Investment Opportunities in India

May 16, 2013

Attractive investment opportunities for NRIs 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 for dynamic growing businesses, according to the Grant Thornton Global Dynamism Index. The index gives a reflection of how suitable an environment it offers for dynamic businesses.

In addition, India’s economic confidence registered an increase of 8 points, to reach 68 per cent in August 2012 as compared to the previous month, according to the ‘Ipsos Economic Pulse of the World’ survey. This makes India the fourth most economically confident country in the world.

India is also expected to be the second largest manufacturing country in the next five years, followed by Brazil as the third ranked country, as per Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd (Deloitte).

The Government of India has relaxed foreign direct investment (FDI) regime in sectors including multi-brand retail, single-brand retail, commodity exchanges, power exchanges, broadcasting, non-banking financial institutions (NBFCs) and asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) in 2012 to attract more and more direct investments.

Business Opportunities in India

Mr Mahmood Al Hashemi, Director General of Ajman Free Zone Authority (AFZA), UAE will tour India and address a series of seminars and press conferences in Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad this month. This high profile visit to the Indian sub-continent will be to initiate and build a long and lucrative means of economic cooperation between the two countries.

This will provide huge opportunity to young entrepreneurs doing business in India.

Here’s a list of 5 good opportunities non-resident Indians (NRIs) can look at:

  • Software: India’s software and services exports are likely to rise with export revenue growth projected at 13 to 15 per cent. With one of the largest pool of software engineers, NRIs can set higher targets in hardware and software development
  • Tourism: Tourism is a booming industry in India. With the number of domestic and international tourists rising every year, this is one hot sector NRIs must focus on. India with its diverse culture and rich heritage has a lot to offer to foreign tourists. Beaches, hill stations, heritage sites, wildlife and rural life, India has everything tourists are looking for
  • Automobile: India is now a hot spot for automobiles and auto-components. A cost-effective hub for auto components sourcing for global auto makers, the automotive sector is potential business in India for foreign investors
  • Textiles: India is famous for its textiles. Each state has its unique style in terms of apparels. India can grow as a preferred location for manufacturing textiles taking into account the huge demand for garments. Places like Tirupur and Ludhiana are now export hubs for textiles. A better understanding of the markets and customers’ needs can boost growth in this sector and attract direct investments
  • Education and Training: There is a good demand for education and online tutorial services. With good facilities at competitive rates, India can attract more students from abroad. Unique teaching methods, educational portals and tools can be used effectively to make the sector useful and interesting
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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)

Investment options in Indian education sector

Education is the vital key for modernization. The importance of education can be realized from the fact that all modernized societies are emphasizing on universalization of education as a mode for sustained economic development. There is a huge demand for upgradation of education sector in India, as the country is expected to have a surplus of 47 million people in the working age group by 2020. The consumption trends predict that an urban India is spending nine per cent of his wallet on education while the rural consumer spends only six per cent.

Education in India

In the past few years Indian education sector has witnessed a series of changes, which resulted in a significant increase in market share of the education industry. With economic growth and enhanced technology it has become necessary to develop the Indian education sector. Funds are a major concern in the market to meet this demand. The Government of India has taken many initiatives to attract investments from non-resident Indians (NRIs) for the development of education infrastructure. The Government has also opened the doors for foreign universities by passing Foreign Educational Institution (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, which will help in bringing foreign investments in education in India and shaping the education industry structure specially pertaining to higher education.

Growth drivers of Indian education sector

  • Demographic advantage
    • As per Census 2011, 35.3 per cent of the Indian population is under the age of 14
  • Increasing awareness
    • Increase in awareness towards education as a priority and essential tool for career growth
    • Increase in job opportunities and salaries offered making investment in education in India prudent
  • Human Resource driven economy
    • Increase in the demand for an educated skilled workforce by services sector
    • Share of service sector in GDP increased from 30% in 1950 to 55% in 2007
  • Technology aided delivery
    • Increase in penetration of technology resulting in virtual learning and education delivery
  • New employment avenues
    • Newer employment avenues such as knowledge process outsourcing (KPO), legal process outsourcing (LPO), retail, aviation, animation etc. demanding highly skilled manpower

Investment opportunities in Indian education sector

Education sector 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.

According to the ‘Indian Higher Education – Real Estate’s New Emerging Sector’, a study by real estate consulting firm, DTZ, the Indian higher education sector needs 5,550 million sq ft of additional educational space (excluding support services like hostel, cafeteria, recreational facilities) to meet the Government of India’s 30 per cent Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education target by 2020.

