In a sign that the recent reform measures taken by the government are beginning to change investor sentiment for the better, General Electric chairman and CEO Jeffrey R Immelt said, "The last three months of 2012 were much better than the first nine months of last year."
Addressing the media in Delhi on Friday, Immelt, who is on a two-day visit to the country, added: "Most of the recent media coverage about India in the West has been negative. But I'm sure issues like retrospective taxes and the lack of policy clarity will get corrected. Progress does not always follow a straight line. So, at GE, we prefer to take a long-term view. We're here to stay," he said.
GE, which employs 14,000 people in India and generates revenues of about Rs. 15,000 crore in the country, is bullish about the power sector here. "We are very positive about coal, steam and renewable power," said John Flannery, president and CEO, GE India. "However, we aren't very positive about gas-based power plants."
Several gas-based power plants have been languishing as gas is not easily available.
Immelt was particularly bullish about the future of innovations in healthcare delivery in India. "Low cost innovations, which can be replicated all over the world, are more likely to come out of India than out of the US, or even China," he said.
GE expects its business in India - in the power, oil & gas, medical equipment, aviation and transportation sectors - to grow at 15-20%. But it doesn't expect to outsource much manufacturing to India. "Manufacturing in the US is quite competitive, especially as GE's plants are highly automated," he added.