Companies from India Go Global

By Heide B. Malhotra
Heide B. Malhotra
Heide B. Malhotra
October 20, 2010 Updated: October 20, 2010

[xtypo_dropcap]C[/xtypo_dropcap]ompanies from India have increasingly resorted to buying foreign firms to gain a foothold in new markets.

“Indian companies are increasingly buying up companies abroad as strategic acquisition, indicating the growing competitiveness of the Indian corporate sector,” the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) stated in an article on its website.

In the U.K., Indian companies were the second-largest foreign corporate employers in 2009, after U.S. corporations.

In 2009, close to three-fourths of India’s outward-bound investments were to Singapore, Sudan, Mauritius, the British Virgin Islands, and the United Arab Emirates. The value of these investments, which ranged from full to minority ownership, amounted to $8.4 billion.

Indian companies closed on 15 negotiated business deals worth $28 million in August 2010, which is 2.5 times more than the $8 million used on deals during the same month in 2009, according to a recent analysis by Grant Thornton India.

During the first half of 2010, Indian companies invested in 129 companies outside their borders with a total value of $18.3 billion.

Investing in America’s Future

In 2009, India was not among the top 20 foreign nations investing in U.S. businesses.

However, business between the United States and India is flourishing. “Commercial relations between the U.S. and India will help bring jobs to the U.S. For example, just in the past five years, 96,000 manufacturing jobs were created in the U.S. through exporting to India,” said Manish Antani, vice chairman at Barnes & Thornburg LLP, a global law firm, in an e-mail interview.

Antani, whose main interest involves creating businesses that are not only outbound to India, but also inbound to America, has recently hosted a large event called “Why You Should Do Business with India” in Indianapolis, with over 30 Indian corporate leaders from the technology, energy, education, and manufacturing sectors in attendance.

Being of Indian descent, Antani is in a favorable position to connect U.S. and Indian business leaders, with the focus on creating jobs in the United States.

“My personal interest is to grow jobs in America, whether that is through trade with India or any other country. My cultural and professional background allows me to be a facilitator of relations between the U.S. and India,” Antani said.

Antani, well aware of the unemployment situation in the United States, added, “Particularly in the Midwest, manufacturing has been suffering, so these jobs come at a critical time (in the midst of a recession) and in a sector that has been hit particularly hard (manufacturing). Importantly, India’s market opened very recently, and we are only at the cusp of the benefits that will come to the U.S.”

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