India can become the world's growth engine: Shashi Ruia | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India can become the world's growth engine: Shashi Ruia

delhi Updated: Nov 20, 2010 00:52 IST
HT Correspondent

Spurred by a surging domestic economy, India can become the world's growth engine as companies make rapid strides on the manufacturing and services sectors' value chain, but conducive investment environment and adequate capital were important to reap the benefits of globalisation, experts said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi today.

"If every Indian company can replicate the model of IT services by treating the world as one market place, they can add so much value," Shashi Ruia, chairman, Essar Group, said at a session on "Going Global: Prospects and Pitfalls for India Inc."

"Look at the examples of world class products which are coming from India and their market potential. If we had scale and size, Nano, a world class product, can sell anywhere. I wouldn't be surprised if President Obama took one home," Ruia said.

"When Indian companies go and buy assets abroad and run them successfully that's going global. It gives access to markets, resources and technology," he said.

Nandan Nilekani, chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India and former CEO of IT services major Infosys said there were compelling reasons for Indian companies to go global.

"We are a very young country. When the rest of the world is ageing, we will provide the workforce to the world. It is, therefore, in our interests to keep the world markets open," Nilekani said.

The growth in the Indian economy will only help domestic firms improve their competitiveness, Nilekani said.

"The Indian market will turn out to be crucible for successful innovative business models that can be replicated in other markets," he said.

Ruia said there were also many challenges that need to be addressed for Indian companies to reap the benefits of a vast global market place.

Rising protectionist tendencies among countries in the wake of the global credit crisis and inadequate capital were another set of constraints confronting Indian companies' global ambitions.

"Indian companies require the support of the government for ensuring investment climate, world class infrastructure for businesses to be able to compete," Ruia said.

"Indian companies will need financial support. The government should think of setting up funds and lending money to companies just like the way sovereign wealth funds function across the world," he said.

Nilkenai said the planned $1 trillion investment in infrastructure sector will also create opportunities for companies in the advanced nations as India would have to import products and technology.

"This will create a lot of opportunities for growth in many of these companies, create jobs and help making globalisation more politically palatable," Nilekani said.