Ignore the doom mongers, India will return to the high growth path by winter.

There’s an old truism about India which holds that for everything that is true about this country, the exact opposite is also correct. This is true for the Indian economy as well.

The country’s foreign exchange reserves recently crossed the $400-billion mark, making India the world’s sixth-largest holder of forex, ahead of the Euro zone, Brazil and Taiwan. The Indian rupee, which had fallen to a low of Rs 68.85 against the US dollar four years ago under the previous Congress-led UPA regime, has gained about 6 per cent to about Rs 64 and experts expect it to strengthen further.

India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) has the potential to make the country’s textile industry more competitive.

A long-awaited taxation reform aimed at “One Nation, One Tax” became a reality in India when the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Act was passed in Parliament on March 29 this year and came into effect from July 1.

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.

The biggest challenge for India’s Renewable Energy targets is the intermittent nature of Wind and Solar technology, writes a power sector expert.

India remains the fastest growing economy with GDP upwards of 7 per cent and growing population. With increasing urbanisation and growing needs and demands, the energy requirement is also growing at a CAGR of 5 per cent from FY2010.

The capacity addition in the 11th plan (2007-2012) has been 50GW and that in 12th plan (2012-2017) and beyond is close to 130GW. The main contribution for this significant capacity addition (CAGR 10.5 per cent) has come from the private sector, which now has the largest share of 145GW followed by state sector with 104GW and remaining with central sector. With the significant capacity addition, the energy deficit which was 10 per cent in 2009-10 has reduced to 0.6 per cent in 2017-18 and the peak power deficit from 12.8 per cent to 0.6 per cent in 2017. The present energy generation in the country is close to 1300TWh with 330GW of operational capacity comprising mainly fossil fuel 225GW, Hydro 45GW and Renewables 55GW. Renewables comprise Wind, Solar Bio mass and Hydro <25MW. With 1.3-billion population, the per capita consumption of electricity is close to 1000KWh/annum – a third of global average.

The new Goods and Services Tax (GST) will help neutralise the centrifugal forces in the Indian economy, writes a policy expert.



The historical project of transforming India from a conglomeration of sub-national identities and interests to a modern nation state began with our Independence. The assimilation of more than 500 princely states, which had been rather ingeniously given the choice by the departing British colonial administration to either secede or join the Indian Union was the first major step in this direction. That process of creating a unified, coherent and efficiently working nation state has been given another hefty push by the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 1 July 2017.

The easy availability of electricity is a critical enabler of socio-economic growth in India, writes India Inc. CEO Manoj Ladwa.

The basic building block for sustained economic growth is now in place. From a chronically electricity-deficit country, India has, in a space of three short years, turned the power sector around – so much so, that not only does the country now have surplus power, it is also exporting electricity to neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi appointed Piyush Goyal as Minister of State for Power, Coal, Mines & Renewable Energy (Independent Charge) in 2014, India was reeling under a massive deficit of 87 billion Kwhs or 9 per cent of demand. Result: the economy was suffering long, daily power cuts and the use of diesel generators for back-up that sapped productivity and ate into corporate profitability.

There was little light visible at the end of the tunnel as India’s state-owned power distribution companies, or discoms as they are called, were also bleeding. With cumulative debts of more than $50 billion, they were having to borrow money just to keep their operations running, thus, pushing them further into debt.

This turnaround has made it possible for the Indian government to announce that it would be in a position to fulfil its election promise of providing power for all by next year – a full year ahead of schedule.

This is an incredible achievement. The easy availability of electricity is a critical enabler of socio-economic growth. Being the basic building block of prosperity, power is also the key enabler of several flagship schemes announced by the Prime Minister. There can be no Make in India, Digital India, Start-up India, Skill India or even Swacch Bharat without the provision of adequate electricity.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of an educated and empowered nation would also have come to nothing without adequate electricity. Power, as we all know, is sine qua non for children to study, do their homework and prepare for examinations.

