,000 wagons per year and in turn initiate its expansion into European and global markets. From 84 employees, Titagarh Wagons AFR now employs 160 people.


Lille Region, European leader in the field of technical textiles


CETI, the European Centre for Innovative Textiles, is the world’s most recent research and prototyping centre dedicated to new textile applications. At the heart of a first class scientific network, CETI uses creativity techniques to accelerate the development, innovation, experimentation and application of state-of-the-art textiles. The CETI’s inauguration is scheduled for the 10th October 2012 in the Lille Region (Northern France) with the installation of the spinning tool, Phase 1 of the CETI, which will be used to develop new high-performance fibres essential for markets such as ultra-filtration, medical devices and intelligent textiles. The phase 2 planned for 2013-2014 will focus on the manufacturing processes (knitting, weaving, braiding), especially for the composite or technical fabric markets.


Today, CETI positions itself as an exceptional world-class centre. It can be compared in terms of equipment to the “Non-Woven Institute” (NCRC) which federates over 60 major companies around the development of new textile materials from Raleigh in the USA. This centre generates an annual turnover of over $ 4m.


It is in Phase 2 that the CETI comes into its own as it will then be the only platform in the world to bring together in one place as much technological equipment associated to cutting-edge research in the field of technical textiles.


The CETI aims to meet professionals from the global technical textile industry and enter business partnerships.


Nord France Invest to meet Indian investors


A high-level delegation from the Lille Region will be visiting India in October 2012. On this occasion, Nord France Invest, the official investment promotion agency for Lille region, in partnership with the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI), is organizing a seminar on Successful Investment in France: The Lille Region Business Case’ on 8th of October 2012 at Sofitel BKC in Mumbai. The seminar will be followed by a networking cocktail. During the seminar, Mr. Luc DOUBLET, President of Nord France Invest and Mr. Yann PITOLLET, Director General of Nord France Invest, will address investment opportunities in Lille Region (Northern France) in various sectors and highlight the strengths of the region to key influencers and decision makers in the Indian industry and will meet leading Indian companies’ representatives to discuss business opportunities. Meetings with representatives of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and the All Indian Association of Industry (AIAI) in Mumbai are also scheduled followed by the signing of partnership agreements.  


Another official visit of Nord France Invest is scheduled in June 2013 which will set its focus on developing business collaborations in the field of health and pharmaceuticals. 



About Nord France Invest


Nord France Invest is the publicly funded investment promotion agency for the city of Lille and its region. The agency helps businesses to develop and assists them in making the most of their move to Northern France.


Drawing on expertise across a wide range of fields, Nord France Invest and its network partners offer personalised and fully confidential services to investors, free of charge, from the initial decision through to the launch and follow-up. In pursuing these aims, Nord France Invest draws on the skills of its own staff, combined with expert input from an extensive network of regional and international partners.


For further information about Nord France Invest, please go to:

Contact information:

Ms. Marie-Hélène Cauchy
Communications Manager
Nord France Invest
Tel : +33 3 59 56 23 36


Press contact:


Ms. Deepika PRAKASH
Press Officer
French Trade Commission
Embassy of France, New Delhi
Tel: +91 11 43 19 63 51

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The Tech & Services Department of Business France - Trade & Investment Commission in India informs, advises and assists French companies in their international expansion with India and South Asia. It also helps Indian stakeholders in bridging with French technology and business counterparts as well as guiding them -through our Investment Department- in their potential investment strategy in France.   A key focus on the agenda of the Department is the promotion of the " French Tech " initiative in India which aims at fostering the relations between the French Tech and the India Tech ecosystems; an area where we believe there are strong perspectives for fruitful partnerships.   In order to foster business and technology tie-ups between French and Indian companies, the Department is regularly organizing business delegations of French stakeholders to India, B2B/B2G events as well as individual B2B meetings.


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