Invest in India or perish


What’s the worlds largest transportation company doing screening a two-minute video film it produced to promote “Incredible India�?

Answer: Fedex, is making its biggest and most significant delivery yet to Europe and it’s radically different from any of the one lakh packages it process daily through its major continental ‘hub’ at Charles de Gaulle airport.

Fedex is delivering a big sharp edged message. Europe, it says must shake off its lethargy and speedily expand its investment in India, for this is the land where “momentum equals mass multiplied by velocity�. If Europe wants to remain an economic force in tomorrows world, it needs India, says Fedex. It can no longer maintain trade with the country at just 1.7% of its total.

Unusually then, for an American courier company, Fedex is turning evangelist and its new age gospel appears to revolve around India. Jacques Creeten, Fedex MD sales and marketing for India, West Asia and Africa said that the company has been sending a “strong message� to the European community for at least three or four months, talking to every European government about the need to drum up more trade with India, for European companies to invest there is a wide-open frontier, a market which is not yet entrenched with local companies.

Creeten, based in Mumbai for the last seven years talks about India Inc with an artless passion. The opinion is that India has more graduates then any of the three major trading blocks of the world namely Europe, America and China and it is opening up so fast that less than 12% of all foreign direct investments in 2006 needed government approval down from 38.24%.

India spends twice as much as China a percentage of its GDP on education. The country is so much more than low cost labor. The killer fact is India has the highest returns on FDI anywhere in the world, at 19.3% compared to China’s 14.7%.

If Creeten and Fedex are beginning to sound like India Tourism Board, there is a reason. They want to double their local business in the next 18 months. The more the foreign investment in India there will be more business for an international courier company.
Allied or supporting businesses have reasons direct or indirect to support investment in India. They also stand to gain and increase their business volumes in this part of the world. Fedex mentioned above is only one example. There can be many other interests. In comparison to China most businesses prefer India for some of the reasons mentioned above.