Investment Opportunities in India

May 3, 2013

Scenario of pharmaceutical market in India

The pharmaceutical industry in India is most progressive and advanced among all the developed and developing countries. The industry has provided great employment opportunities to thousands of people, apart from contributing greatly towards the Indian economy.

Today, India is among the top five pharmaceutical emerging markets in the world. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14-17 per cent over 2012-16. The total revenues of the market stood at US$ 11 billion and are estimated to be US$ 74 billion by 2020.

Growth in the sector

  • Pharma sector in India is growing at a rapid pace, marked by a number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and growth in foreign expenditure. The sector is going to be a major area of focus in the coming years as Indian medicines are increasingly becoming popular in many parts of the world because of the cost effectiveness and easy availability. The manufacturing cost of Indian pharma companies is up to 65 per cent lower than that of US firms and almost half of that of the European manufacturers.
  • The domestic pharmaceutical market is expected to register a strong double-digit growth of 13-14 per cent in 2013 on back of increasing sales of generic medicines, continued growth in chronic therapies and a greater penetration in rural markets.
  • The growth of healthcare sector also provides huge opportunities for investing in India’s pharma space. The growing network of private and public hospitals in the country generates a huge demand for industrial cleaning equipment, waste management, hygiene products and laundry solutions.

Pharmaceutical exports

The Ministry of Commerce has targeted Indian pharma sector exports of US$ 25 billion by 2014 at an annual growth rate of 25 per cent.

Last year, the industry registered exports of US$ 13 billion at a growth rate of 30 per cent, as per Dr P.V. Appaji, Director-General, Pharmaceutical Exports Council of India (Pharmexcil). The Government has also planned a ‘Pharma India’ brand promotion action plan spanning over a three-year period to give an impetus to generic exports.

FDI inflows

The cumulative drugs and pharmaceuticals industry in India attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows worth US$ 10,308.75 million during April 2000 to February 2013, according to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)

Recent initiatives

The Department of Pharmaceuticals has prepared a ‘Pharma Vision 2020’ document for making India one of the leading destinations for end-to-end drug discovery and innovation and for that purpose, the department provides requisite support by way of world class infrastructure, internationally competitive scientific manpower for pharma research and development (R&D), venture fund for research in the public and private domain and such other measures.

Pharmexcil has removed the need for overseas investors to get a no-objection from their joint venture (JV) partner before venturing out on their own or roping in another local firm. This will promote the competitiveness of India as an investment destination and be instrumental in attracting higher levels of FDI and technology inflows into the country.

FDI policies

  • FDI, up to 100 per cent, under the automatic route, is permitted for green field investments (when a company establishes a subsidiary in a new country and starts its own production) in pharmaceutical sector in India
  • FDI, up to 100 per cent, under the government approval route, is permitted for brown field investments (when company purchases an existing plant or firm, rather than construction of a new plant)

April 26, 2013

Investment opportunities for foreign investors in India

The Indian economy has continuously recorded high growth rates and become an attractive destination for investment. According to recent trends, India is only second to China in the league of favorite investment destinations. As the Indian economy is developing very fast, it has opened new avenues for people to start businesses.

Doing business in India is a profitable option as the majority of the industries and sectors are almost untapped and hence the fear of facing stiff competition is less. “Our economic and commercial relations are expanding. But there is still a lot of untapped potential that needs to be exploited, especially in sectors like agro-processing, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, medical equipment, seafood, automobile parts, tourism and hospitality, IT and IT-enabled services,” according to Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry.

Investment sectors in India for NRIs

The sectors in which the non-resident Indian (NRI) can invest through the automatic route include agriculture, mining, alcohol brewing, power, industrial explosives, hazardous chemicals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, transport, insurance, industrial parks, non-banking financial institutions, etc. In some cases, the approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) may be required. These include sectors like tea, infrastructural companies except telecom, publication of newspaper and periodicals, courier service and single brand product retailing.

The various sectors where NRI investments in India are prohibited include retail, atomic energy, lottery and gambling establishments, tobacco products, etc.

