Investment Opportunities in India

March 28, 2013

January 28, 2013

Flourishing Investment Opportunities in India for NRIs

The Indian economy continues to grow at a good pace and holds a strong position on the global map. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) has been growing at an average rate of 8.5 per cent for the last five years.

India’s economy is amongst the largest in the world on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP). It is today one of the most attractive destinations for business opportunities with the available large manpower base, diversified natural resources and strong macroeconomic fundamentals. In FY 2011-12, the country attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) of around US$ 46.8 billion in various sectors.

According to UNCTAD’s World Investment Prospects Survey 2012–2014, India is the third-most attractive destination for FDI in the world. Indian markets have significant potential and offer prospects of high profitability and a favorable regulatory regime for investors.

“We are keen to see FDI investment to surge in India and to that end, a favourable business climate will be helpful in going forward. We are encouraged to see there is a continued path towards fiscal consolidation. That there is a determination to improve the tax code. There is a determination to cap the subsidies at two per cent. All of those measures are good measures,” according to Ms Christine Lagarde, Chief, International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Key Sectors

India has grown to become a trillion dollar economy with a largely self-sufficient agricultural sector, a diversified industrial base and a stable financial and services sector. There are numerous sectors that offer lucrative business investment opportunities in India. Some of the key sectors are:

  • Aerospace & Defence
  • Automotive
  • Banking
  • Capital markets
  • Life Sciences
  • Information Technology
  • Insurance
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Mining & Metals
  • Oil and Gas
  • Ports
  • Power and Utilities
  • Real Estate
  • Retail and consumer products
  • Roads and highways
  • Telecommunications

Government Initiatives in supporting business investments opportunities in India

In order to enable individuals to have the complete benefit of available business opportunities in India, the Government of India has taken following initiatives:

  • The Government has signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) with 47 investors, attracting investments worth Rs 243.67 crore (US$ 43.83 million), according to S G Hegde, Joint Director, District Industries Centre, Mangalore
  • The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) plans to utilise the Rs 5,000 crore (US$ 899.28 million) venture fund allocated to it for investments in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) over the next four years. 100 MSME clusters have already been identified for the establishment of credit facilitation centres, added Mr Sushil Muhnot, Managing Director, SIDBI
  • The Government of Maharashtra has decided to set up a manufacturing zone spread over 5,000 hectares under the National Manufacturing Policy. The policy seeks to give a boost to the manufacturing sector so that by 2022, it can contribute at least 25 per cent to the National GDP and add 100 million new jobs to the market. It has recognised large integrated areas called National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ), which will be the growth drivers for the sector

January 4, 2013

Policies for foreign investors to do business in India

“India is clearly becoming a more and more important player on the world stage in G20 context, in terms of its role in the global economy. It is very useful for us to exchange ideas and build the basis for future collaboration,” according to Mr Ben Bernanke, Chairman, US Federal Reserve.

India is the fifth best country in the world with dynamic growing businesses opportunities for non-resident Indians (NRIs). The Grant Thornton Global Dynamism Index gives a reflection of how suitable an environment it offers for dynamic businesses.

Scenario of Indian Economy

The Indian economy continues to grow at a good pace and holds a strong position on the global map. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) has been growing at an average rate of 8.5 per cent for the last five years.

India’s economy is amongst the largest in the world on the basis of Purchasing Power Parity. It is today one of the most attractive destinations for business and investment opportunities for NRIs and foreign investors with the available large manpower base, diversified natural resources and strong macroeconomic fundamentals. In FY 2011-12, the country attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) of around US$ 46.8 billion in various sectors.

The economy of India also boasts a robust financial system and deep capital markets. India’s demographic are very attractive with approximately 65 per cent of the total population falling in the age group of 15 to 64 years.

Foreign investment framework of India

The foreign direct investment (FDI) regime has been progressively liberalised during the course of the 1990s and continues to do so in the 2000s, with most restrictions on foreign investment being removed and procedures simplified. Foreign investors can invest directly and do business in India, either on their own or as a joint venture.

Some of the features of the consolidated FDI Policy of India and incentives offered by it:

  • Indian companies are permitted to issue equity shares, fully, compulsorily and mandatorily convertible debentures (FCD’s) and compulsorily and mandatorily convertible preference shares (CCPS) to the non-residents subject to pricing guidelines/valuation norms prescribed under FEMA
  • Foreign investment is calculated on the basis of ownership and control of the Indian company.
  • Use of foreign brand names/trademarks is permitted for the sale of goods in India
  • “Single window” clearance facilities and “investor escort services” are available in various states to simplify the approval process for new ventures

Sole proprietorship in India

Sole proprietorship is the oldest and most common form of business. It is a one-man organisation where a single individual owns, manages and controls the whole business. An NRI or a person of Indian origin (PIO) residing outside India is allowed to do business in India through a sole proprietorship concern. The investment should be made on non–repatriation basis subject to satisfying certain other conditions.

