Keeping an eye on reforms and the new government’s focus towards manufacturing and infrastructure development in the country, US conglomerate General Electric could look at investing another $500 million or more (Rs3,000 crore-plus) in manufacturing, transportation and oil and gas in India.
GE, with interest in energy, transport, aviation and healthcare, has 13 manufacturing facilities in India, the latest being the $200-million Pune unit. It employs over 13,000 people in the country.
In an exclusive interview to HT, vice chairman John Rice said the company is looking to expand its manufacturing activities in India, either through brownfield expansion at its Pune plant for by putting up a greenfield facility in some other state.
“We are looking at expanding our manufacturing facilities. As we have the Pune facility up and running, we are thinking about the next phase,” he said.
“I don’t think $200 million is too little... it’s just the first step and there is plenty of room to expand... we want to take advantage of the Pune facility, but it doesn’t have to be Pune. There are some other states that want to create jobs, so we are not going to limit ourselves,” he added.
The company may also revive its investment plans of $300 million or more into rail freight modernisation.
“There was this couple of million dollar investment associated with freight rail modernisation. That’s been on hold for the better part of 10 years. We haven’t done anything because the project hasn’t moved forward. Investment by GE would depend if the new government decides to move forward with the freight modernisation programme,” he said.
Stating that GE was awaiting the government’s final decision on gas pricing, Rice said: “We are also looking at partnerships and joint ventures (in the oil and gas sector). We are waiting to get clarity on the price of gas... there is $10-15 billion of investment awaiting.”