One of the world's largest maker of heavy machinery, General Electric, is building a $200-million (Rs 989-crore) manufacturing facility in Pune.
The 68-acre factory was announced on Thursday by John Flannery, president and CEO, GE India. "It's a good one-two punch in India," said Jeffrey Immelt, chairman, GE, referring to the new facility and his company's 11-year-old technology centre in Bangalore, the largest outside the US.
Immelt, also the chairman of US President Barack Obama's council on jobs and competitiveness, said GE's India operations, among its three-fastest growing globally, now targets a 30% annual growth with 20,000 employees over the next two-three years.
Immelt said he didn't agree with Indian economic pessimism. "I travel all over the world, and (with) a growth rate that's fallen from 8.0% to 7.4%, I don't feel it to be too bad, honestly."
"The private sector in India has moved faster than any place I've seen in the last 30 years," he added.
Infrastructure policy and wealth discrepancy were among India's major challenges, Immelt said. He also warned that the US and the rest of the world are closing the gap with India's outsourcing industry.
Commenting on the global economy, the GE chairman said that it wasn't as bad as 2008 and was in better shape than it was made out to be. "Broadly speaking, when I talk to other CEOs, I see that the business is better than the mood."
Multinational corporations held $2 trillion in cash, companies and banks are stronger and the global economy is much more diversified than 2008, he added.
Stressing the importance of the contribution of emerging markets, Immelt said it today account for $35 billion of GE's total revenue. "Emerging market growth is critical to GE," he said.