US-India Corporates See Massive Opportunity from Obama Visit: Anand Mahindra

Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group

New Delhi: It must not be about big bang announcements, but rather the doors that the Obama visit will open for future business opportunities for the two countries, that India Inc will watch closely. Speaking exclusively to NDTV, Anand Mahindra, Chairman of the Mahindra Group, stressed on the need to create the right climate for the two sides to engage each other in the business arena.

Mr. Mahindra is part of the US-India CEO Forum, created to define what needs to be done to create that climate. He says that both sides must calibrate business expectations from the engagements over the next two days, and even the US-India CEO Forum should not set huge expectations for itself. The focus of the forum must be to provide access to both sides to penetrate business markets in both countries.

Mr. Mahindra does add that the symbolism of the visit is not lost on anybody, since it has massive geopolitical implications. He believes that the symbolism must now give way to creation of climate to open business cooperation.

An agreement on the nuclear partnership between the two sides will be key to that progress though, as nuclear power can be cheaper than thermal power for India, and presents an enormous opportunity for US businesses. For India Inc though, it is access to technology from the US that will be a key thrust area.

This is also vital for Prime Minister Modi's 'Make in India' campaign to succeed. The defense space in particular offers huge potential for 'Make in India', and the PM's vision of establishing a Military Industrial Complex, says Mahindra.

On the economic front, Mr. Mahindra believes that green shoots have started to appear, with even his own group's construction business finally starting to receive fresh orders. But he will look to the Modi government and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in particular to take a reform-a-day approach rather than delivering any big bang with the Union Budget in February.

Corporate India's long-desired demand of the implementation of the GST is also something the government must deliver on as a priority, according to Mahindra.