The Strategic Partnership Policy (SPP) could throw open deals worth over $20bn to six selected private sector companies in India.

India’s defence forces will get their first fighter jets, submarines, helicopters and armoured vehicles made in India by the private sector within a few years. And it is entirely probable that friendly foreign countries could also be using some of these Made in India weapon systems.

After years of research with experts and bio-chemists, Forest Essentials set off to build on the 6,000-year-old Indian science of Ayurveda. Company chief Samrath Bedi talks ‘India Investment Journal’ through his ‘Luxurious Ayrurveda’ tagline, the tie-up with American skincare giant Estee Lauder and future plans.

What in your opinion attracted investors to Forest Essentials?

Successful brands are built on rich heritage and history. What is compelling about Forest Essentials is its focus on the skill, science and tradition of Ayurveda – central to one of the world’s oldest civilizations.

Initially, Ayurvedic products available in the market were formulated with effective properties, but products were not made with fresh and seasonal ingredients, as prescribed by Ayurvedic texts, and were often not pleasurable to use. Forest Essentials has simplified Ayurveda to make it more accessible to the world by curating high quality, user-friendly and pleasurable Ayurvedic products.

After the heady rush of initial years, Indian start-ups went through a churn in 2016. A spate of mergers beckons this year, as local firms brace against a global onslaught.

He was a 26-year-old young achiever. A dropout from India’s premier tech institute —Bombay IIT. A chief executive officer of a company he himself co-founded with 11 others. A man who became the toast of the nascent start-up ecosystem in India when within two years, five rounds of funding, a list of investors as prestigious as Japan’s Softbank, Qualcomm Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners and Helion Venture Partners, valuation peaked at $220 million.

Naspers has been behind investments in some of India’s most successful start-up ventures in recent years. Here Larry Illg, CEO for Ventures, explains what makes India an exciting prospect for the firm.

What would you attribute Naspers’ success in the Indian market to?

Naspers is active in more than 130 countries and markets across the world, and our approach to investing in companies has been fairly consistent over the years. Firstly, we ensure that we understand the business model. Do we think it has legs? Do we think there is long-term defensibility and profit potential? This can be a few years out, because we look at a relatively long horizon for our investments. Is there a fundamental need in the market for this business to exist; increasingly, we look for businesses that address big societal needs. And finally, has the business got good potential to scale?

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.

A leading consultant analyses the factors that have made investing in India easier and a more rewarding experience as long as investors go in with a level of preparedness.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently altered its predicted growth rate for India slightly downward to 6.8 per cent, but this is still attractive compared to the sluggish rates of growth elsewhere in the world. Foreign investors’ confidence in India has also recently improved, making it the eighth most attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). Meanwhile India’s ranking in the World Bank’s league table for ‘ease of doing business’ is rising, albeit at 130 the improvement isn’t over yet!

These changes have been strongly influenced by the government’s attempts to make India a more attractive market by, for example, implementing demonetisation in November 2016, increasing online transactions and the planned introduction of a common nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July.

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’.

Make in India, one of the flagship initiatives launched under Prime Minister Modi, has led to a step change in FDI inflows, writes an investment facilitator.

The total FDI inflows into India stood at $60.1 billion in 2016-17 — the highest ever in a single year. Compared to 2013-14, this represents a 75 per cent increase. India’s achievement is even more stark when compared to falling global FDI flows as highlighted by UNCTAD. More importantly, Make in India has enabled long-term structural changes such as opening new sectors for FDI, increasing the ease of doing business, cutting the red tape and improving the physical infrastructure.

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.

India Inc. hosted the inaugural UK-India Awards in London, where senior British and Indian ministers called for closer ties in a post-Brexit scenario.

London: UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pushed for a speedy conclusion of a free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the UK at the inaugural UK-India Awards in London on May 12.

“Whenever we go to India, we have to pack bottles of whisky because as you know there is a duty of 150 per cent in India on Scotch whisky. But imagine what we could do if there was a free trade deal with India,” Johnson told a packed audience of high-profile parliamentarians, entrepreneurs and senior executives.