C-suite executives representing a host of multinational companies from various industries, have complimented India’s dynamic business ecosystem for driving growth despite the global pandemic. Speaking at a panel discussion, the heads of companies like Avgol, Aptar group, AMP Energy, ICICI Bank Canada, unanimously felt that India maintains an attractive environment for companies considering expanding their presence.
The panel discussion was hosted by business advisory firm Nexdigm in association with the US-India Business Council (USIBC) and ICICI Bank, Canada.
Marc Lessem – Senior Executive, Director, Nexdigm
Speaking on his experience of doing business with India, Shachar Rachim, CEO, Avgol Nonwoven, said, “We experienced a lot of support from State Governments, local authorities, and banks for setting up Avgol’s plant for hygiene grade nonwoven fabrics and diapers in Madhya Pradesh, India. This has encouraged us to consider another investment to set up a production line in Gujarat by the end of 2021.”
The talented workforce in India was a major advantage in setting up a greenfield project in India, he added.
Highlighting new business trends post-pandemic, Vivek Abraham, Vice-President, Invest India, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a lot of trends that were a couple of years in the making to a few months. This has led to new business opportunities emerging in healthcare and technology, sectors in which India has natural strengths.”
Businesses like PPE kits which were small opportunities pre-pandemic have now become major businesses. India is now the second-largest PPE kit manufacturer in the world. In addition to this, supply chain diversification is seen as the next big trend arising out of the Covid-19 scenario.
Kanwal Tikoo, President India & South Asia, Aptar Group, said, “The three drivers for business in India are – a market full of opportunities, the affordable and skilled workforce, and the evolution of India as a manufacturing destination. All this backed by an enabling government is the key factor that attracts us to India.”
India is on the threshold of an evolving market that is well informed, well connected, and demands global quality, added Tikoo.
According to Pinaki Bhattacharyya, CEO & MD, AMP Energy India, “India is a key market for renewable energy that is even larger compared to Japan, US or Australia. India also offers the lowest cost of renewable power available and is part of the top three markets in the world in this sector.”
Amy Hariani VP, Legal Policy Council, USIBC, said, “Increasingly US companies are investing in India not only for the Indian market but also for the regional market like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other countries around the region. Companies are embarking on a two-part strategy to penetrate and work with the domestic market as well as export to areas around the region.”
India offers various export incentives that make it an attractive destination for companies in addition to the large domestic market, added Amy.
Rounding up the discussion, Marc Lessem, Executive Director, Nexdigm said, “In addition to the financial incentives for new investment, India respects and honors legal protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), which is critical to any innovative business.”
The consensus among global business leaders is that India enjoys rapid simplification and digitization of governance structures. As a result of these drivers, India has seen a steady, high inflow of FDI over the last decade. India has performed well in several aspects of the Global Competitiveness Index Report by the World Economic Forum. And, in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business survey, India has jumped 79 places in the last five years.