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Doing biz in India relatively easy, says Nooyi

Describing India as a fantastic market for major companies, the US India Business Council Chairperson and Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi says doing business in the country is relatively easy.
PTI | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JUN 13, 2008 08:30 PM IST

Describing India as a fantastic market for major companies, the United States India Business Council Chairperson and Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi said doing business in the country is relatively easy.

India-born Nooyi said that not only Pepsico likes to do business in India but also chief executives of other big corporations with whom she has spoken to, feel the same way.

"India has been a fantastic market. Doing business with India has been relatively easy," Nooyi said at a press interaction during the 33rd Anniversary celebrations of the USIBC in Washington DC on Thursday.

Pointing out that major corporations have been growing at a rate of 20 to 30 per cent, she added that doing business is relative.

" It's all relative, because it's relative to other developing and emerging markets, who all have their issues," Nooyi noted.

According to her, India is one of the most important markets for Pepsico and the firm likes to do business in the country.

" We actually like doing business in India and all the other CEOs I talk to, feel exactly the same way... India is one of our most important markets. We have discussions going on a bilateral investment trade agreement," the Chairperson of USIBC said.

Queried on her biggest worry about India, Nooyi asserted that soaring oil prices is something the country has to cope with and the same is worrying everyone today.

"India, to fuel its growth needs oil and the government provides subsidies so that the economy can keep humming. But if the price of oil goes up too much, how much can the government put out in terms of subsidies," she remarked.

However, Nooyi added that one should take into account the impact on the economy if the subsidies are taken away.

Further, she said that rising oil prices is not just an issue for India but across the world. "I think worldwide one of the biggest issues we are all confronting is where is the price of oil going to go and how do you cope with not just escalating but just exploding energy costs."

On the Indo-US nuclear deal, Nooyi said it would be critical for India and refused to term it as a lost cause, saying that it is a not a failure yet.

"This is needed for India - for its own energy sufficiency, for its own security... This was something that was proposed in good faith by the US government...

I think it is critical for India and my hope - I am still holding out hope - is that between now and the end of the terms of the US presidency or the Indian government, whichever turns over first something will actually get negotiated. That's my hope," she said.

Responding to a query on whether she would serve in a future American administration, Nooyi shot back, "If the Chairmanship and CEO of PepsiCo has a cabinet position, I'd be delighted to carry that."

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