The rejuvenation of the power sector will have an impact far beyond the remit of the ministry itself as will help change the lives of millions that currently live, or till recently lived, in darkness.

Power, arguably, is the most critical component of the Prime Minister’s promise of providing jobs for the 10-12 million youth who join the Indian workforce every year. Key to accomplishing this goal is the aim of increasing the share of manufacturing from 18 per cent of GDP at present to 25 per cent of GDP by 2025.

Among several constraints that are holding up the growth of the manufacturing sector was the lack of adequate power to run the machines in thousands of small and medium enterprises that form the backbone of any economy and are the main incubator of the millions of low skilled jobs that really bring prosperity to people at the bottom of the pyramid. I have purposely left out large and heavy industries because they can afford to set up captive power plants or make provisions for back-up power from diesel generators.

But Minister Goyal himself will admit that his job is only half done. Almost a quarter billion Indians still do not have access to electricity in their homes. Turning this situation around and providing power to fuel the expected manufacturing boom in the coming years will consume the current surplus and call for additional sources of electricity.

This is where the Prime Minister’s ambitious target of achieving 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 will come into play. Achieving this target will not only to enable India to meet its emission goals under the Paris climate accord but also to meet the additional demand that improving economic growth and rising numbers of power consumers will generate.

There will be challenges, for sure. Financing large projects in India remains an issue as the banking sector, which is in the throes of a bad loan crisis, is unable to provide large volumes of credit. Then, the issue of balancing the infirm power that wind and solar plants generate – the potential this has to destabilise the grid – has not yet been resolved.

But neither of these problems is insurmountable and there is every reason to be optimistic that solutions will be found.

This edition of ‘India Investment Journal’ tracks Minister Goyal’s mega power challenge as he travels around the world to scout for investments, besides the usual cross-sector coverage.

Manoj Ladwa is the founder of India Inc. and chief executive of MLS Chase Group @manojladwa

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The year 2016 was one of the best years in recent times for initial public offering (‘IPO’) in India owing to stronger macroeconomics, pro-business political regime, continuing regulatory reforms and an overall positive investment climate.

Indian companies raised more than $4bn through IPOs in 2016, which is close to the aggregate equity raised over preceding four years from 2012-15.



The IPO pipeline for 2017 looks promising with some of the large companies expected to tap the equity markets including NSE, SBI Life, UTI Mutual Fund, Railways and Insurance public sector undertaking (PSU). Economic fundamentals are improving and the equity index performance is at a record high. India continues to be one of the top destinations for investments globally.

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The Goods & Services Tax (GST) is one of the most significant reforms in post-independence India which has rightly garnered interest of businesses across the nation. Here a tech enthusiast highlights why digitisation is the key.

For decades, India has been thriving on a ‘red tape’ culture. India as a trade economy has been functioning on high import tariffs, excises and turnover tax on goods and services having enormous cascading effects, leading to a distorted structure of production, consumption and exports.

It’s not a target but it remains an aspiration. Given the trajectory of the Indian economy, there’s every reason to be optimistic that this ambitious goal is within reach.

It is not an official target and no one in the government will speak about it on record. But in private, off-the-record conversations, they will admit that receiving $100 billion in annual foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows is an aspiration the Indian government is not giving up on.

That figure isn’t quite a mare’s nest. China consistently crossed that mark during the heady period when it was growing at 9-10 per cent per annum. And, to put things in perspective, India isn’t too far away from that mark.
Achievable ‘target’.

The Year 2017 had been ear-marked as UK India Year of Culture by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his tour of Britain in November 2015. That announcement became a reality when Indian Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley, represented the Government of India at a historic reception in Buckingham Palace in London recently.

While the year is set to be packed with an array of cultural events, both in India and the UK, the key message amid all the glitz and glamour is a familiar one: that India is crucial to the British economy, which is on the brink of breaking away from the European Union (EU).