The New Year promises to continue the upward swing in foreign direct investment (FDI) flowing into India, according to the country’s main investment promotion agency.

India’s investment climate has never been better. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to reform-perform-and-transform has conclusively catapulted India into a higher orbit. The last 12 months saw India break into the top-100 club, on ease of doing business, receive a record FDI of $60.1 billion and earn an upgrade in its credit rating from Moody’s.

As Swedish retail giant IKEA gets set to open up its first India store in Hyderabad this year, ‘India Investment Journal’ catches up with IKEA India’s Deputy Country Manager Patrik Antoni to see how the New Year is likely to pan out for the company.

How do you view 2017 for the company in India?

Very exciting times as we are working towards opening our first India store in Hyderabad by end 2017. Many people in India will soon have access to our home furnishings offer and a unique IKEA shopping experience.

India is a very important market for IKEA. We have been here for 30 years sourcing products for our stores around the world. We are learning a lot from India and we strongly believe that India will influence IKEA globally in a very positive way, both in terms of a retail market and also growing our sourcing landscape with new suppliers, new categories and new materials. We plan to open 25 stores by 2025 in the major Indian cities. So far we have bought land in Hyderabad and Mumbai, we are in parallel looking for sites in the four prioritised cities- Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

Start-up India is beginning to show results but these are still early days. The eco-system has to mature further before the benefits percolate down to all sectors of the economy.

For all those who wring their hands and complain that there is little by way of cutting edge scientific breakthroughs coming out of India’s vibrant start-up community, consider this: Deepak Solanki, a young Indian IIT Bombay and IIIT Hyderabad graduate, and his team are making waves the world over with their work on light fidelity (Li-FI), which uses LED bulbs to provide high-speed internet that can be up to 100 times faster than Wi-FI. The term Li-Fi was first used at a TED Global Talk in 2011 by University of Edinburgh Professor Harald Haas.

The Saubhagya scheme, announced last year, can improve the lives of a quarter billion people by giving them access to 24×7 electricity. It also offers $11.5-billion worth of business opportunities for foreign and Indian companies in the power sector.

Of all the flagship schemes announced by the Narendra Modi government over the last three-and-a-half years, the Power for All initiative, to provide electricity connections to every single household in India, is, arguably, the one that can help lift living standards and improve the quality of life of millions the fastest.

The Indian healthcare sector is riding the growth curve and emerging as a lucrative site for foreign investments, writes a healthcare analyst.

The Indian healthcare sector is one of the fastest growing sectors with high contribution not only in terms of revenue, but also employment. The Indian healthcare market is expected to rank amongst the top-three healthcare markets in terms of incremental growth by 2020.[1] The sector stood at approximately $113.9 billion in 2016 and is likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6 per cent in the next five years to reach $195.6 billion.

Limited Liability Partnership: An alternative choice of entity to invest into India

In recent years, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into India has been on the rise, with a significant percentage of such FDI originating from Singapore.

The old Sanskrit saying ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’, which has been loosely translated in the headline, is paying India rich dividends as foreign hotel and restaurant chains flock to the country to create jobs and provide economic opportunities to many more.

It is widely accepted that the hospitality and tourism sector is a key driver of employment and growth the world over. In the Indian context, the Narendra Modi government has identified this sector as key to generating jobs for the millions of youngsters who join the workforce every year – with sound reason.

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.

Having attracted the most investments in 2016, Karnataka is already a favorite with investors but blessed with rich minerals and abundant skilled manpower, there is still a lot of untapped potential.

The year 2016 was a landmark one for Karnataka. As per the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), during the year the proposed investments in the state saw a massive five-fold jump from Rs 31,668 crore ($4.8bn) in 2015 to Rs 1,54,173 crore ($23bn).

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.