For the last few years, India, along with China, has been a favourite investment destination for MNC’s across segments. Be it Auto, retail, engineering, IT, software, India has attracted investments from the top organizations across the globe. A politically stable country, resilient economy with a wide base in agriculture, mining, manufacturing & services coupled with a huge domestic market has drawn the world attention towards India. Brand India had arrived.
Now that all the euphoria has died down, & economies are seeing a general meltdown, plus issues at the ground level, a question on most people’s mind is will India be able to live up to its promise?
Recent issues like communal strife (J&K, Orrisa, Karnataka), terror attacks, protests against land acquisition (Singur, Nandgram, Raigad), a flawed SEZ policy, lack of labour reforms / policy have cast shadows on the projected growth of investments. The protests against the Tata plant at Singur & the imminent pullout have elicited sharp comments from industry watchers & potential investors about the effect it will have on investment opportunities in West Bengal & India. Similar issues are faced by corporate in other segments like retail across the country.
The establishment’s inability to find sustainable solutions to these problems has created a doubt in the minds of investors regarding the viability of their investments. Such incidents reflect poorly on the planning & political will of the Indian State to take care of the interests of all stakeholders involved. In this context, China with its planned SEZ policy & more transparent dealings seems to be a better destination
India supporters like L.N.Mittal & Indra Nooyi believe things can improve a lot given all parties across the board rise above personal benefits. The state should initiate a dialogue with everyone concerned & reach a consensus before taking any concrete steps. The need of the hour is a political& social will to deal with the issues plaguing Brand India