For any international company that operates in India, it should also consider producing in India, suggested top executives of Swedish companies. This should not be just for domestic consumption but for export as well, they added, during the ‘Financing India’ panel discussion which focused on Sweden. The session was organised by The Free Press Journal and SIES in the association with Invest India.
The panellists for the session were (in alphabetical order) Anurag Bhagania, CFO, SKF India Ltd; Anna Lekvall, Consul General of Sweden in Mumbai; and Anantha Padmanabhan, Managing Director India and Cluster President for India-Middle East–Africa, Alfa Laval. The session was moderated by R N Bhaskar, Consulting Editor, Free Press Journal. Dr Vaneeta Raney, head at BMM Department, SIES, welcomed the panellists.
Anantha Padmanabhan said, “For an international company which wants to operate in India, it has to be in India and produce in India. It is a very interesting and large market. But more than a large market, it has the potential for development.” This was reiterated by Anurag Bhagania as well at the discussion.
Anna Lekvall said, “To attract new investments, you need to take care of investments that are already made and the commitment made for those investments.” Such a move will create goodwill in the market, she hinted.
Commenting about India-Sweden relations, Lekvall stated, “India is a highly-valued partner to Sweden. We have an excellent relationship and we have seen this relationship grow even further.”
There are around 200 Swedish companies in India, creating 2,00,000 direct jobs and over two million indirect jobs. “In the last five years, Swedish companies have reported an investment of USD 1.7 billion and USD 1 billion is planned for the coming two years,” Lekvall stated.
She also added that Swedish companies are also committed towards India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and economic growth.
Adding to this, Bhagania stated that Swedish companies, while expanding in India, come with the intent of investing for the long term and a sustainable future in the country. Despite hiccups, he added, companies continue to invest in India. He stressed in the last few years, there have been significant reforms in India which will help attract investments. “Huge economic potential and low level of corporate taxes will be an opportunity (for India) to attract fresh investments...,” stated Bhagania.
Meanwhile, Padmanabhan stated clear policies of the government will also help in attracting investments to the country. At present, Alfa Laval is investing heavily to grow in the pharma and healthcare space.