In his recent visit to the US, the Indian Prime Minister met a number of CEOs at the Business Leader Roundtable. Modi and Tim Cook had a meeting together, of course, and while the exact nature of their conversation is unknown, we can take an educated guess it had something to do with Apple!
Modi and Tim Cook apparently discusses the future of Apple in India, with the later apprising the PM about the current status of Apple’s operations in India. The PM was brought to speed about Apple’s currently operational production plant at Bengaluru and the upcoming office at Hyderabad. Cook was also keen to mention the number of jobs Apple is generating in India. Paraphrasing from Reuters:
In his meeting with Modi, Cook disclosed that Apple expected its Indian operations to be run completely from renewable energy within the next six months. Cook reiterated that Apple had generated 740,000 jobs in India through its so-called “app economy” and Indian developers had created nearly 100,000 apps for the App Store.”
PM Modi, in return, emphasised that “close to 7,000 big and small steps have been taken by his government for ease of doing business in a bid to attract investments and make it easier for foreign companies.”
A lot of other CEOs were also very pleased with the meeting. The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, in particular, was greatly impressed with Mr Modi. He called the meeting “terrific,” and went on to tweet this about India:
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) June 25, 2017
The affection seems to be a two-way street. As observed by CNN about the CEOs who attended the conference:
“All of them, with the exception of Musk, have also visited Modi in his home country as they each rush to capture a slice of India’s rapidly growing economy of 1.3 billion people.”
There’s no doubt that the ease of doing business in India has gone up considerably since Modi became the PM. At the same time, the “local-lobby” has also gained unprecedented strength and support. There’s currently a wave of nationalist fervour sweeping the country, while globalisation stands watch on the borders, waiting for a chance to storm in.
How these two forces collide with each other will decide the future of MNCs in India. For now, they look evenly matched, with perhaps a slight advantage to the insiders.