What a difference a decade can make! Since the publication of our first report, "Navigating India: Lessons for Foreign Investors," in 2013, India has undergone a remarkable transformation. The country’s population grew by 100 million. Fuelled by improved connectivity and digital infrastructure, the number of internet users has soared, with more than half of its citizens now connected to the internet—a significant increase from the mere 12 per cent recorded in 2013. India’s GDP has more than doubled, rising from US$1.8 trillion in 2013 to US$3.7 trillion in 2023, underscoring the nation’s robust growth trajectory. Per capita income has also improved, reaching US$2,450 in 2023 compared to US$1,400 in 2013.
The Indian government’s ambitious programme of regulatory reforms, aimed at making the country an attractive option for international investors, is clearly bearing fruit. In the World Bank's 2020 "Ease of Doing Business" report, India rose to the 63rd position out of 190 countries, marking a significant improvement from its 134th place in 2013. In this compendium, we highlight opportunities for foreign investors and discuss some of challenges India faces today.
India is committed to achieving net-zero by 2070 and is pressing ahead with legislative reforms and investment into energy transition on an unprecedented scale, with renewables at the heart of this drive. India has the potential to increase its renewable energy production vastly—whether in solar, wind, hydro, hydrogen, or other forms of renewables—and it is making various incentives available in order to accelerate that process. Legislation and new schemes should make the country even more attractive to investors, and the efforts are already paying off with a significant number of large investments already being committed.
Technology is another growth sector. Several multibillion-dollar deals by companies such as Amazon and Apple emphasise the potential of the technology economy. Meanwhile, in infrastructure the introduction of products such as infrastructure investment trusts and real estate investment trusts make investment by foreign companies more attractive.
However successful an investment, there will come a time when an investor wishes to exit. In this issue, we examine two ways of exiting Indian investments: through general partner-led secondary transactions, and through the public market. Investors wishing to exit need to plan ahead and put the necessary protections in their documentation at an early stage to avoid potential pitfalls down the track.
India has also made significant strides in reforming its alternative dispute resolution (ADR) framework, aiming to position itself as a global hub for international arbitration. The 2021 Mediation Bill is another progressive step in making commercial disputes easier to handle, and the supportive stance of Indian courts has amplified positive effects of the legislative reforms.
Investing in India has never been more attractive for foreign investors, and we hope you will find this issue an insightful read.