Sunil Misra, as Director-General of the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA), has an inside track on the country’s renewables challenge. He speaks to ‘India Investment Journal’ on what gives India an edge in this sector and how the 175GW target for renewable electricity generation by 2022 is on course.

What are the main factors behind a surge in India’s electrical industry sector?

India has seen significant and continued growth in its GDP and per capita income. There has been a substantial increase in in middle class and also aspirations of people, giving rise to consumption.

This enhanced consumption requires strengthening of the Transmission and Distribution network, which the country is undertaking with full vigour through its recent initiatives in coal and renewable sector. The government has also increased its spending on rural electrification in parallel schemes with IPDS (Integrated Power Development Scheme) and DDUGJY (Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana), which has further spurred the demand of electrical equipment in India.

Once the darling of investors, Maharashtra seemed to have lost its way in the middle but is now charging forward again.

In mid 2015 when a delegation from Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn was scouting for a suitable destination for investments in India and South East Asia, the western state of Maharashtra was not even in their initial list of considerations. States such as Gujarat that has a reputation as being most friendly for business, Karnataka that has an established Information and Technology hub, and Andhra Pradesh which is rebuilding and aggressively wooing potential investors with sops after Telangana was carved out of it, were the first stops. Also in contention were countries like Indonesia and Malaysia that also have a reputation for being investment friendly and share greater cultural linkages with the Chinese firm.

India has embarked on its biggest economic reform in living memory with a mission to implement a consistent one nation, one tax regime. This edition of ‘India Investment Journal’ comes as a timely recap of what the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is all about and demystifies some of the jargon to highlight what exactly this mega reform means for foreign investors eyeing India’s lucrative market.

The Big Story section therefore analyses all the nitty-gritties of this new tax, implemented on July 1, and presents a broad snapshot of facts and figures associated with GST. We have some guest contributions and interesting asides, like an introduction to a lesser-known champion, associated with the topic as well.

China’s clumsy attempts to cramp India’s strategic space are holding back its ties with India.


The popular mood in India, it will be fair to say, is not very favourable towards China at the moment. A daily barrage of blunt official statements and highly jingoistic media reports from the Middle Kingdom warning India of dire consequences – even war – and reminding Indians of the military humiliation it faced in the 1962 border conflict between the two countries is largely to blame for this downturn in the public perception about China.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s programme to make India a major global manufacturing hub is likely to start showing results when the $68-billion of investments committed on the ground start coming on stream over the next couple of years.

Critics complain that the glass is half empty. The Prime Minister’s Make in India initiative has not led to any increase in the share of manufacturing in the country’s GDP and has not generated the huge number of jobs it was expected to.


But that, pardon the pun, is only half the picture. Experts point out that the manufacturing sector begins to contribute to the economy only with a lag of three-four years and point to the pipeline of about $68 billion of foreign investment, much of it in the manufacturing sector, to argue that a better way of describing the glass would be as half full.

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.

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.

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.

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.