Tax Incentives in India

The Government of India, for the purpose of accelerated growth of the Indian economy, has extended incentives in the form of tax holiday, deductions, rebates etc under the direct/indirect taxes. Primarily, such incentive relates to export promotion, new industrial undertaking, infrastructure facilities, software industry, research, promotion of backward areas etc.

November 23, 2012

Doing Business in India – A profitable opportunity for NRIs

The Indian economy continues to grow at a good pace and holds a strong position on the global map. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) has been growing at an average rate of 8.5 per cent for the last five years.

India’s economy is amongst the largest in the world on the basis of Purchasing Power Parity. It is today one of the most attractive destinations for business and investment opportunities with the available large manpower base, diversified natural resources and strong macroeconomic fundamentals. In FY 2011-12, the country attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) of around US$ 46.8 billion in various sectors.

Advantage India

  • World’s largest democracy with 1.2 billion people
  • Stable political environment and responsive administrative set up
  • Well established judiciary to enforce rule of law
  • Land of abundant natural resources and diverse climatic conditions
  • India’s growth will start to outpace China’s within three to five years and hence, India will become the fastest large economy with 9-10 per cent growth over the next 20-25 years, according to a report by Morgan Stanley
  • Investor friendly policies and incentive-based schemes
  • India’s economy will grow five-fold in the next 20 years, as per a study by McKinsey
  • Cost competitiveness; low labour costs
  • Total labour force of nearly 530 million

Investment Options for NRIs in India

India offers a stable, prosperous foundation to grow one’s business. It offers rich business opportunities and markets to non-resident Indians (NRIs) for new products and services. It is one of the fastest, easiest and lucrative investment destinations in the world to set up business. India is the second-most profitable destination, according to UNCTAD’s World Investment Prospects Survey 2010-2012.

India is in the midst of rapid economic and social transition and is giving a feel good factor to the NRIs, especially the real estate sector. Returns from real estate investments have consistently performed well and have even outperformed other businesses in India.

The health care sector has also opened new business opportunities in India for NRIs to invest in the country because of the rise in disposable income, penetration of health insurance and change in lifestyle of present generation.

There are many other exciting business opportunities in India, especially, for entrepreneurs dealing in outsourcing technology, internet ventures, software development, e-commerce, etc.

Government’s intervention on policy issues, especially, tax regulations and FDI in sectors like retail, aviation etc. will play an important role in driving large transactions, especially, inbound deals. India’s growth story remains intact and NRIs can look forward to see better investment options in the second half of 2012.

Success Stories

India has witnessed a number of success stories – both Indian and multinational firms have registered higher profits, increased turnover and higher sales over the years. This has prompted them to reinvest profits and inject fresh capital into their processes in order to reap the benefits of the India growth story.

Investments have been made by Corporate across the board and almost all the sectors have seen inflow of funds. Global players such as Daimler Chrysler, General Motors, Ford, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony, Amway, Tupperware, Pepsico, McDonald’s, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Aviva, Nortel, and Nokia among others have benefited from their business in India and have made expansion plans for the country. The companies plan to expand by way of product diversification, setting up manufacturing base in India, increasing the existing production capacity, establishing research centres in India, etc.

September 12, 2012

Role of Private Sector in the Indian Economy

The Indian economy today boasts of a strong annual growth rate, deep capital markets and liberalised foreign direct investment (FDI) regime. The economy of India has continuously recorded high growth rates and has become an attractive destination for investments.

India has been the favoured investment destination in Asia, according to a report by Mecklai Financial. India has received inflows worth US$ 11 billion in equities and US$ 4.7 billion in debt investments on a year-to-date basis.

Indian economy outlook was presented as being positive and robust by Zinnov Management Consulting. Both multinationals as well as Indian companies aiming for growth need to focus on the long-term investments in India.

The liberalization and globalization of the economy has led to free inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) along with modern cutting edge technology, which increased the importance of private sector in Indian economy considerably. Private sector in the past few years has witnessed significant increase in terms of investment and its share in Gross Domestic Product.

Key Private Investment Sector in India:

Healthcare: The health care sector of India has opened new investment opportunities for non-resident Indians (NRIs) and person of Indian origin (PIO) to invest in India because of the rise in disposable income, penetration of health insurance and unhealthy lifestyle of present generation.

