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.

The Indian government’s resolve is to generate 175 GW of electricity from renewable energy by 2022 and increase the share of renewables in India’s energy mix to 40 per cent by 2030. Of the 175 GW, 100 GW will come from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from biomass and 5 GW from small hydrop projects. Here is a broad snapshot of the challenge.

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.

India can learn a lot from South Korea’s ascent from poverty in the 1950s to the ranks of the most technologically advanced societies especially in the fields of manufacturing, defence technology, electronics and skills development. And India can, in turn, help South Korea in areas like software and space technology that it excels in.

It is a warm and deepening economic and strategic partnership that could well become the template for India’s engagement with other geographically smaller but economically dynamic Asian Tigers.

South Korea has been in the news in India recently for three separate but loosely connected developments, all of them positive.

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.

Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Investment Policy and Promotion (DIPP), took time out of his punishing schedule to meet ‘India Investment Journal’ to speak about, among other things, how his department is easing rules and re-engineering government processes to make India an easier place to do business in.