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India's Modi could spell good news for Singapore investors: DBS CEO

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta said at a conference on Saturday (July 26) he  is optimistic that India's new administration could spell good news for Singaporean firms looking to invest.

SINGAPORE: Singapore companies, both big and small, have been interested in the India growth story. There has been traditional concern over the country's economy, with the high inflation and slow growth seen in recent years.

Since Narendra Modi was sworn in as Indian Prime Minister in May this year, there has been much renewed focus on the outlook for the India market. DBS CEO Piyush Gupta is optimistic that the new administration could spell good news for Singaporean firms looking to invest in India.

He said: "The bureaucracy and navigating through India has never been easy. I am somewhat optimistic that the agenda of the new government will facilitate the process. It is an execution-oriented agenda and therefore that should help in the overall climate and the ability of the Singapore companies to go in."

Mr Gupta also believed that India could learn from Singapore's experiences.

He said: "I think there are a lot of things that India can learn from the Singapore model - from the social change and the social agenda to the economic agenda and how to drive an economic process. I think, quite clearly, the Singapore miracle over the last four to five decades has not come from nowhere. And therefore the opportunity to work and be able transfer some of these practices to India is quite real.

“You talk about public-private partnership or the role of the public sector or perhaps state-owned assets. I think that is important in the Indian context. And frankly it is an agenda for the new government on how to create a greater efficiency in the public sector including an active privatisation programme."

Mr Gupta was speaking at a conference on Saturday (July 26) to showcase the upcoming 'IIMPACT' - a series of management forums hosted by alumni of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Singapore. The IIM is India's leading business school, and Singapore is home to over 1,000 of its alumni - estimated to be the largest IIM alumni presence in a single city outside India.

This year's event will be held in from August 22-23 and will be organised by the Pan IIM Alumni Association of Singapore with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as the guest-of-honour.

The event, set to feature, over thousand delegates, notable personalities and thought leaders from Singapore and overseas, is themed 'I'M THE CHANGE', showcasing inspiring alumni who have brought changes by creating, transforming and disrupting in their respective fields.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and Second Minister for Home Affairs Mr S Iswaran, will also be hosting segments of the event.

Mr Gupta, who is also an IIM alumnus, said the sizeable alumni in Singapore is an asset to the Singapore-India business partnership.

He said: "The Indian challenges have also been quite large. And for a lot of people in this region and for Singapore, figuring how to navigate through India has never been easy. You need to find different channels and opportunities to help in the navigation process. I believe the IIM community is an extremely important channel in that regard." 

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