Food Processing: India is emerging as sourcing hub of processed food because of huge agriculture sector, abundant livestock, and cost competitiveness. The food services sector in India is expected to register a growth of 50 per cent in investments in 2012 to about US$ 750 million, as food suppliers and retail companies plan to scale up business and stay competitive by tapping the large potential of the domestic market.

Real Estate: Returns from the investments in real estate sector of India have consistently performed well and have even outperformed other sectors. The sector is offering huge investment opportunities to NRIs and PIOs because of the friendly policies of the Government of India. People residing outside India holding Indian passports as well as PIO are allowed to invest in residential and commercial properties in India, according to the Reserve Bank of India.

Pharmaceutical: Pharmaceutical sector of India is gaining its position as a global leader. The pharma market in India is expected to touch US$ 74 billion in sales by 2020 from the current US$ 11 billion; according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report. Growth will be driven by the fastest growing molecules in the diabetes, skincare and eye care segment, as per a report by research firm, Credit Suisse. So, it is one of the most important investment sectors in India.

Power: India has been one of the top performing clean energy economies in the 21st century, registering the fifth highest five-year rate of investment growth and eighth highest in installed renewable energy capacity. The sector is opening up new opportunities for NRIs/PIOs.

The importance of private sector in Indian economy can be viewed from the tremendous growth of Indian IT & ITeS industry including both BPOs and Indian software companies, private banks and financial service companies.

August 6, 2012

Investment Prospects for NRI’s in India

India is considered to be the second favourite destination for investors from other countries. India’s unique and vast geography, endowed with diverse topography, has made it one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world.

The healthy growth of the Indian economy also becomes evident from the inflow of the foreign direct investment (FDI). Investment opportunities in India are plentiful. It becomes evident with the numerous MNC’s not only trailing their products and services into the Indian markets but also coming forward to set up their manufacturing units in India.

The vast investment opportunities available and the positive investment climate in India have become a part of every business entrepreneur’s life. The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has set up an Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) as a not-for-profit-trust, in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to promote investment opportunities amongst the overseas Indians.

Some of the fruitful investment options in India are:

Fixed deposits: It is the most common among the investment opportunities in India. These are safe investments and provide decent return.

Insurance sector: There are a lot of insurance companies emerging these days as the health is becoming less secured because of the unhealthy life style of present generation. Some of the common insurance policies are life insurance, health insurance, home insurance and the car insurance policies.

Investment in Stock: The investment in stock market in India is one of the fastest means of earning. As the stock prices are always fluctuating, the chances of risk are also high along with high profits.

Mutual Funds: It is a collective investment scheme that pools money from many investors or foreign investors in India to purchase securities such as stocks, bonds, money market instruments and similar assets. It is an easy and safe investment with periodic withdrawals.

Real Estate: The population in India is increasing and therefore land is always in demand. Besides the need to reside, the establishment of industries also requires land. The projection of real estate includes sectors such as hospitality, manufacturing, housing, retail, commercial etc. Thus it is obvious that the cost of real estate is not going to fall down. Thus the investment opportunities in India are high and by investing in a land and selling it on demand by others is an easy source to earn money.

Also, there are many other exciting business investment opportunities in India, especially, for industrialists dealing in outsourcing technology, internet ventures, software development, e-commerce, etc.

The Government of India is trying to accommodate and utilise the conducive investment climate of the country by relaxing and even introducing new policies. The change in government policy, availability of cheap resources, strong operational units, etc. are the important reasons for FDI in India. It is important for foreign investors in India to have some trend analysis of investment scope before they plan to start or set up a business in India, thus the role of investment advisors to prepare extensive investment guides to help and direct the trade investments and the scope of foraying into a particular business in India becomes crucial.

July 23, 2012

Investment Scenario in Indian Market

The process of reforms as part of liberalization has resulted in greater investment in Indian market. In today’s economy of less income growth and highly increasing cost of living, one has to know how to use his/her savings to generate higher returns. Availability of too many options and no clear idea about these choices is creating a hostile situation for the investor to choose the best among the available alternatives.

An investor has several investment alternatives (such as stocks, bonds, precious metals, etc.) to choose from, depending on his risk profile and expectation of returns. Different investment substitutes represent a different risk-reward trade off. Low risk investments are those that offer assured, but lower returns, while high risk investments provide the potential to earn greater returns. Hence, an investor can choose the most suitable investment on the basis of his/her risk tolerance.

