Three years ago, when director (technical) of Skoda Auto India Private Limited, Jean Marie Lagey, came to Indore for a plant visit, he had a terrible experience.
Talking to Hindustan Times on the sidelines of Global Investors Summit, he said, "The entire city was a bowl of dust, the roads were of very poor quality and it was tough travelling on them."
So, it was with some trepidation that he came to Indore as part of the Czech Republic delegation to the Global Investors Summit. However, he was pleasantly surprised with the changes. "The city has improved a lot. I realise that some of the changes must have been made for the meet but the Super Corridor is very impressive. Overall, the infrastructure has improved vastly and so has the level of cleanliness," he said.
Super Corridor is a special investment zone developed by the Indore Development authority where IT giants TCS and Infosys are coming up.
Lagey said his company believes in taking small steps and in a country like India, it pays because the ground reality is often different from what you are told. "It is a country that is full of surprises," he said.
Skoda Auto (India) has its plant in Aurangabad and though Lagey acknowledges that Madhya Pradesh too has a lot of potential, the company has no plans to set up a manufacturing unit in the state at present.
When asked whether he saw any negatives in Madhya Pradesh, Lagey said he was not well acquainted to pass a judgement.
However, Skoda Power Private Limited managing director, Jaroslav Ira, who is also part of the Czech delegation, said his company was facing lack of trained manpower while hiring in India. "Indian universities do not produce graduates who are trained to work in industries which is the case in our country," he said.
Ira, whose company specialises in making steam turbines and has six ongoing projects in India said, "We have to retrain all of them," he said.
Earlier, Jiri Janicek, the country's trade department representative, talked about the strengths of their country and why it was an attractive investment destination. He also informed about the slew of benefits the country offered to potential investors.