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Industry-friendly policies, stability, foundational work builds ease of doing business-Saurabh Patel

Modi govt groundwork, sector-specific policies helped make Gujarat a financial hub, says Gujarat minister

Mumbai,: Acknowledging PM Narendra Modi’s work in Gujarat, when he was the state’s chief minister, as foundational in its growth story, Gujarat’s Energy minister Saurabh Patel addressed a webinar on how India as a whole can chart its growth story today.

“The policies of Narendra Bhai Modi has laid the foundation for the phenomenal growth in Gujarat. The current partnership of same party government in state and centre, alongside foundational work in labour laws, MSMEs and ease of doing business, has helped Gujarat become the success story for international investment in India”,  Saurabh Patel, Minister for Energy, Gujarat.

The minister’s pitch for Gujarat was at the forefront of a discussion on global investment opportunities in India, organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) in association with Invest India. The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce took a step forward in its ongoing series, ‘Advantage India’, on the lines of ‘Ease of Doing Business’. The ‘Advantage India’ is a series of panel discussions to explore bilateral investment opportunities for other countries, on the Indian soil. The discussion centred around the unique advantages India has, in terms of ‘Ease of doing business’ for foreign companies and investors. According to Saurabh Shah, Vice President and Chairman, Ease of Doing Business Committee, IACC – West India Council, it was the Indian potential of delivering anything and everything.

Shah, who introduced the panel at the beginning of the discussion, said, “India’s potential to deliver, diversity, honesty and integrity, has created an environment where businesses of all types can succeed and flourish here. With its current economic and political conditions, the country is on its course to become one of the major business hubs in the world”, he said.

Vishwajit P Rane, Minister for Industry, State and Commerce and Health, Goa acknowledged Gujarat’s successes as well. “We have also been learning a lot from the state of Gujarat. Right from the time when Modiji was the chief minister of the state, we acknowledge stability is important to attract investors and investment, especially in underexplored areas. For us in Goa, iron ore, tourism, mapping revenue land available with us and a red carpet treatment to people who come to us is the way forward”, said Rane.

“We’re also thinking on a long-term basis, seeking advice from Modiji’s team to put in place innovative and progressive policies, which encourage investors, MSMEs and businesses to come and set up businesses here. I feel a lot of tweaking needs to be done in terms of the COVID-19 situation, especially in healthcare – whether for medical tourism or elderly healthcare”, added Rane.

Nilesh Vikamsey, Chairman, BFSI Committee, IACC – West India Council commended the Indian government for its measures that have placed India on the 63rd rank out of 190 countries in terms of Ease of Doing Business. “Path-breaking reforms like GST, tax reduction for FDI investors have helped India on an upward trajectory. State-level measures have also made states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana Karnataka, AP, Tamil Nadu as ideal hubs for investors, comparable to investment in other countries”, he said.

“India represents an amazing talent pool”, said Avani Davda, the first CEO for Starbucks India. “India is not just one of the broader growing consumer markets but also has a distinct advantage of a high calibre talent pool and entrepreneurial spirit.”

What about specific areas where India can look for MNC support or specifically work on right now? Avani Davdatalked about opportunities in food, fashion and technology. For the food sector, she said, “As freshness is essential to the consumer, we need to work on our cold supply chains. That and focusing on the big Q, quality will help us make ‘Atmanirbhar India’ an actual reality here”, she added.

Another core area that needs a better approach is manufacturing. “Indian manufacturing is in an inflexion point to leverage (our) English speaking, technically qualified talent pool, with the Make in India initiative. A sharpened focus on infrastructure will help ensure a competitive advantage”, said BC Rao, Managing Director Kennametal India Ltd.

“India has evolved and earned its place in the service sector, and we believe we can make this happen in manufacturing too. The window of opportunity is available to India today, and the responsibility lies on everyone’s shoulders to quickly cash in this opportunity”, added Rao.

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