Best investment options in India

Some of the investment alternatives available in the Indian investment market are:

  • Investment in Fixed Deposits- FD is one of the safe investment options with the current annual rate of interest of 10 per cent.
  • Investments in Insurance- Insurance-cum-investment options like unit linked insurance plan (ULIPs) are beneficial for the investors. Insurance offer quality services to cover life, money and assets along with low-risk profits.
  • Investment in Mutual Funds- People may select mutual funds as an investment alternative on the basis of long term performance, short term performance, consistent returns, etc.
  • Investment in Equity- Private equity as an investment substitute is growing fast in India. With a business of US$ 20 billion in 2010-11, the share of equity investments is expected to increase in coming years.
  • Investment in Public Provident Funds- PPF is a government guaranteed fixed income security with a minimum amount of Rs 500 and maximum of Rs 1, 00,000 in a financial year; PPFs are now a popular choice of investment in long run.

Points to be considered before taking investment decision

Risk – It is important for the investor to choose the investment option on the basis of his/her risk profile. For e.g. – A low risk investor should not invest into equities. He should look for the safe option for investment. Risky asset class causes a loss of principal.

Liquidity – Liquidity is also an important criterion for the selection of Investment Avenue. For e.g. – An investor should not invest into public provident fund (PPF), if he needs money in 3- 4 years time frame. PPF has minimum lock in period of five years.

Time horizon – Investment should be done by considering the specific time horizons. For e.g. – For short term investment, mutual fund or fix deposit could be a good option, where as for long term, real estate and regular investment into equities could be a good option.

Taxation – Taxation affects the real returns of investment, investor should always look at the tax aspect of any investment before investing into it.

The scope for business in India is vast. Indian economy has grown as one of the significant economies in the world having immense potential towards long-term growth. The growth has been backed by the various industrial sectors to a great extent. The sectors mainly include technology, manufacturing and service industry.

Business Opportunities in HealthCare Market in India

The healthcare sector in India is growing fast. The sector is currently estimated to be worth US$ 65 billion and is expected to reach US$ 100 billion by 2015, according to the rating agency Fitch. The growth in the sector comes due to- increasing population, growing lifestyle-related health issues, economic treatment, rising incomes, government initiatives, etc.

India is the first country to have a large number of multinational healthcare providers. This rapidly developing industry in India has led to a qualitative shift in patient demands. This has resulted in centers of medical excellence developing and acquiring the latest medical equipment to treat their domestic and international patients.

Due to the development in the rural areas, people even in the villages are now become more conscious about their health issues. They are opting for more health benefits for safe and diseases free existence. This will create huge investment opportunities in the sector.

Opportunities for investment in Healthcare

Healthcare infrastructure: A huge amount of private capital will be required in the coming years to meet infrastructure needs of healthcare in India. An additional 2 million beds are required for India to bridge the gap and prepare for demand estimations in 2025. The government is expected to contribute only 15-20 per cent of the total, providing a vast opportunity for private players to fill the gap.

Diagnostic & Pathology Services: High cost difference in India allows for outsourcing of pathology and laboratory tests by international hospital chains

Telemedicine: There is a vast opportunity for investment in telemedicine as it provides rural areas access to better quality healthcare.

Medical tourism: Medical tourism in India has also received a boost with the arrival of patients from different countries. According to industry estimates, the market size of medical tourism is estimated to be around US$ 2.5 billion and is growing at over 25 per cent per annum. Hence, create enormous investment opportunities in India.

Contract Research: Contract research is a rapidly growing segment in the Indian health care industry. Foreign players are entering into contract research to reduce their operational and clinical cost.

Health Insurance: Increasing healthcare cost and burden of new diseases along with low government funding has raised the demand for health insurance coverage. Less than 15 per cent of the Indian population is covered through health insurance. With the increasing demand for affordable quality healthcare in India, the penetration of health insurance is poised to grow rapidly in the coming years.

Major Growth Drivers

  • 100 per cent FDI is permitted for all health-related services under the automatic route.
  • Lower tariffs and higher depreciation on medical equipment.
  • Income tax exemption for five years to hospitals in rural areas, Tier II and Tier III cities.
  • Increasing penetration of health insurance.
  • High-growth in medical tourism.

June 27, 2012

India: Hotspot Investment Destination for Foreign Investors

India is the largest democracy in the world. It ranks second in terms of population. The policy of liberalization has transformed the prospects for the Indian economy. Today India is one of the favorite destinations for global investments. The major investors in India are Mauritius, Singapore, the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany, etc. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in India went up by 31 per cent to US$ 27.5 billion last year. The sectors that attracted maximum FDI last year include services (financial and non financial), telecom, housing and real estate, and construction and power.

