New Delhi, Sep 25 :
From Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry representing India Inc to Maruti Suzuki managing director Kenichi Ayukawa leading the overseas investors, the Who’s Who of the corporate world pledged support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” campaign which he launched before some 500 chief executives Thursday.
“This programme offers a unique and timely opportunity to make India truly global,” said Mistry during the launch event. He said countries attain high standards with a vibrant industrial economy and the biggest challenge is to create jobs for millions of youth.
The Maruti Suzuki chief said his Japanese group was among the first to invest in India and remains committed to the country. He said he was sure India will eventually become one of the most competitive economies.
Some 10 corporate honchos were invited to speak at the event that saw Modi unveil the ambitious scheme along with a logo, a dedicated portal and brochures on 25 identified growth sectors at the Vigyan Bhavan conference complex here.
The main plenary hall, as also the six conference rooms of the complex were packed with representatives of the corporate world, diplomats and key government functionaries. The prime minister, in fact, began his speech by apologising to the invitees who had to listen to him standing since every seat was taken.
“Today we commit ourselves to the ‘Make in India’ movement that was given to us by our beloved prime minister,” Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said, adding the main task before the industry in India was to achieve global competitiveness.
ICICI Bank chief executive Chanda Kochhar said the “make in India” campaign will not just drive India’s growth but add millions of jobs.
“Manufacturers and bankers would like to ensure that whatever gets made in India is the best product available globally, at competitive cost,” said Kochhar. She said the manufacturing sector can add some 90 million jobs over the next decade.
ITC’s Y.C. Deveshwar said the prime minister had identified the right opportunity for India and that it was necessary to correct the systemic faults which industry and the country have been suffering from in the past.
He, too, maintained that India has a very good demographic potential given its huge youth population and this was the constituency that would benefit the most on account of the new campaign.
Both Deveshwar and Ambani made some announcements. Ambani said some Rs.80,000 crore will be invested by the group in the next 12-15 months to create 120,000 jobs, while Deveshwar said his company’s next investment destination was Madhya Pradesh.
“Manufacturing has to become the next big wave for us.” maintained Aditya Vikram Birla Group’s Kumar Mangalam Birla. “This Make in India campaign is a clarion call that will galvanise India’s economy to reach greater heights,” he said.
The other speakers included Wipro’s Azim Premji and Lockheed Martin’s Phil Shaw.