Siemens bets big on Narendra Modi govt for economic revival

Written by PTI | Singapore | Updated: Jun 2 2014, 20:27pm hrs
Narendra ModiSiemens AG is pinning hopes on the Narendra Modi led government for economy revival.
German engineering and electronic major Siemens AG is pinning hopes on the new government led by "strong and experienced" Narendra Modi to revive the economy, clear clogged investment pipelines and expedite decision- making process as it chases growth in this "promising" market.

"India needs to spend more money on infrastructure. We look at the new government with lots of hope. He is a strong leader and experienced in running governments (Gujarat). Holding back of investments was a problem. Projects were not moving. A stable government will hopefully change all that," Roland Busch, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG, said.

He was responding to a query on the 80-billion euro conglomerate's expectations from the Narendra Modi-led government, which is considered pro-business.

The Siemens Group in India, which comprises 13 companies, provides direct employment to over 19,000 people. At present, the group has 21 manufacturing plants, a wide network of sales and service offices across the country as well as over 500 channel partners.

Commenting on the challenges faced by the company in India, Busch said, "I will give you an instance. It took us a long time to get a site. A long, long time. In other countries, the timelines are shorter. So, I expect and hope the new government would make it easier for corporates to do business in India, which is a very promising market."

Busch, who is also CEO of Siemens AG's Infrastructure & Cities sector, said India needs to invest heavily in infrastructure if it needs to grow at 7-8 per cent rate.

"In the last 10-20 years or so, China has invested 9.5 per cent of its GDP in infrastructure. In comparison, India has done just about 3.8 per cent or so. If you look at segments within Indian infrastructure, you would see there is a great need for capacity addition. Just to give you an example, leading Indian cities are anticipated to see 100 per cent rise in commuter traffic by 2030," he said.

While Busch did not comment on the addressable market and order expectations from India, he said that Siemens is expecting to move ahead in the "trajectory of growth" going forward. The infrastructure and cities segment contributed 17.7 billion euro to company's sales in 2013.

The infrastructure and cities segment of Siemens AG offers a wide range of technologies for increasing the sustainability of metropolitan centres and urban infrastructure worldwide, such as integrated mobility solutions, building and security systems, power distributions equipment, smart grid applications and low & medium voltage products.

Siemens is also enthused by the BJP-led government's plan to develop 100 smart cities.

Delhi and Mumbai stand to gain up to USD 17.8 billion a year as economic benefit by upgrading their transport networks which may otherwise be unable to cope with the anticipated massive rise in peak hour commuters by 2030, a study commissioned by Siemens said today.

Any Indian urban agglomeration needs an efficient infrastructure and smart city planning that will meet the demands of a growing population as India is booming and the focus needs to shift to sustainable development, Busch added.