India fell two rungs lower from its previous position in the World Bank’s report on the best places to do business. Is the dream running out or is there still hope for companies willing to head there?

India is often projected as a harvesting ground for setting up global organizations but at the same time it is also considered as one of the most difficult places to do business. The recent surveys and analysis conducted by the World Bank too paint a very dismal picture for the country. According to the Doing Business report, India ranks an abysmal 142, almost 14 positions below the traditional neighbour Pakistan. For the uninitiated, the World Bank began publishing its ‘Doing Business’ report more than a decade ago and since their research includes statistics related to the commerce and economy of all regions, it is one of the authentic references for deciding on the various potential places for doing business globally.

What Makes India the TOUGHEST Of Them All?

Redundant regulations, tonnes of paperwork and never-ending procedural formalities, especially for a foreign investor, often result in not just weeks but months to register a company in India, contrary to just half-day in New Zealand (according to Reuters). The supervising authorities in India believe that the extensive procedure becomes necessary in order to avoid nefarious business practices. But the civic bodies are oblivious of the fact that all these policies are proving to be roadblocks for foreign companies who wish to commence India-based operations. And if that’s not enough, bribery and corruption are major concerns for global players looking to venture into the Indian market.

The NAMO Effect

The recent upsurge in the Indian political sphere led by the Modi government however describes India as a 'go-to' destination for not just manufacturing goods but also for doing business. The newly introduced 'Make In India' campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi strives to encourage investment, thereby creating a friendlier environment that supports international manufacturers. To combat corruption, the new government has released a list of people who are allegedly in control of black money (money that is unaccounted for). While the selective release of the list has come under scrutiny, it hopefully promises that India is willing to break away from the shackles of corruption soon. However, there is still a long way to go…

Now is The Time to Invest BIG

While India might not be conducive for setting up a business, Indian consumers have been the real raison d'être for several electronic goods manufacturers. The Indian eco-system appears to be brighter for minority investors as the registration fee has now been reduced. However, the mandatory filing of a declaration before commencement of business negates its positive side. Cities like Bangalore, though, with its cosmopolitan fabric, stand out as one of the most favoured destinations with so many start-ups mushrooming in the city every day. The playground of Infosys and Google’s R&D centre, the city is home to the most talented pool of workers.

Though the road to business success in India may not always be smooth (pun intended), think future and you would realise that now is the best time to invest in the Indian market. To start with, India is the third-largest economy and the second-largest English-speaking country in the world. The country definitely has the potential to become one of the most preferred destinations to do business. With the right set of people, local advice and a revenue-centric approach for both home-grown and global companies, India is definitively The Right Place To Do Business.

Renato Cudicio | CEO – Arsha Consulting

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