The onus of becoming self-dependent is upon India’s businesses, more than it is upon the government, to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Atma Nirbhar Bharat mission successful. There are many countries that are dependent on China and there is a balance to be struck when it comes to self-sufficiency; hence, businesses will have to take decisions on the basis of long-term gains, instead of the short-term, said Harry G Broadman, a former economic advisor to the White House. While interacting with India’s business leaders in an online session organised by the All India Management Association (AIMA), he spoke about how the Indian tortoise could beat the Chinese hare in international markets.
Harry G Broadman, who is now Partner and Managing Director, Emerging Markets Practice, at Berkeley Research Group, added that there was a need for India to open more to attract more FDI, especially in the infrastructure sector. He suggested that India could allow joint bidding by Indian and foreign companies for infrastructure projects and procurement as India needs infrastructure to realise the economy of scale and scope. He pointed out that opening up the infrastructure market is a major policy issue for India.
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While India has received a significant amount of foreign investment in recent years, Harry G Broadman said that the number of sectors where foreign competition can come into India is more limited than it should be. Speaking about the startup sector competition between Indian and China, Broadman said that while China was doing important inventions but those were more exceptions than the norm, innovation is a part of the Indian DNA.
He also said that India is way ahead of China in the game of soft power and stressed that the stakeholders like to have a voice and be heard. The former White House Economic Advisor added that one could have short-term or medium-term growth without democracy, but as people get educated and become more prosperous, one can run out of the runway. Meanwhile, the session was moderated by Sanjay Kirloskar, President, AIMA, and Chairman and Managing Director, Kirloskar Brothers. Sanjay Kirloskar said that India needed to do a lot to improve its economy and needed foreign investment in infrastructure in order to compete.