The sky rocketing economic growth will require huge number of engineers and management graduates which mandate infrastructural development to address the demand. Entry of foreign universities would not only intensify the competition, but also provide an international platform to the Indian students where they can achieve quality learning.

April 26, 2013

Scenario of real estate sector in India

The Indian real estate sector has witnessed significant growth in the past few years and is expected to grow at the rate of 30 per cent in the coming years. The sector has emerged as one of the most appealing investment sectors for domestic as well as foreign investors.

The major factors responsible for growth in the sector are 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 real estate investments.

Growth prospects

The Indian real estate market size is expected to touch US$ 180 billion by 2020. In fact, the demand is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19 per cent between 2010 and 2014, with tier I metropolitan cities projected to account for about 40 per cent of this.

Investment opportunities

At present, investment trends in India are showing a huge number of NRIs investing in Indian real estate sector.

India needs to invest US$ 1.2 trillion over the next 20 years to modernise urban infrastructure and keep pace with the growing urbanisation, as per a report released by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI)-India’s urban awakening.

Growing infrastructure requirements from sectors such as education, healthcare and tourism are providing numerous opportunities in the sector. Further, India is going to produce an estimated two million new graduates from various Indian universities during the year, creating demand for 100 million square feet of office and industrial space. In addition, presence of a large number of Fortune 500 and other reputed companies will attract more companies to initiate their operational base in India, thus creating more demand for corporate space.

FDI in Indian real estate

Construction development sector (including townships, housing, built-up infrastructure & construction-development projects) has attracted a cumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) worth US$ 22,007.67 million from April 2000 to February 2013, according to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

In addition, the sector is set for robust inflows of US$ 4-5 billion from overseas investors in the next couple of years, with Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai emerging as the favourites, as per Jones Lang LaSalle, a global real estate consultancy giant.

Government initiatives in the sector

The Government of India (GOI) has allowed FDI up to 100 per cent under the automatic route in townships, housing, built-up infrastructure and construction development projects to increase real estate investment, generate economic activity, create new employment opportunities and add to the available housing stock and built-up infrastructure.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted permission to foreign citizens of Indian origin to purchase property in India for residential or commercial purposes. Further, the government is also committed to introducing FDI in multi brand retail, introduce changes in the existing SEZ policy to resurrect developer interest and expand the role of the private sector in infrastructure development.

Tax Advantages

People can avail 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

March 28, 2013

Booming Education Industry of India providing huge business opportunities

In India, education is the key to the task of nation-building. It is also a well-accepted fact that providing the right knowledge and skills to the youth can ensure the overall national progress and economic growth. The Indian education system recognises the role of education in instilling the values of secularism, egalitarianism, respect for democratic traditions and civil liberties and quest for justice.

The ongoing demand to strengthen the Indian education sector has opened up many avenues for people of India as well as non-residents of India (NRI) to invest in education sector.

Market Size

The education sector in India is evolving, led by the emergence of new niche sectors like vocational training, finishing schools, child-skill enhancement and e-learning.

According to a report ‘Education in India: Securing the demographic dividend,’ published by Grant Thorton, the primary and secondary education, or K-12 sector is expected to reach US$ 50 billion in 2015 from US$ 24.5 billion in 2008, growing at an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14 per cent.

Government Initiatives to boost Investments

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

Ever since, the Government of India has allowed foreign direct Investment (FDI) up to 100 per cent through the automatic route, many people find it convenient and profitable to invest in education sector.

Some of the initiatives taken by the Government for the infrastructural development of the sector and to increase the business opportunity in education are:

  • For the year 2012-13, Rs 25,555 crore (US$ 4.63 billion) have been allotted for RTE-SSA (Right to Education – Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan) which represents an increase of 21.7 per cent over the previous year allotment in 2011-12
  • 6,000 schools have been proposed to be set up at block level as model schools in the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-17)
  • Rs 3,124 crore (US$ 566.69 million) have been provided for the RMSA (Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan), which is an increase of 29 per cent over 2011-12
  • India and Republic of Korea have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of education
  • Prime Minister’s fellowship scheme for doctoral research has been launched in New Delhi by Mr S Jaipal Reddy, Union Minister for Science and Technology, according to Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) 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 India plans to set up an Indian Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology at Ranchi with an investment of Rs 287.50 crore (US$ 52.15 million). The Institute will be a deemed university and will have different schools to import knowledge in genomics, bioinformatics, genetic engineering, nano biotechnology, diagnostics and prophylactics and basic and social sciences and commercialization

Booming Indian Economy offering huge investment options for NRIs

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.

The country’s strong fundamentals such as a growing middle class population, cost competitiveness and strong domestic consumption have made it a preferred destination for MNCs from across the world.

