The Hinduja Group, one of the largest non-resident Indian business conglomerates, is considering broadening the scope of its investments in India to include nuclear power plants and to set up them in collaboration with foreign partners. The Group is also confident that India can withstand the current global economic downturn and continue to attract foreign investments.
Group Chairman S P Hinduja in a wide-ranging press interview in London, talks about various issues, including the state of the Indian stock markets and the opportunities emerging in the wake of the Indo-US civilian nuclear energy deal. “The Indian stock market is undergoing a correction which would not impact on the solid economic foundation of the country. India’s potentiality, the market size, investment opportunities it offers and the talent and skill of its people remain undiminished,” he said.
“In fact, this is the time to avail of investment opportunities in India. We are confident that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the architect of free market economy, and Finance Minister P Chidambaram will continue the reform process so that investors face no hurdles,” he said.
According to Hinduja, his Group, besides continuing its investments worth several billion dollars in 10 core sectors such as infrastructure, power, finance and banking, health care and automotive industry, is now looking at investing in nuclear power plants against the backdrop of the Indo-US nuclear deal.
Hinduja said that the group was in discussion with potential partners in nuclear energy, but declined to give further details. The Hindujas see business opportunities worth at least one trillion dollars in infrastructure in semi-urban areas.
Speaking of the size of the Indian market, Hinduja said with a population exceeding 1.2 billion, India could be the leader of the world’s consumer market if it develops 400 to 500 million consumers.
While hailing the liberalization process in India, he said that the government needs to open the market another 35 to 40 percent which could enable it to overtake the world leader, the USA, which has a market of 240 million customers.
Looking at the global financial meltdown, Hinduja said that there were also positives in the current situation. For instance, misuse of money will be curtailed by cash crunch, there would be a drop in inflation and discipline in spending.