On July 24, USISPF and HSBC collaboratively hosted a webinar on “Global Supply chain Opportunities in India,” featuring NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Invest India Managing Director and CEO Deepak Bagla, and USISPF President and CEO, Mukesh Aghi.
In his opening statements, Dr. Mukesh Aghi highlighted the shift in U.S. businesses towards a “China plus one” strategy and investment in high ESG (environmental, social, and governance) geographies. He also pointed to the energy and pharmaceutical sectors as areas where U.S. companies are interested in investing in India.
Amitabh Kant, CEO of think tank NITI Aayog, spoke on the opportunities for India to become a global manufacturing hub, as COVID-19 has accelerated a trend towards diversifying global supply chains. Although other countries have benefited from U.S. companies seeking alternatives to China-based supply chains, he argued that India is the only sustainable option in the long term, since it has the “capability for large-scale production of export-ready goods and a large-scale domestic market.” He also highlighted the efforts of the Government of India to enact reforms on the ease of doing business and opening automatic-route foreign direct investment (FDI) across sectors, and to pursue a strategy of “make in India for the world.”
Deepak Bagla, Managing Director and CEO of Invest India, spoke on India’s goal of achieving a $5 trillion economy by 2025 and its advantage as an investment destination. He provided insight into Government of India initiatives such as the Empowered Group of Secretaries and project development cells, as well as state-level reforms and ‘single window’ processes to improve the experience of setting up business in India. He also spoke on the “cluster approach” and shortening of supply chains, in response to which India has developed a “plug and play” model for industrial clusters and industrial townships.