India crossed the $300 billion mark at a time when the global economic slowdown has had a dampening impact. This speaks volumes of the opportunity India as an investment destination has to offer and how timely market reforms are creating a positive ecosystem for the international investor.

The government of India has taken up a series of measures to improve Ease of Doing Business in the country. The emphasis has been on simplification and rationalisation of the existing rules and introduction of information technology to make governance more efficient and effective. Today the international investor is all ears to the India story as never before. Almost every decision-making meeting globally has India on its agenda.

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.

As Managing Director for South Asia and Vice-President, Sales & Marketing Group, of Intel Corporation, Debjani Ghosh is responsible for establishing new growth areas for the US-headquartered tech giant in the region. She works with governments and industry in South Asia to establish policies and initiatives that help accelerate the adoption of technology in the region, especially as an enabler of inclusive growth and development.

Two years into the Digital India, what is the experience of tech collaborators like Intel?

For nearly two decades now, Intel has been committed to digitally transforming India into an empowered society and knowledge economy with a focus on education, skill development and innovation. Now, with the government’s vision for a digital India, we’ve got a higher impetus to drive the next wave of computing among non-urban users, and make an impact at the grassroots level. Our experience shows that public private partnerships and local innovation are two of the key components to achieve the Digital India goals.

A relatively slow-moving solar market in India is showing some signs of promise.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has announced a 1,000 MW tender in order to allocate rooftop solar projects on government buildings across the country. This is the largest ever rooftop solar tender announced in India till date. Riding on the success of a previous 500 MW rooftop solar tender announced in April 2016, SECI has now doubled the allocation size. This is a welcome move in a market that has historically struggled to take off for a host of reasons. As per official statistics, the rooftop capacity in India stands at 382 MW. This includes only those projects that have been subsidised by the MNRE. The non-subsidised market appears to have crossed 1,000 MW.

The Government of India recently unveiled its vision for India’s steel manufacturing capabilities by circulating a new draft steel policy for 2017 for public discussion and approval by the Cabinet, writes India Inc. policy expert.

India’s new draft ‘National Steel Policy of 2017’ is an outline for attaining a most ambitious target capacity of 300 million tonnes of crude steel capacity by 2030, which is anticipated as the demand for steel by then. India is producing only around a 100 million tonnes today while China, if we must compare, produces around 750/800 million tonnes a year – about 50 per cent of global capacity.

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.

The chief of one of India’s leading healthcare players, Fortis Healthcare, weighs up India’s appeal as a hub for international patients.

Medical tourism is a phenomenon where people travel from their home country to another nation to access quality medical care. There are many factors which influence their decision, the most common one being the ability to access quality medical procedures which are not conducted within the boundaries of their home country.

The last few weeks have brought some cheer for those tracking the investment climate in India.

Credit rating firm Moody’s upgraded India’s sovereign rating by one notch, a move seen as a clear endorsement of the economic reform agenda underway in the country. A key plank of this agenda has been the ambition to improve the ease of doing business in the country, which also received a major boost with India moving into the top 100 in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs report. This marked a convincing jump of 30 spots from last year’s rank of 130th to this year’s 100th. The report notes that India has adopted 37 reforms since 2003 and nearly half of these reforms have been implemented in the last four years.

There was more good news in store as the country moved up in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) GDP per capita index. India saw its per capita GDP rise to $7,170 in 2017, up from $6,690 in 2016, improving its rank by one position to 126th.

All these indicators put together paint a broadly positive picture for the inward investment landscape in the country. This edition of ‘India Investment Journal’ analyses many of the trends that have led to this economic bounce through the prism of specific sectors.

The Cover theme explores India’s vibrant tourism sector with a range of insider views on medical tourism by Fortis Healthcare and Vaidam as well as the relatively new market of second homes as an alternative to homestays by Oyo.

The Big Story for this month is the country’s booming mobile phone market and what makes it attractive to global giants. We explore how India is set to hit 530 million smartphone users, way ahead of the US figure of 229 million, by 2018 and a telecom expert explains how Digital India in sync with Make in India will enable local innovation in the mobile phone market.

We take regular stock of some of the Indian government flagship schemes, with strides in Digital India captured under our regular Tech Speak column as well as an update on the UK-India Future Tech Month. Invest India elaborates on the details of a new Access India programme to hand-hold small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for their entry into one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

The CSR Focus is on a new social development bond launched to meet enhanced education goals in India and the State Focus this time is on Andhra Pradesh, which includes a sneak-peak into the new state capital of Amaravati and a first-hand account of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s investment scouting mission to the UK.

To round off the edition, Realty Corner provides a broad sweep of the Indian property market and Yoga Corner focuses on the art of breathing.

Aditi Khanna editor's note indiaAditi Khanna is the Senior Editor of India Inc.

Amaravati to have South Korean influence

A “South Korea City” is expected to come up in Andhra Pradesh’s new capital, Amaravati, or elsewhere in the state as Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu invited industrialists from the country to set up their ventures in the state.

Naidu told a delegation of South Korean industrialists: “We will extend full cooperation and encouragement from the government if you make Andhra Pradesh your second capital and set up industries in a big way. We will develop a South Korean City, on the lines of Busan in your country.

“We will sign MoUs if you come up with comprehensive proposals and designs.”

He tried to woo other industrialists from the country by presenting South Korean automobile giant Kia Motors, which is setting up its car manufacturing unit in Anantapuramu district, as the mascot.

“We share similarities in size and population and we are both blessed with a vast coastline. We are rich in natural resources and I am very interested to collaborate with South Korea,” he said.

Naidu offered land, water, uninterrupted electricity and other incentives for the Koreans in his bid to woo them to the state.

The Indian textiles sector has received much-needed attention but its future continues to hang in balance unless bold initiatives begin to pay off.

The Indian textile industry is the country’s oldest, going back five millennia, and its modern day avatar employs more than 45 million people, making it the country’s second largest employer after agriculture.

Over the last couple of decades, however, this industry has been facing global and domestic headwinds that are threatening its continued wellbeing. But governmental and industry efforts to overcome these challenges also offer considerable upsides and the proposed renewal of the industry promises to rejuvenate it and make it ready for the challenges of the 21st century.