Investment environment in India

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, tax holidays, liberalisation of external commercial borrowing norms, etc. are the important reasons for increasing NRI investments in India.

NRIs are permitted to open bank accounts in India with funds remitted from abroad, foreign exchange brought in from abroad or with funds legitimately due to them in India, with authorised dealer.

Ways of investing in India

The foreign investors can invest in India in two ways:

  • Incorporation of an Indian company: The foreign investor can set up a separate legal entity in India under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956. The foreign investors can invest in such Indian company up to 100 per cent of capital based on sectoral guidelines specified by the Government of India.
  • Unincorporated entity: A foreign company can operate in India, by establishing a Branch Office of the other place of business (foreign entity), subject to conditions and activities permitted under the Foreign Exchange Management Regulations.

Investment Facilitation

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 facilitate NRIs and overseas corporate bodies of overseas Indians which want to invest in India.

Further, in order to ease the process of investment in India, OIFC has developed an online toolkit– Investment Guide to India. The toolkit serves as a simple, practical and stage-wise investment guide for the non-resident Indians wanting to invest in India.

March 28, 2013

January 28, 2013

Investments Opportunities in Indian Shipping Industry for NRIs

The Indian Shipping segment, with 187 minor ports and 13 major ports spread across nine maritime states, is poised to mark exponential growth in the years to come. The Government of India is geared to attract foreign investors in India by embarking on public-private partnership (PPP) route for modernisation and expansion of the Indian ports.

The total capacity of the port sector is envisaged to be 2,301.63 million tonnes (MT), to meet the overall projected traffic of 1,758.26 MT by 2016-17, as per the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) document. “The traffic forecast by the end of the 12th Plan would be 943.06 MT and 815.20 MT for the major and non-major ports respectively, with corresponding port capacities of 1,241.83 MT and 1,059.80 MT respectively,” it added.

According to the Planning Commission, the capacity of Indian ports will have to nearly double to 2,302 MT over the next five years to be able to handle the fast growing cargo traffic.

The shipping industry of India has witnessed various deals and developments pertaining to foreign direct investment in India.

Indian Shipping Industry Goes Global

As the Government of India is determined to get Indian shipping industry at par with the global standards, it is in continuous discussions with foreign investors in India and across the world to achieve the growth targets.

The Ministry of Shipping expects that the bi-lateral co-operation would enable Indian organisations to acquire appropriate know-how, scientific knowledge and research and development (R&D) capabilities from the European country.

Moreover, India has recently shown interest to adopt new technology regarding decongestion of ports; information technology for the movement of container traffic and maritime training from Germany.

Investment Opportunities in Indian Shipping Industry

At the beginning of the financial year (2010-11), the Ministry of Shipping fixed a target of 21 projects under PPP for the major ports out of which two projects have been awarded so far at Tuticorin Port and Ennore Port.

The Government of India is focusing on port infrastructure development in the country and is promoting private participation and foreign direct investment in India. The Government has allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investments under the automatic route for:

  • Leasing of existing assets of ports
  • Construction/ creation and maintenance of assets such as-container terminals bulk/ break bulk/ multi-purpose and specialised cargo berths, warehousing, container freight stations, storage facilities and tank farms, cranage/ handling equipment, setting up of captive power plants, dry docking and ship repair facilities
  • Leasing of equipment for port handling and leasing of floating crafts
  • Captive facilities for port based industries

Investment Policy Updates

According to a Ministry of Shipping’s press communication a new programme – Perspective 2020 – will replace the existing NMDP plan. The Maritime Agenda 2010-2020 is a perspective plan of the Shipping Ministry for the present decade which has set the goals as follows:

  • To create a port capacity of around 3,200 MT to handle the expected traffic of about 2,500 MT by 2020
  • To bring ports at par with the best international ports in terms of performance and capacity
  • To increase the tonnage under the Indian flag and Indian control and also the share of Indian ships in our EXIM trade
  • To promote coastal shipping as it will help in decongesting our roads and is environment friendly

India as an Investor-Friendly Country

The attractiveness of the Indian market is regularly substantiated through the investments made by various multinational corporations in the country, which demonstrate their belief in the strong fundamentals of the Indian economy. The Government of India policies backed with positive business environment, availability of talented workforce and stable outlook for the macro-economy has made India a global hub for international players to park their funds in various investment sectors.

