Harsimrat Kaur Badal, as the minister in charge of India’s Ministry of Food Process Industries, has been on a worldwide mission to attract investors to the country’s $915bn farm-to-fork ecosystem. During a recent visit to London, ‘India Investment Journal’ was given an insight into her plans for India’s first-ever World Food India summit this year.

What is the investment update since your last visit to the UK?

From our last meeting, all the big retail chains were hoping for some relaxation in the FDI [foreign direct investment] policy. The existing model in India is only for food and most of them do food plus other items. That is a decision the government will be taking very shortly and the serious interests will become apparent once that clarity is there.

Demographics, rising incomes and a low existing base all point towards a paradigm shift in the fortunes of India’s still fledgling food retail sector.

It can potentially become the largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) and will definitely play a major role in realising the Prime Minister’s goal of doubling farm incomes by 2022. Food retail, the largest component of India’s more than $500-billion retail sector, is standing at the cusp of greatness. How its fortunes play out over the next five to 10 years could well decide the success of the government’s ambitious Make in India initiative as well as the direction of politics by influencing how the critical farm lobby votes in future elections.

UK-based Southern Fried Chicken is looking at setting up 200 outlets in India over a 10-year period. The company’s Franchise Development Manager, Andrew McNair, talks ‘India Investment Journal’ through his plans for a very important future marketplace for the fast-food company.

What makes Southern Fried Chicken bet on the Indian market?

Southern Fried Chicken have a development plan to franchise across the world and see the successful Indian economy as a very important future marketplace. The country has a growing middle class with an increasing disposable income and after allowing for the high preference for vegetable options, there is still a substantial demand for top quality Fried Chicken.

A consortium of 12 British and Indian universities led by Swansea University in Wales has won £7 million of UK government funding to build five self-sufficient solar-powered buildings in remote Indian villages.

A new solar project, called SUNRISE, will develop printed photovoltaic cells and new manufacturing processes which can be used to construct solar energy products in India. These will then be integrated into buildings in at least five villages of India, allowing them to harness solar power to provide their own energy and run off grid.

The man behind a unique social enterprise initiative bringing together young talent from the UK and India explains what Modual: Mumbai is all about.

I’m writing this from day three of the Modual: Mumbai workshop. Already the ideas are flowing through a cultural collaboration that has exploded into more energy than even we experienced Modual-ers had anticipated.

The notion of globalisation is not under threat as a result of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, writes a senior academic.

A day after the crucial Brexit Vote, it seemed the world had opened its eyes to a new world. An island within Europe had willingly decided to split from the European Union (EU) forever. Soon after, while there was opposition and emotional outcry by people who were not observant of current realities. Brexit isn’t as surprising as it seems in the first instance. Change has always been coming and so it will continue, for good or bad. The only way to be successful, for every individual, business or country, is to evolve and adapt to new realities.

Rana Kapoor, the CEO of Yes Bank, talks ‘India Investment Journal’ through his company’s recent tie-up with Santander UK, the impact of demonetisation and the gains in store for the banking sector with GST.

What is the thinking behind the tie-up with Santander UK?

The UK-India corridor is a high priority corridor for us. The fact is that India is the fastest growing economy in the world today and quite naturally the opportunities between India and the UK are getting catalysed. Especially, SMEs [small and medium enterprises] need cross-border partners and banks are the channel that can help open new markets for them. Santander and Yes Bank are looking at providing a collaborative platform to help SMEs penetrate new geographies.

Sunil Misra, as Director-General of the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA), has an inside track on the country’s renewables challenge. He speaks to ‘India Investment Journal’ on what gives India an edge in this sector and how the 175GW target for renewable electricity generation by 2022 is on course.

What are the main factors behind a surge in India’s electrical industry sector?

India has seen significant and continued growth in its GDP and per capita income. There has been a substantial increase in in middle class and also aspirations of people, giving rise to consumption.

This enhanced consumption requires strengthening of the Transmission and Distribution network, which the country is undertaking with full vigour through its recent initiatives in coal and renewable sector. The government has also increased its spending on rural electrification in parallel schemes with IPDS (Integrated Power Development Scheme) and DDUGJY (Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana), which has further spurred the demand of electrical equipment in India.

The Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) launched its first Green Bond on the London Stock Exchange’s new International Securities Market (ISM) to finance renewable energy projects in India.

A new 10-year dated green bond listed by REC raised $450 million, with an annual yield of 3.965 per cent. It was 3.9 times oversubscribed on the final order book and secured strong international investor interest, with Asian investors making up 68 per cent of the order book and investors from Europe, Middle East and Africa region making up 32 per cent.

Innovative technology in real-life use is transforming India’s IT landscape, writes a tech expert.

When I was growing up in the 1970s, electronics was just something fun – my electronics kit that my parents bought me allowed me to make simple circuits that could switch on a bulb as soon as it went dark, or create metronomes or other seemingly non-useful things. However, now, electronics and technology underpins everything, and for me the fun that I had as a child has become useful in the world around us.