07 Sep 2016 19:23 IST

A day with the Indian Ambassador

Highlighting Indo-Korean initiatives, Vikram Doraiswami urged students to make India a global brand

On our trip to South Korea we were privileged to attend a talk by Vikram Doraiswami, the Indian Ambassador to South Korea. He spoke about India’s growth in relation to global economies and how Ambassadors are, in fact, marketing managers and product managers for their respective countries.

He primarily talked about India’s growth potential and the opportunities it can tap to become a developed country.

Formula for success

Taking the example of South Korea, Doraiswami said that an efficient and effective supply chain is the key to success for a country in the current globalised world. He mentioned that though the country doesn’t produce a single coffee bean Seoul has the highest number of Starbucks in any city across the world.

Expanding on this aspect of success, he looked at the various infrastructure measures that are being taken up by the Government of India in roadways, railways, inland waterways, coastal shipping and civil aviation. He then spoke about the different facets of free trade agreements India has with various countries. He pointed out possible improvements in the FTAs and the ways by which India could leverage the same for growth across the globe.

Speaking about the growing intersection between the business world and technology, the Ambassador said technology is a key driver in the present financial arena. India needs to take cognizance of this and act accordingly.

Doraiswami also stressed that most MNCs have their research and development centres in India, whereas we as a country lag behind in terms of innovation investment. To start with, there needs to be an increase in the number of patents filed in India.

Favourable atmosphere

The ease of doing business in India is a key concern for multinationals and India is working towards making things favourable for foreign companies with initiatives like Make in India, Skill India and Start-up India.

Cooperative federalism is a key issue which needs to be addressed while considering the business scope of foreign multinationals in India; though some States like Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have a favourable environment for such companies, other States lag behind. A certain level of uniformity has to be achieved, Doraiswami emphasised.

Addressing the growth model India should follow, the Ambassador alluded to Singapore’s growth strategy. He talked about the success of Singapore as a business destination for most MNCs and how India can develop a similar environment despite the various challenges it might face in terms of global growth.

Inclusive growth patterns

Another key concern that hinders India’s growth is the inability to estimate the cost of technology. This is critical as India aims to drive its growth based on technological innovations, the Ambassador said. Inclusive growth has to be a priority for India’s sustainable growth. We have to address short-term priorities first and then build a long-term plan.

Speaking about the initiatives being taken by the governments of India and South Korea, Doraiswami mentioned Korea Plus, a proactive measure being undertaken to facilitate Indo-Korea business relationships. It is driven by private companies but senior diplomats of both countries facilitate easier flow of trade.

The Ambassador concluded by encouraging the EPGP students of IIM Bangalore to act as flag-bearers of India’s growth and contribute towards making their country a global brand.

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