Next 10 years will be India's golden moment in key sectors, says top investor
The next 10 years will be India's "golden moment" in key sectors like technology, pharmaceutical, ecommerce, and manufacturing, said a top venture capitalist from Silicon Valley, pointing at the $20 billion foreign direct investment in the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“Coronavirus is sweeping the world, especially the US and India. In spite of that, the amount of investment going into India is mind-boggling," Silicon Valley's top venture capitalist, entrepreneur and philanthropist M R Rangaswami said.
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India has received FDI of over $20 billion in the last few months during the coronavirus pandemic, which has had an adverse affect on businesses across the world apart from claiming over six lakh lives.
“I think the next 10 years will be the golden moment for India to shine, using digital and technology - whether it's medicine, telemedicine, ecommerce, logistics - in every segment of the market. Whether it's a kirana (local grocery) shop, everything is going to be digital. It is the golden moment that India should seize," Rangaswami, a software business expert, said.
Referring to the series of FDI into India post the COVID-19 outbreak, Rangaswami said they were unprecedented by any standards.
Prominent investments include $10 billion from Google, $5.7 billion from Facebook, $1.2 billion from Walmart, and $1 billion from Foxconn.
"I think there will be many, many more deals this year. You'll see a lot more companies coming in, a lot more money coming in. A lot more investments," he said.
“Amazon continues to invest in India. Other companies are looking at India now. Private equity guys are looking at India. Sovereign funds will be looking at India. Definitely, India is going to be the hot destination for technology money,” Rangaswami said.
An economic game-changer
He noted that the current US President Donald Trump-led administration's anti-China sentiment was also helping India bag big investments.
Relations between the US and China have spiralled downward after Washington criticised the Asian powerhouse's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The US has questioned a new national security law in Hong Kong, treatment of Uyghurs Muslims and security measures in Tibet.
This gives India an opportunity to be an economic game-changer.
“I think it's predicated by two things. The number of smartphone users (in India) is over 500 million, maybe even close to a billion. Second, the government's push for digital combined with COVID-19 outbreak, which has taken (number of) digital transactions through the roof," said Rangaswami, a keen observer of the Indian market.
He said the entire business ecosystem was adopting new technologies like never before, which not only provided easy solutions in business but was also a market in itself.
“On the ground (during the coronavirus outbreak), everybody is forced to go digital. This is a huge tipping point. So, this is an opportunity I want to see India seize and not let it go to waste,” he said.
He said he would like to request Indian ministers, key bureaucrats and technology industry leaders to put together a roadmap, set of regulations and authorisations so “companies can come in easily. We (must) avoid all the problems of privacy, security in the future”.
According to Rangaswami, India needs to iron out all the impediments to businesses immediately to ensure smooth sailing for all parties.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)