The government has come up with several incentives like import of capital goods at concessional customs duty, liberalisation of external commercial borrowing norms, tax holiday to encourage investments, etc. “The government should allow 100 per cent FDI in sectors like domestic airlines and insurance sector to boost inflows and generate employment, “as per Rajiv Kumar, Secretary General, FICCI. Sectors like automobiles, chemicals, food processing, oil and natural gas, petrochemicals, power, services and telecommunications have witnessed tremendous investments.

Investment options in India

There are number of options available for foreign investment in India for both short term and long term. The major options are real estate, bonds, mutual funds, money markets, gold, and financial assets (non-marketable, LIC policies & equity shares). Today, there are businesses and industries that are even 100% open for such investment. Some of the sectors that are still not open for foreign investment include, rail transport, lottery business, tobacco business, certain agricultural activities, atomic energy, mineral oils, etc.

Who can invest in India?

There are following categories of non-Indian resident who may invest in the capital of Indian Company:

  • A non-resident entity (other than citizen of Pakistan)
  • A citizen or entity of Bangladesh under Government route.
  • NRI resident as well as citizen of Nepal and Bhutan on repatriation basis.
  • Sebi registered NRIs through a registered broker on recognised India stock exchange.
  • Foreign venture capital investor registered by Sebi.
  • An FII (foreign institutional investor) may invest in the capital of an Indian company under the portfolio investment scheme.

Business Opportunities in India

There are various factors that create favorable business opportunities in India are:

  • There are huge business opportunities in Indian retail sector as people have become more conscious about branded products. Improvement in purchasing power and huge middle class population results in the growth of the economy.
  • India’s competitive advantage in information technology can be used to enhance productivity in industries.
  • Availability of large number of technical manpower has led to the expansion of manufacturing base across different industries.
  • India’s rich natural resources, availability of better infrastructure, well established banking system, better agriculture, etc. have created more investment opportunities.
  • The capital markets in India are one of the fastest growing markets in the world, attracting huge investments from foreign institutional investors.
  • The economic reforms have brought in policy changes in terms of freedom of entry, investment, location, usage of technology, import and export. These changes have created an investment friendly environment.

June 19, 2012

Investment Scenario in Indian Power Sector

Indian power industry has a long way to go. India’s fast-paced economic growth and its rapid rate of industrialisation and urbanisation have fuelled an increased demand for energy.

India has made remarkable progress in the power sector during the eleventh plan. The sector ranked sixth among the leading sectors of the Indian economy and has attracted US$ 4.6 billion in foreign direct investment since 2000. There are three major pillars of the sector – generation, transmission, and distribution. Generation is further divided into central sector (Public Sector Undertakings), state sector, and private sector, which constitutes total installed capacity of 31.21 per cent, 47.49 per cent and 21.17 per cent respectively.

Investment in Power Sector

With the population increasing at a rapid pace and a wide gap between demand and supply, the Indian energy sector offers strong opportunity to industry participants. After China and the US, India has been ranked as the third best investment destination in renewable energy sector.

The power sector in India requires an investment of up to US$ 400 billion in a span of five years to end on March 2017, according to P. Uma Shankar, Secretary, Ministry of Power, India.

The organised trading business in energy sector is set to be opened up for NRI invest in India. This attracts foreign funds to invest in the Indian power industry. 26 per cent FDI will be allowed at par with the level of commodity exchanges in the sector.

Investment Opportunities and Future Prospects

If India continues to grow at the current rate, the Indian economy would emerge as the second largest in the world, next only to China, by the year 2050. It is therefore expected that, the demand for energy would also rise substantially in the future.

US companies investing in India’s green energy market will have good prospects and it will be a win-win situation for both the countries.

The generation capacity of the country stands at over 180 MW (as in August, 2011) with a dominant share of the state sector. The private sector, which currently contributes around 22 per cent of the generation capacity, is expected to increase its share to 52 per cent by 2017.

Government Initiatives

Indian Government has proposed various proposals in the budget 2012 to stimulate investments in power sector in India, which provides a massive opportunity to the American companies.

In order to attract NRI invest in India, FDI up to 100 per cent is permitted under automatic route for projects of electricity generation (except atomic energy), transmission, distribution and power trading.

The Government of India is working on the plan to generate 470 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear energy by 2050, announced in 2009. Thus, it opens the door for huge opportunities in the sector.

The Government has planned to set up four solar thermal power projects through the solar energy corporation of India.

Being one of the fastest growing economies and the second largest populated country, India represents an attractive investment destination for the power industry.

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