Speaking to CNBC-TV18, GE’s vice chairman John Rice said that he had confidence in the economic team put together by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Excerpts of the discussion from Money Control, follow:
On business outlook in light of the economic disturbances:
Rice: There is certainly a lot of discussion about the price of oil, volatile currency markets and equity markets, but if you get beneath the headlines in our businesses which are concentrated now around technology and infrastructure we still see lots of opportunities for growth.
On the prospects for the Indian economy:
Rice: Definitely we feel good about the new government, the Prime Minister; the team that he has assembled – I have been traveling to India for over 20 years and it is a very competent group of people. They have got hard work to do. Make in India is an important initiative, we and other companies need to be part of it. It needs to be seen to full fruition if you will. The frictional cost of doing business in India, when you move things around between the states, the paper work, the taxes all too complicated, much more complicated than they should be. This is the team that can get at a lot of that.
On which sectors in India look the most promising:
Rice: We think power generation – both traditional and renewable – if there is the right market prices, so investors need signals. They need signals that they are going to be able to invest and get a reasonable risk adjusted returns. So, you have lots of capital that today is still sitting outside of India waiting to invest in the energy space if they get the right signals. There is a tremendous amount of interest in renewables in India. The thing about renewables is you have got to have land and figuring out where it comes from, how to put it together, getting the permits, figuring out who owns it and how they sell it, it is all far more complicated that it should be.
It is not just power. It is aviation, it is healthcare. We have seen some good growth in our healthcare businesses, as we develop technologies that allow you to take healthcare to places that don’t have it. So, this is where the GDP growth will give you so much but if you are not developing technologies in India that let you go into a rural or remote setting with lower cost, more versatile capabilities you probably won’t sell a lot more. But we have been able to figure out how to do that. We use our engineers in Bangalore to look at the market and design solutions that are for the Indian market. Then we can take it to the other countries elsewhere in the world.