The Government and India Inc joined hands on Saturday to invite non-resident Indians (NRIs) to participate in investment opportunities in the country in a big way. This promises a handsome return and safety of the capital deployed.
Making a sentimental appeal to the gathered diaspora at the second Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, Chief Economic Advisor Ashok Lahiri called upon the NRIs to leverage their ideas in the knowledge economy and make money in the process.
"If you have an idea and want to leverage it to make money, come and execute it in your ancestral home", Lahiri appealed to the gathering, adding that there was a 'money-making' party going on in India.
The returns on foreign investments in India are among the best in the world and the accelerated pace of development will continue. "If you invest your money in India, it's safe", he assured the gathering at a plenary session 'Globalisation, Indian economy and the diaspora' in the absence of Finance Minister Jaswant Singh, who could not attend the session.
Lahiri also called upon the NRI community to discover the land of their ancestors and promote tourism in the process. "We invite you to tell us about what we need to do to make your stay in India more comfortable. We are laying great emphasis on tourism", he asked the community.
Lahiri was joined by Bharti group chairman Sunil Mittal in highligthing the huge manpower, high technical skills and growing demand among the Indian middle class that the NRI community may not find anywhere else in the world.
Mittal made a business case for the community to invest in India, especially in the business process outsourcing (BPO)/information technology industry and agriculture. He assured the community that enough demand existed in the 250-million strong middle-class for various products and services, giving the example of the growth in market size in the Indian automobile and telecom industry over the past few years.
"We seek your support in the area of capital and technical know-how and all of you are in countries where there is enough of both", Mittal asked the community. He urged the NRIs to channelise their investments in India keeping in mind the opportunities and the comparable returns in the western world in the times of falling interest rates.
Mittal also urged the NRIs to contribute in a big way in taking the BPO industry to the next level and make India a food-state from a agri-state by harnessing the opportunities in agriculture.