S African companies are increasingly enquiring about new areas of collaboration in India, following intensified efforts by the Indian High Commission and its consulates in the country as well as a drive by Invest India.
This emerged following a two-day interaction with local business leaders hosted by Invest India, at which Madhumitha Ramanathan, Co-Head of the Global Outreach Division of Invest India, shared the opportunities available and the new environment to make it easier to invest in India.
Invest India is the country's official agency dedicated to investment promotion and facilitation. It has also been envisaged to be the first point of reference for potential investors.
The huge India-South Africa Business Forum hosted in Johannesburg in April this year set the ball rolling to renew interest in investing in India, with the Ministers from both countries reminding the captains of business and industry from both sides of the special relationship between India and South Africa, Ramanathan told PTI.
Since then, there has been tremendous interest shown in new areas from those in which South African companies have been involved for many years now, primarily in sectors such as banking, insurance, construction and mining, she said.
This is my third visit here in the past six months, and we are seeing more and more South Africans now enquiring about other areas in which South African companies have not really shown interest until now.
Ramanathan said she was pleasantly surprise to find interest from at least seven medium-sized companies in sectors that she had not expected them to.
"They showed interest in sectors such as shipping, education, food processing and in holding companies, where they buy up significant portions of the company, manage it and run it to bring out the best, she said.
Ramanathan said that one of the successes of the latest seminar was that South Africans now had a one-stop contact in Invest India if they had any queries in any area, and they did not necessarily have to visit India to get more details first.
"I shared with them our website, which is extremely comprehensive and has a chatboard using artificial intelligence to engage the person with multiple questions to find a sector expert right there on the website, just a phone call or WhatsApp message away, she said.
Indian High Commissioner Ruchira Kamboj urged the delegates to take advantage of the opportunities that the multi-award-winning India Invest team presented.
They will ensure that they hold your hand right from the starting point to the finishing point. They will put you in touch with the right partners and guide you through the process.So, what once seemed very difficult, is quite simple now, Kamboj said.
Invest India, founded in 2009, was set up as a non-profit venture under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
The organisation's mandate is to facilitate investments in India.
In addition to a core team that focuses on sustainable investments, Invest India also partners with substantial investment promotion agencies and multilateral organisations. It also actively works with several Indian states to build capacity as well as bring in global best practices in investment targeting, promotion and facilitation areas.