There is a parallel process of business and industry with various countries taking note of the opportunities that recent economic developments in India have created for them.


As per the Government projections, Indian infrastructure landscape would attract investments worth Rs 49,000 billion (US$ 881.29 billion) during the 12th Five Year Plan period (2012-17), with at least 50 per cent funding from the private sector.


For overseas Indians, India offers a tremendous opportunity for investment and wealth building as India is slated to grow at the rate of 8%-10% for the next few decades. There are various investment sectors where non-residents of Indians (NRIs) can explore money-spinning deals and do profitable business.

Investment Options

Most of the Indians who have migrated to foreign countries for professional and personal reasons, still feel the desire to be associated with their mother land in some way or the other. They try to make investments in India through different avenues. There are numerous investment options for NRIs in India that can yield them lucrative benefits and profitability both in short run as well as long run. A few of them are as follows:

  • For the NRI who is looking for high returns, attention should be concentrated on the huge number of central and state sponsored projects in key infrastructural sectors like education, healthcare and construction
  • In general NRI investment is made through three major sectors. These include bank accounts, investment in immovable properties and investment in securities and debts
  • There are many types of bank accounts. The regulations vary according to the repatriation of the interest income
  • The securities in which the NRI can invest through the automatic route include agriculture, mining, alcohol brewing, power, industrial explosives, hazardous chemicals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, transport, insurance, industrial parks, non banking financial institutions etc. You do not need the approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to invest in these securities. In some cases, the approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) may be required. These include sectors like tea, infrastructural companies except telecom, publication of newspaper and periodicals, courier service and single brand product retailing
  • If you are looking for investment opportunities with repatriation benefits, you will have to invest in mutual funds, term deposits and bonds for at least three years
  • A NRI can invest in proprietary and partnership firms in India, but the income will not be repatriated outside the country
  • NRI can directly invest in real estate in India except if you are buying agricultural lands or plantations. Investments in housing schemes and commercial properties are free

December 27, 2012

NRI Investment options in Indian education sector

India has emerged as a strong potential market for investments in training and education sector, due to its favourable demographics (young population) and being a services-driven economy. Further, India’s expanding role in sectors such as software development, generic pharmaceuticals and healthcare, would require the country to invest into learning and training segment as well.

Market size of education sector in India

With a growth rate of 10 to 15 per cent expected over the next decade, education in India has witnessed a series of developments and changes in the last few years, which has resulted in a significant increase in the market size and investment opportunities as compared to previous years.

In India, the pre-school segment is currently worth US$ 750 million and is expected to reach US$ 1 billion by 2012, said Arun Arora, Chairman, Serra International Pre-Schools.

The market size of K-12 sector is expected to reach US$ 34 billion in 2012, with a rise of 14 per cent, as compared to US$ 20 billion in 2008.

Vocational education/training is gathering huge investments from corporate and private equity (PE) firms as the methodology and technology pertaining to this sector is witnessing significant improvements.

Investment in Indian education sector

Education in India is also considered as one of the major areas for investments as the entire education system is going through a process of renovation, according to a report ‘Emerging Opportunities for Private and Foreign Participants in Higher Education’ by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The Government of India has allowed foreign direct Investment (FDI) up to 100 per cent through the automatic route in the education sector.

Government Initiatives for promoting education sector in India

Some of the initiatives taken by the Government of India for infrastructural development of education sector are as follows:

  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development plans to set up ten community colleges in collaboration with the Government of Canada in 2012. The Government of India has decided to set up hundred community colleges this year.
  • The Government of Gujarat plans to set up a farming educational institute in collaboration with Israel, offering post-graduation and Ph.D programmes with practical training and degree from Israeli universities.
  • The Government of India also plans to set up an Indian Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology at Ranchi with investments of Rs 287.50 crore.