Being the world’s largest democracy with over 1.2 billion people means a plethora of business opportunities for its people. The country also offers innumerable investment opportunities for NRIs. Combined with young skilled manpower along with a well established judicial and stable government conducive to business, are all positive points towards India’s business potential.

Additionally, strong growth across diverse parameters like being the 2nd most attractive FDI destination, steady Infrastructure & GDP growth and being one of the largest economies of the world reinforce the strength of India’s economy. All this translates to the availability of new investment opportunities for NRIs in India spanning all sectors of the Indian economy.

Key Sectors

The various key investment sectors in India offering lucrative business opportunities 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, and Telecommunications.

Growth Potential in key sectors

Indian tax climate is considered to be reasonably favourable and India has continued to be an attractive investment destination, according to a survey conducted by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd (Deloitte). The investment sectors in India are witnessing new heights in terms of contribution both from the domestic front as well as from the foreign land.

  • The pharmaceutical market of India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14-17 per cent over 2012-16 and is now ranked among the top five pharmaceutical emerging markets globally
  • India’s IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) sector exports are expected to increase by 12-14 per cent in FY14 to touch US$ 84 billion – US$ 87 billion, as per National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom)
  • Indian manufacturing and natural resources industry plans to spend Rs 40,800 crore (US$ 7.53 billion) on IT products and services in 2013, a growth of 9.1 per cent over 2012, according to Gartner. The telecommunications category remains the biggest spending category and it is forecast to reach Rs 13,200 crore (US$ 2.43 billion) in 2013
  • The electronic system design and manufacturing (ESDM) sector of India is projected to reach US$ 94.2 billion by 2015 from US$ 64.6 billion in 2011, according to a report by the India Semiconductor Association (ISA) and Frost & Sullivan
  • The luxury car market of India is set for growth over the medium and long term, according to Mr Philipp Von Sahr, President, BMW Group India. The market is about 30,000 cars a year and is rising steadily, Mr Sahr added

March 20, 2013

Indian retail market opened more doors for NRIs

The recent wave of reforms by the Government to incentivise foreign direct investment (FDI) in various sectors is bringing a new zeal to the investment options in India. One of the most debated reforms is the policy for allowing 51 per cent FDI in multi brand retail.

Retail Market in India

The Indian retail industry has experienced growth of 10.6 per cent between 2010 and 2012 and is expected to increase to US$ 750-850 billion by 2015. Food and Grocery is the largest category within the retail sector with 60 per cent share followed by Apparel and Mobile segment.

Within the organised retail sector, Apparel is the largest segment. “Food and Grocery” and “Mobile and telecom” are the other major contributors to this segment.

Evolution of the FDI policy in multi brand retail

The Government of India had been considering opening up the multi brand retail sector to FDI for some time. They had released a discussion paper in 2010 on the topic and had extensively gathered public, academic and industry views on the issue. In November 2011, the Government came out with its proposal for the new FDI policy. However, unable to achieve political consensus on the issue, they had to shelve their plans for the enactment of the policy. Finally, the Government decided to pass the new FDI policy on multi brand retail in September 2012 to increase investment options in India.

The FEMA notification issued by the Reserve Bank of India permitting FDI in the retail sector was laid before the Houses of Parliament and the same has been cleared without any modification.

The changes in some of the policy conditions indicates government intention to attract more NRIs to invest in retail sector of India and provide a window to foreign retailers to cultivate/ grow the SME segment.

Policy Implications

The FDI policy conditions will have a different impact on the various sub-segments of the retail industry in India. A policy condition might have a low impact in one segment but could be a major stumbling block for another segment. Implications of each FDI policy condition in Mass Grocery, Apparel and specialty stores such as Beauty & Wellness and Consumer Electronics are:

  • Minimum FDI of US$ 100 million: Minimum FDI of USD 100 million and a constraint of maximum 51 per cent stake of the foreign entity imply that the minimum investment required by both, the foreign and the Indian partner together, is more than Rs 1000 crore
  • 50 per cent of FDI in backend infrastructure in three years: Minimum investment of Rs 220 crore-Rs 250 crore is to be invested in backend infrastructure in the first three years to invest in retail sector of India. However, different retail segments have dynamic requirements of backend infrastructure
  • 30 per cent of sourcing from “small” industries: This policy constraint implies that retailers should have at least 30 per cent sales from private label brands or unbranded products sourced from small industries

Policy conditions of 50 per cent investment in backend and 30 per cent sourcing from small industries are the two most difficult conditions to be met for FDI in multi brand specialty retail such as Consumer Electronics, Beauty & Wellness etc.

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.

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