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No global company can think about growth without India: FICCI president

A series of reforms undertaken by the government coupled with efforts aimed at making it easier to do business has made India a land of opportunities, a top Indian industrialist has said, asserting that no global company can think about growth without India being a part of its plans.

Subhrakant Panda, president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) said India is where it is today because of a couple of factors, including sustained reforms even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You cannot think about growth without India being in your plans. It’s as simple as that. But if I were to expand on that a little bit more, where else in the world would you find an opportunity where you not only have a large unified domestic market, but also the resources to produce not just for the domestic market, but use it as an export base,” he told PTI on Tuesday.

“That is where I think India represents a unique proposition. Whether you’re a large global corporation or a local entity you cannot be thinking about growing your business without India figuring in your plans,” he said.

Panda is in the US leading a FICCI delegation of eminent Indian corporate leaders to attend meetings on the sidelines of the annual Spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

He said the economy has fully recovered from the pandemic, but the global slowdown and the fact that advanced economies are struggling with inflation will have an impact on India.

He said India is ideally positioned for rapid growth in the coming years.

A lot has been done whether it is from the ease of doing business to encash the opportunities available for India globally, he said.

FICCI co-hosted a business roundtable with US India Strategic and Partnership Forum on Tuesday that was addressed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Panda said there was a great deal of interest in the India growth story and a large number of leading companies attended the roundtable.

“We had to, at one point in time, stop accepting further registrations. So, this in itself is an indicator of the interest in the India growth story. Everybody either already has a presence in India, or is looking to have a presence in India,” he said.

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“They were very appreciative of what has been done to attract investment into the country. And of course, a few of them pointed out some issues which the finance minister has said that they will look into and take appropriate action. Generally, there is a lot of appreciation of where India is at the moment,” Panda said.

The FICCI president said there was nothing significant to impact investments coming into India from a policy perspective.

“There was a general sense of appreciation of all that India has done to attract investments and something that is worth repeating is that when we talk about a self-reliant India, as the Prime Minister has repeatedly said, it’s not an insular vision,” he said.

Panda said it is a vision of India being self-reliant and recognition that it must partner with like-minded nations and look to be part of global supply chains, which is where engaging with nations through Free Trade Agreements comes into play.

“I’m speaking from the perspective of Indian businesses, where I can assure you that we are no longer looking for protection. What we want is a level playing field. And I think, Indian companies are innovative, competitive and very much capable of taking on the best in the world,” Panda said.

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