As Prime Minister’s Day 1 in US comes to a close, Mr Modi is high on the reforms agenda. Making a firm and assertive pitch for bringing in investment in India, he met close to 50 Fortune 500 companies alongwith media companies and several key financial sector players.
Almost every big name in the world of US Business and those who mattered were all there. The guest list includes the likes of Charles Kaye of Warburg Pincus, JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon, Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman, Henry Kravis of KKR and Bill Ford of General Atlantic. The top bosses of key pension funds and firms like AIG Insurance also market presence.
He also met other opinion makers and luminaries like former New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, US-India Business Council chair Ajay Banga, Marillyn A. Hewson of Lockheed Martin and even Mike Burke, the Chief Executive of Aecom.
The timing and tenor of Shri Narendra Modi’s cannot be ignored at all. At a time when parts of the global economy are still struggling, a major producer like China is reeling under slowdown woes, India perhaps presents a far more attractive proposition. Quite understandably The Prime Minister in his speech too tried to cash in on the fact. Not only did he speak about attracting capital and investment, he assured the business majors about continuing reforms in the economic arena. Gaiging the mood and global concerns about investing in India, he highlighted the fact that decision-making was a priority for the government. In his words, “reform in governance is my Number One priority.” He assured prospective investors that their concerns would be resolved and bottleneck removed.
His efforts surely seem to be paying with many Wall Street biggies evincing interest in the India story. As the Prime Minister unveiled his vision of “Start-Up India, Stand-Up India”, the PMO report indicated that “many CEOs expressed keen interest in the Indian start-up sector, and showed willingness to invest in entrepreneurial ventures and innovative start-ups.”
As Shri Modi prepares for his next round of visits in the West Coast, back home perhaps it is an hour of reckoning for the Indian Government. Not only in terms of lip-service but perhaps it is time for some real ground work. The last 15 months of Modi Government has witnessed a rather slow pace at the implementation level. It is high time to change that perhaps.