London: Confident that India can withstand the current global economic downturn, the Hinduja group today said that they were widening the scope of their investments in India to include nuclear power plants in collaboration with foreign partners.
Group chairman S P Hinduja said here that the economic strength of India or any other country should not not be measured by the performance of its stock markets.
“The Indian stock market is undergoing a correction which would not impact on the solid economic foundation of the country. India’s potentiality, the market size, investment opportunities it offers and the talent and skill of its people remain undiminished,” he said in an interview.
“In fact, this is the time to avail of investment opportunities in India. We are confident that prime minister Manmohan Singh, the architect of free market economy, and finance minister P Chidambaram will continue the reform process so that investors face no no hurdles,” he said.
Besides continuing its investments worth several billion dollars in 10 core sectors such as infrastructure, power, finance and banking, healthcare and automotive industry, the Hinduja group was now now looking at investing in nuclear power plants against the backdrop of the Indo-US nuclear deal.
The group was in discussion with potential partners in nuclear energy, Hinduja said but declined to give further details.
The Hinduja group sees business opportunities worth at least one trillion dollars in infrastructure in semi-urban areas, Hinduja said.
Speaking of the size of the Indian market, Hinduja said with a population exceeding 1.2 billion, India could be the leader of the world’s consumer market if it develops 400 to 500 million consumers.
While hailing the liberalization process in India, he said that the government needs to open the market another 35 -40%. That could enable it to overtake the world leader, the USA, which has a market of 240 million customers.
Hinduja had little doubt that the Indian economy could withstand the current global problems because it had the potential of consuming four times what it produced and developed. The size of the middle class and the upper middle class with high networth was increasing.
“There was no no need for anyone in India to panic about the current situation. The paper value may have dropped but the demand and the potentiality of India continues to be solid,” he said.