#Putting it in context, #2017, #October 2017

India’s distinct model of globalisation is pegged on its commitment to greener growth economics.

Our cover in this issue featuring Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani cuddling a koala bear is an ode to India’s distinct globalisation and development model. While it takes inspiration from the cover story on Adani’s $16.5-billion Carmichael coal mine-railroad-and-port project in Queensland, it also seeks to encapsulate the essence of Indo-Australian relations.

India and Australia have now moved beyond the traditional three Cs that characterised the relationship in the past – cricket, curry and Commonwealth. Although these three remain important markers of bilateral ties between the two nations, the clinch has grown tighter and now includes in its remit a much wider range of issues – trade, tourism, education, geo-strategy, energy security and a lot more.

Currently, Indian investments in Australia are touching the $12-billion mark, with an increasing number of Indian companies looking at Australia as an investment destination – a sign, perhaps, of the emerging Asian century. Much like the bond of friendship and support symbolised by the proverbial cuddle, India has in its dealings practiced building mutually sympathetic relationships as opposed to the slow strangle practiced by some of its rivals in their outbound FDI strategies. The cover theme thus seeks to capture this embracing quality of India’s foreign investment strategy based on values of cooperation, mutual respect and collaboration.

But why Australia? And why now?

India is Australia’s ninth-largest source of inbound tourists, with arrivals touching 260,000 in 2016, an increase of 11.3 per cent over the previous year. The forecast is for almost 500,000 Indian tourists to visit Australia in seven years. And here’s some trivia that I’m sure can liven up many an evening: Punjabi is the fastest-growing language in Australia and Hinduism the fastest-growing religion.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to India last April delivered a range of outcomes in the knowledge, trade and strategic partnership spheres. Most important, he reassured India – after flip-flops on the issue by earlier Australian regimes – about uranium supplies that are key to India’s economic, energy and strategic concerns.

Also, India is Australia’s 10th-largest trading partner and that country is the second-most popular destination for Indian students – 60,000 Indians have gone to study in Australia in 2017 (till the end of August).

Despite the growing trade, strategic and people-to-people ties, however, serious challenges exist. India’s quest for resource and energy partnerships worldwide – primarily for raw materials such as coal and strategic minerals like uranium – means that the relationship with Australia will remain hostage to lobbies such as the ones opposing the Adani Group’s Carmichael project and those that are against the spread of nuclear energy.

Australian celebrities, such as cricketers Ian and Greg Chappel, joining the chorus against India’s largest outbound FDI deal – which is key to India’s energy security – skews the pitch a little more than expected. India has consistently honoured PM Modi’s commitment to greener growth economics at home and abroad and even provided global leadership in the area with the International Solar Alliance (ISA). A fact that has been ignored within the protest narrative around the Carmichael project. I am hopeful, however, that eventually both – India’s commitment to greener growth and the potential benefits to both Australia and India – will trump the naysayers in the end.

The India-Australia bilateral relationship may teeter on the brink at times – as the potential failure of the Adani investment to materialise may portend. I am confident, however, that this relationship has now attained a level of depth, breadth and maturity.

On a broader canvas, we have placed Adani’s Carmichael project in the context of India’s worldwide hunt for resources. Indian companies are scouring the farthest corners of the earth for raw materials and energy sources to feed its hungry factories back home. In that sense, India is following in the trajectory of Europe, the US and, most recently, China.

But there is one key difference in India’s approach – and our cover theme of a “koala cuddle” tells that story quite eloquently.

Manoj Ladwa is the founder of India Inc. and chief executive of MLS Chase Group @manojladwa

#FEATURE REGION, #October 2017

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought about a paradigm shift in India’s quest for oil, gas, uranium by forging close relations with the five ‘Stans’ – Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

The controversial and much delayed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline is finally getting a move on – a full 22 years after it was conceived.

Following the groundbreaking ceremony last December, India will host the next meeting of the Steering Committee which has been formed for the $7.6-billion, 1,814-km-long pipeline that will transport gas from the Central Asian republic of Turkmenistan to India to feed its power plants and meet its energy security needs.

#August 2017, #Middle East

Established Indian business houses as well as start-ups are investing billions in the Middle East, especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi, to leverage the global access and ease of doing business the region offers.

There are only two certainties in life, death and taxes, goes an old saying. The bonus of living, working and doing business in most Middle Eastern countries is that taxes are either non-existent or very nominal.

#August 2017, #Guest Columns

A UN climate expert believes India is on the cusp of becoming a global leader in the field of sustainability.

There are three things that, for me at least, best characterise modern India. And it is because of these qualities that I’m so convinced that the country is on the cusp of becoming a global leader in climate action and sustainability.

#August 2017, #Guest Columns

The Government of India’s Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has been making its global mark across the UK, Canada and South-East Asia with its unique business model.

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under the administration of Ministry of Power, government of India, is working towards mainstreaming energy efficiency and is implementing the world’s largest energy efficiency portfolio (worth £5.6bn over a period of three years). As of now, EESL has explored opportunities and commenced establishment of operations in the UK, Canada, South Asia and South-East Asia.

#June 2017, #Emerging Markets

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policy of renewing and redefining India’s millennia-old civilisational bonds with the Middle East are bearing concrete fruit in the form of strategic alliances and investments in India’s infrastructure sector.

Mention the Middle East to an Indian and he will immediately associate it with oil, deserts, Dubai and, very possibly, a non-resident relative stationed there. None of the above provides a misleading picture of the region; equally, none of them paints the complete picture either.

#June 2017, #The Americas

The US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord will not have much impact on the fight against global warming as India and others take the lead in embracing renewable energy.

Just as US President Donald Trump’s repudiation of the Trans Pacific Partnership provided Chinese President Xi Jinping the opportunity to present himself as the prime defender of the globalised trading order, the US walkout of the Paris Climate Pact has presented Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the rare chance of presenting India as the leader of the global fight against climate change.

#INDIA-UK, #Special Edition – May 2017

Suma Chakrabarti has been charged with one of Europe’s leading development banks for five years and has spent considerable energy in striking a strong connect with India. Sir Suma tells ‘India Global Business’ how Indian companies can take the lead in re-defining the world’s development agenda.

What is your bank’s engagement with India like?

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) already works with a number of Indian companies in our countries of operation and we want to engage even more with the Indian private sector.

We have shown the way with Indian companies in our region. We have brought in Tata Beverages, Tata Power, the Jindal Group, SREI, among others, and they have all worked with us on projects in Russia, Georgia and other places.

There is a real opportunity for Indian businesses. When we look at the BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa], very few of their companies are global leaders. One of the Interesting things about India is that it does have some global names.

There is a real opportunity for India with this shift in development practice towards more of a private sector approach to be first and through the door.

#INDIA-UK, #Special Edition – May 2017

Carbon capture and storage is a field India and the UK have great potential to collaborate on, writes the founder of a clean carbon company.

The UK and India have a history of collaboration when it comes to energy, something which looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. Notably, ahead of the November 2015 Paris climate summit, the two countries penned a comprehensive package of collaboration on energy and climate change, including commercial deals worth £3.2 billion, and a £10-million joint research partnership into new low-carbon technologies.