BREAK IN INDIA

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With the lockdown restrictions eased across the country the focus has shifted towards rebuilding India’s economy with foreign investments. The aim being to woo multinational corporations to shift their production facilities from China to India. While on paper it does make sense considering how both China and India have cheap labour and a large domestic consumption base. However, one should not discount the fact that as things stand, China does have better infrastructure and a much deeper supply chain than us.

Other countries like Japan, Vietnam and South Korea are also in the running to take advantage of this opportunity. The government has over the recent years given an impetus to the ‘Make In India’ program and has publicised it massively to drive in foreign investments. There is nothing inherently wrong for corporations of all sizes to dream big and hopefully achieve them. However, in case you do wish to break your dreams, might as well do it out here than anywhere else.

A few years back India’s financial capital, Mumbai hosted its first Make In India event with eminent dignitaries from the business community, Bollywood, politics etc. Midway during the performance the stage itself caught fire and mind you this debacle was not really part of the show itinerary. Hopefully, an enterprising event manager did not upsell this proposition.

“Sir, I would strongly suggest you go to for our platinum pack - 150 dancers, 80 acrobats, 20 clowns, 5 Bollywood stars and one mega stage fire.”

India being India, someone might have negotiated over it too.

“I want the acrobat to be precariously hanging above the stage fire on a thin rope clinging on to his life. This is simply non-negotiable. After spending a bomb on your event fees, the least I can expect is a good front page picture in the newspapers.”

I don’t know but maybe the fire was just prophetic of the times to come.

You see running a business in India is nothing short of a rollercoaster ride in the literal sense.

Various states are doling out many acres of land in the hope that MNC top bosses take note of it and pump in money. Luring with land at dirt cheap rates is a good strategy mainly if you happen to be a part of the real estate lobby and are seeking protection from the underworld. Corporations however are looking for an entire ecosystem conductive to business to thrive and not just cheap land parcels.

So just when you start your factory, you might not get an electricity connection to begin with if you have been particularly stingy in giving out bribes to your local government babu. You might be a global corpora