Future of Indian education sector

Consulting firm Technopak is very positive about the growth of the sector and estimates private education sector alone to grow to US$ 70 billion by 2013 and US$ 115 billion by 2018 in its study ‘A Report Card on India’s Education Sector’.

There are clear investment opportunities for private players to enter the Indian education space. The opportunity exists in all three segments – schooling, higher education and vocational training. Some success stories are Manipal University, Amity University and the Indian School of Business. Public-private partnerships (PPP) arrangements, tax concessions for education and encouraging foreign capital to build infrastructure in India would encourage the creation of new capacities by the private sector.

India’s education sector is expected to witness huge investments from PE funds over the next couple of years on the back of increased Government spending and expansion plans of private players.

November 28, 2012

Wealth Management Investment Guide for NRIs

What would you prefer: Rs 1, 00,000 right now or Rs 1, 00,000 five years from now?

It will be better if we should take Rs 1, 00,000 today because we know that there is a certain time value of money. The Rs 1, 00,000 received now will provide us with an opportunity to put it to work instantly and earn a certain return on it.

A single rupee today is worth more than a single rupee a few years down the line. Because of this, people who have surplus funds in the form of savings want to invest so that the value of the funds over the years does not go down.

It is also very important to determine your financial goals. You need to decide which type of investment strategies works for you. Your strategy will determine the extent of your success in the investment world whether you invest in India or overseas markets.

The strategies can differ greatly from a rapid growth strategy where an investor focuses on capital appreciation to a safety strategy where the focus is on wealth protection. The most important part of investment strategies is that it aligns with the individual’s goals and is closely followed by the investor.

Investment options in India

There are various forms of investments options at the disposal of individuals in India. These include real assets like a house, a car, a television, or financial assets like stocks in companies, bonds, units of funds, etc.

Traditionally, term deposits in banks, post office savings schemes, bonds and common stocks are the most accessible forms of investments available to the investors. Term deposits, post office savings schemes and bonds give a fixed return over a period of time.

Several national priority level and state-specific projects are being implemented across the country by the Government of India. These offer huge potential for investors willing to invest in India. The Government is in fact, promoting Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in many projects opening up new vistas in sectors such as infrastructure, education, healthcare etc.

Wealth management services in India

There are individual investment avenues in India that help you enhance your individual wealth. These are offered by eminent banks in India, which have rich experience in servicing overseas Indians. Not only will you get to choose from a wide bouquet of investment products, but these can also be customised as per your individual needs.

Investment Toolkit

In an effort to ease the process of investing into the country, Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) has developed an online ‘NRI Investment Guide‘.

The toolkit provides an entire range of investment guidelines, policies and procedures, suggests the range of compliance requirements and clearances, as desired, in synergy with the investor’s investment preferences. In other words, it is a simple, practical, and realistic online investment guide customised to the needs of overseas Indian investors.

Investment Facilitation Platform of OIFC helps NRI through the complete process of investing, right from choosing the correct investment opportunities and applying right investment strategies to actually making the investment.

November 23, 2012

Emerging Investment trends in Indian Healthcare Sector

The Indian healthcare industry is expected to reach US$ 79 billion in 2012 and US$ 280 billion by 2020, on the back of increasing demand for specialised and quality healthcare facilities.

Further, the hospital services market, which represents one of the most important segments of the Indian healthcare industry, is expected to be worth US$ 81.2 billion by 2015.

Meanwhile, the Indian pharmaceutical market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.3 per cent during 2011-12 to 2013-14, as per Barclays Capital Equity Research report on India Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals.

India is the most competitive destination with advantages of lower cost and sophisticated treatments, highlighted the RNCOS report titled ‘Indian Healthcare – New Avenues for Growth’. The report further elaborates that several key trends are backing the growth of healthcare in India.

