Financing India: New opportunities exist, so do new challenges

Even though many believe India to be a darling for investors, there is no denying that the country does not confront investors with challenges. The existing hurdles, the new challenges and trends set in motion by COVID-19 will change the pattern of inflows of foreign direct investments (FDI), stated an economist at the ‘Financing India’ webinar series.

The webinar session was organised by The Free Press Journal and SIES in association with Invest India, and was titled ‘Financing India-How to galvanize investments into India’. The panellists for the session (in alphabetic order) were Vivek Sonny Abraham, Vice President, Invest India; Sai Sudha Chandrasekaran, Senior AVP, Invest India; and Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist, CARE Ratings. The discussion was moderated by RN Bhaskar and panellists were welcomed by Dr Vaneeta Raney, head, BMM department, SIES.

Madan Sabnavis (at the session) said that there is a need to make sure the flow of FDI continues. He stated that at some point the supply of funding may not be that large due to the COVID-19 impact. “Many developed economies are trying to rebuild their economies. Thus, there may be a slowdown in the money flowing from West to East. The investors might say let us invest in a developed economy and not in emerging economies,” said Sabnavis. He urged that India should be prepared for the scenario which may emerge mainly due to COVID-19.

With companies in India bouncing back to pre-COVID-19 levels, many investors are looking at India to diversify. Many Indian companies are exploring India’s IT and healthcare sectors which could strengthen and open up new avenues. These are encouraging investors, claimed Vivek Sonny Abraham.

Despite vaccines being developed for COVID-19, it is an accepted fact that COVID-19 is here to stay as seasonal flu, stated Vivek Sonny Abraham. “The trends (due to COVID-19) will influence the policy going forward. COVID-19 will continue to remain a very important point while building policies and strategies.”

In June, an empowered group of secretaries was set up to identify the bottlenecks in some of the large investments and investors are facing in India. Then, there is a project development cell which is supporting the execution of projects. Such initiatives by the Indian government, explained Sai Sudha Chandrasekaran, are to enable more investments into the country. She added, “Almost every week, Invest India engages with all clients and investors. Our role is to take these issues to an empowered group of secretaries and project development committee to ensure that everything is moving fast. We strongly believe that the biggest ambassadors of India are those who have already invested in India.”

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