A dash of culture, slickly produced presentations and Prime Minister Narendra Modi rattling off numbers and reports made up the Make In India week’s launch on Saturday — a bid seen very aggressive to woo business from across 65 countries.
While his eyes were firmly on global capital, Modi’s tone was persuasive, his manner clinical.
The speech had rhetoric, but punctuated with statistics and global reports from major agencies, the names of whom were meant to have a reassuring effect on the foreign presence.
But before he took to the stage, the event showcased glimpses of traditional art and culture — from eclectic performances to a neatly-produced audio-visual presentation — to the curious eyes.
Cheering the event, apart from foreign premiers, were some of the big Indian industry names such as Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, Godrej Group chairman Adi Godrej, Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla among others.
The six-day Make In India week was meant for businesses “to see for yourself, the direction India was taking,” the Prime Minister said in his speech.
Modi insisted that India’s growth remained a bright aberration in times of a global slowdown.
“Our FDI inflow in December last year was the highest India has seen, while the global FDI has fallen substantially,” he said.
He also reiterated that the country’s crucial indicators — of power production and coal production — were at their peak.
From the World Bank’s “ease of doing business” list to Moody’s rating of the country’s outlook to the PMI output index as well as manufacturing indicators, Modi quoted numbers to support his point that India was on the right track. He coupled this data with assurances on specific sore points, such as the country’s taxation regime, which has in the past created jitters among investors.
“We will not resort to retrospective taxation, and I repeat this commitment again. We are also working towards making our regime transparent, stable and predictable,” said Modi in his speech.
“We launched Make In India to create employment and self-opportunities for our youth,” Modi added.
To show the industry that India was also an attractive market, Modi spoke on all aspects. “India is a land of immense opportunities. Fifty of our cities are ready for setting up Metro Rail Systems. We have to build 50 million houses. The requirement of road, rail and waterways is enormous. There is no time for incremental changes. We want a quantum jump,”