India is changing and the World is taking note: Prem Watsa

Prem Watsa, the IIT-Madras graduate has raised over $1 billion in 2015 through Fairfax India Holdings and expects to commit “tonnes more money” to the country where he now owns big stakes in businesses ranging from aviation to insurance, people management and hospitality.

He said," The ratings upgrade is terrific news. I have been investing in India for 20-plus years, but in a more significant way in the past three years by launching a separate publicly listed company, Fairfax India Holdings. We are hugely optimistic. I left India at the age of 22. I have a very simple statistic to illustrate the promise of India. There are 35 million people in Canada. There are 1.2 billion people in India. Three years ago, the size of both the economies was the same: $1.7 trillion. How do you explain that? It is because one economy followed business-friendly policies, and the other didn’t. But PM Modi is changing that. He is exceptional.

The businesses that we have invested in are growing by leaps and bounds. Right here in Bengaluru, the airport (Bangalore International Airport Limited) in which we have 48% ownership, has about 24 million planned passengers, as designed in 2007-08. The second terminal and runway we are building will take the capacity to 40-50 million, and eventually 100 million. In 2001, the population of Bengaluru was around 6 million; now it is over 10 million. The number of software engineers in Bengaluru is almost the same as in Silicon Valley, between 1.6 million and 1.8 million. India has massive potential. If you think only of the next three to six months — the very short term — the economy is slowing a little because of demonetisation, you’ll miss the idea. You need to look at it long term. I am really optimistic. India has huge potential.

I just saw the World Bank rankings, where India went from 130 to 100…

After 67 years of restrictions, it is not easy to change. Prime Minister Modi has taken great steps to improve the economy. Change is now happening, and the world is beginning to take notice."

No comments: