“Eighteen months ago, I said if you want to bet on one country, it is India — as the country is in sync with the speed of innovation in the current digital age.”
These were the words of Cisco executive chairman John Chambers during the CNN Asia Business Forum 2016, organised as part of the ongoing “Make in India (MII) Week.”
“If you still haven’t invested in India, you may miss the bus,” said this head of the world’s largest networking company, at the event which began two days ago in Mumbai, India.
I feel that these words coming from John Chambers, who was also recently elected as the Executive Chairman of US-India Business Council, shows the potential that India has to offer foreign investors who aim to produce their products in India.
Business delegations from 68 countries, Government delegations from 49 countries are said to be attending this event.
With 17 state exhibitions and several country pavilions, which would cover an area of 2,20,000 sqm, accommodating 27 halls, this is certainly a unique event. The country pavilions have exhibitions from Sweden, Germany and South Korea.
Thanks to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the chief architect of the ‘Make in India’ campaign, and his many visits abroad, we can see that foreign investment has increased dramatically in the last one and half years.
Take a look at a couple of facts. According to a January 2016 report from United Nations trade body UNCTAD, direct bricks-and-mortar foreign investment flows into India jumped 75 per cent over 2015.
And a PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers) survey of more than 1,400 global CEOs found India to be the rare bright spot among big economies, with rising confidence in short-term sales growth.
So, India has good reason to be proud of, when asking for foreign direct investment in its manufacturing sector, from many countries including the ones in the Arabian Gulf.
Bahrain’s Labour and Social Development Minister Jameel Humaidan is with the contingent of business leaders, including those from the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), and from the Bahrain-India Society (BIS).
Many other members of the Bahraini Business Community are also attending this unique showcasing of India’s offerings to foreign manufacturers in this week’s ‘Make in India’ conference.
Many of our readers would be aware that ‘Make in India’ initiative itself was launched globally in September 2014, as a part of India’s renewed focus on Manufacturing. The objective is to promote India as the most preferred global manufacturing destination.
There is no denying the fact that, today, India is the world’s fastest growing economy, with its GDP growth hitting 7.3pc at the end of 2015, and expecting to rise to as high as 7.6pc in 2016.
India’s Prime Minister has given impetus to growth, with several innovative initiatives such as “Make in India”, “Digital India”, “100 Smart Cities” and “Skill India”.
But while that is the positive side, I believe, India needs more work. Sadly, India ranked 130th in the World Bank’s latest survey on “ease of doing business.”
Neeraj Kanwar, the vice chairman of the Indian company Apollo Tyres, said something interesting in one of his interviews to a business magazine.
From 2017, Apollo Tyres is set to start producing tyres at new plant in Hungary, for easier access to Western European markets. And Kanwar said that an investment process that took just a few weeks in Hungary could have consumed up to 18 months in India.