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Deepak Bagla, the MD & CEO of Invest India, was speaking to CNBC-TV18 on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland.
Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO of Invest India, said he is seeing a change in the narrative of foreign investors in India. "It is no longer should I be investing in India? The questions are more like how and where can I invest in India," he said.
Bagla was speaking to CNBC-TV18 on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meet at Davos in Switzerland.
The main street in Davos or the promenade as it is called, where the World Economic Forum is held, has virtually been taken over by India. It has the main India lounge, a bunch of other lounges, and even states such as Maharashtra and Telangana have set up their own lounges as well. There are also Indian tech companies being represented at the promenade as well.
Bagla said among foreign investors, there is more discussion on the location where they should invest in India, where the strengths or skillsets are available, the raw material and the infrastructure are available. "So that is a big shift which shows the seriousness of the global investor now looking at putting their money into India," he added.
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He also said India has received a record $84 billion as foreign direct investment (FDI) in the last one year. "We set a new FDI record each year, for the last eight years. Even in the lockdown last year, we received our highest ever FDI of $84 billion. Interestingly, it came across from 161 countries, so it is a global record. More interestingly, it came from across 62 sectors," he said, adding that the breadth of the opportunity that is available in India at present, is now far out scaling opportunities available anywhere else.
The Invest India MD and CEO also said that India is now creating the ability to absorb more capital. "So there are larger levels of projects which are now looking for capital across all the sectors. In the last 8-year period, the FDI capital has come into 31 states and union territories of India. So that is creating the opportunity, that is creating the broad basing of investments across the country and most importantly, it is creating growth with equity. It is bringing in that sense of inclusion. So the more the story of India moves bottom-up, the more the confidence to the global investors that this is where they want to be," he said.
Bagla also spoke about how he thinks foreign investors as well as senior business leaders are perceiving India, calling it the knight in shining armour, looking at it to sort of lead the way. "Today, everybody is talking about how they can move beyond the recession or how deep it will be. In fact, India is the only story which is the knight in the shining armour. They are looking at it (India) to lead the way. So the discussion they are having is actually more on how the growth can be taken further and not just how to beat the recession.”
Bagla said another interesting element he is witnessing is that a large number of senior business leaders are looking at the Indian leadership to play a very significant role in bringing solutions to global issues.