Emerging trends in Indian healthcare industry

The healthcare sector is one sector that has witnessed tremendous entrepreneurial activity over the last few decades across the entire value chain. The emerging areas (diagnostics, pharma retail, biotechnology and life sciences) within healthcare are playing a significant role in attracting global players to India to set-up a number of allied industries in partnership with domestic players. This is also providing Indian entrepreneurs considerable opportunities to invest in healthcare. The way the current financial climate is shaping-up, an entrepreneur needs to think out-of of-the-box prior to making investments, as identifying the correct sector and the most suitable business model is key to survival and growth in the current times.

Investment trends in Indian healthcare sector

Driven by increased domestic demand for high-end investment services as well as medical tourism, the healthcare sector has attracted huge investment in recent times. Healthcare in India is likely to see increased investment from US$ 34.2 billion in 2006 to US$ 78 billion in 2012 (CAGR of 15 per cent), with 80 per cent of investments from private players. The investments to this scale are expected to increase the bed ratio from 0.9 beds per 1000 people to 1.85 beds per 1000 people.

Moreover, large scale investments in infrastructure are required to make healthcare facilities at par with developed countries.

According to a survey conducted by consulting firm, Grant Thornton, India is expected to witness the largest number of merger and acquisitions (M&A) in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector in 2012. The survey that was being conducted across 100 companies stated that fourth of the respondents were bullish on acquiring companies in the pharmaceutical space.

“The expectations of M&A activity in the pharma and healthcare sector could be explained by factors such as the impending patent cliff in the US, the increasing attractiveness of India as a low-cost R&D destination and the increasing success of Indian firms in getting ANDA approvals,” said Sunil Makharia executive VP (finance) Lupin Pharmaceuticals. Patent cliff refers to expiry of legal protection to top-selling drugs.

Government Initiatives

The healthcare sector in India is witnessing a growth trajectory. The Government has taken several steps required for non-resident Indians (NRIs) to invest in healthcare and to develop healthcare sector infrastructure within a short span of time. The Government has decided to increase health expenditure to 2.5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-17) from the current 1.4 per cent.

August 29, 2012

Investment in Real Estate in India

Indian real estate has huge potential in almost every sector especially commercial, residential, retail, industrial, hospitality, healthcare etc. However, the major real estate developments in India are mainly the townships, residential units, shopping malls, offices, retail stores and commercial complexes.

The major growth has come due to increasing purchasing power, favourable demographics, existence of customer friendly banks & housing finance companies, professionalism in real estate and favorable reforms initiated by the government to attract global investors.

Real estate investment in India is primarily a long term investment providing low liquidity to an investor. Investors can look at renting out their property to bring consistency in revenues. This can also reduce the burden of EMIs for a property purchased on a loan. According to a survey conducted by ASSOCHAM, 65 per cent of working individuals prefer real estate as a mode of long term investment.

There are many banks and financial institutions that provide loans at attractive rate of interest to the builders. For example, HDFC Property Fund, Kotak Mahindra Realty Fund, and India Advantage Fund (ICICI), provide the funds for real estate development to the builders and developers for construction.

NRI real estate business is also on the rise in India. Recession had negligible impact on this sector. Therefore, the sector is opening up more and more investment opportunities for both domestic as well as foreign investors. The real estate sector is extremely a profitable venture, as the profits of investors have almost doubled or have derived 100 per cent profits in the residential segment.

The preferable time horizon for investment in real estate is four to seven years for better returns. The industry is popular for providing the second largest employment just after agriculture. One of the major reasons for this development is the policies taken by the Government of India.

Reforms initiated by the Indian Government

The Government including reserve bank of India (RBI) and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) has liberalised the rules and regulations for the NRIs to make investment in real estate. India has emerged as a top-most favourable destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the world with 100 per cent relaxation of FDI regulations in real estate.

The Government of India has now allowed international and domestic companies to operate real estate funds through private equity funding. RBI has also decreased its rate of interest in the home loan division.

Tax Advantages

People can avail the huge tax benefits on investing in real estate:

  • Tax exemption is available on re-investment of sale proceeds of property in eligible possibilities.
  • Tax benefit is available on interest on housing loan raised in India.

Nowadays, real estate investment in India is more productive and revenue generating in comparison to other businesses. India is a safe investment destination for real estate sector with assured returns of 10 to 12 per cent.

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