GE positive about doing business in India

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 15, 2011


General Electric is bullish on India and has invested in several sectors including power, aviation, locomotives, health care, and financial services.

With 60 per cent of the company's revenues coming from outside the US, for the first time it has chosen a venue outside its home country for its Corporate Executive Council meeting.

However, the pace of decision making in India in certain sectors has been a downer for the company.

In the locomotive space, the company has been waiting in the wings to bid for a public private partnership to build diesel locomotives along with the Indian Railways.

Elaborating on his experience the Chairman and CEO, Mr Jeffrey Immelt, said, “We have invested for a long period of time for the opportunity to successfully, on a competitive basis, modernise the railways…. It is extremely important to us that the investment gets made. We should have a chance…the opportunity at some point. It has been frustrating that it has taken so long and we are not able to make progress. If there is a no, we lose. I can live with the consequences …but to not even have a chance to bid has been frustrating for sure.”

In response to a query on whether unfolding scams and delays would deter the company, the Chairman said, “Our job is to keep trying and be supportive and be here at the right time. You can never pick the date when the chance to bid on the Indian locomotive deal finally comes. I thought it was first going to be in 1998, then 2003, then 2007, but it will probably be some day because the technology is there.”

Joint venture strategy

On the company's strategy to use the joint venture route to do business, Mr Immelt said that GE has some great partners in BHEL, Wipro, and Triveni, though the latter was still a very new joint venture.

“Partnerships have to fulfil two criteria. Help us in the local market, bring diversity of thought and new ideas which help us make a good company,” he said.

Published on March 14, 2011

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