New York: The worst-ever terror strike in India’s financial capital Mumbai could well tilt the focus of foreign investors towards neighbouring China even as the sub-continent’s response to the attack would be the biggest challenge, according to business gurus Jack and Suzy Welch.
“... all foreign companies can do right now is boost security for their people and wait. Meanwhile, many investors will be thinking about tilting the balance to China,” they wrote in a recent column for American publication BusinessWeek.
Noting that the possible slant towards China is understandable, the column said, “Despite persistent worker protests, the Olympics this summer left little doubt of the country’s ability to manage itself.”
However, the business gurus said that China is really not the biggest economic challenge at the moment for India.
“How its leaders respond to the Mumbai attacks will tell the business world what it wants and needs to know. Not just whether to pull back from India but how risky pushing forward will be,” Jack and Suzy Welch wrote in their column published online.
The terror attack in Mumbai last month took the lives of nearly 200 people and caused severe damage to well-known luxury hotels -- Taj Mahal Palace and Oberoi.
According to the duo, the terror strike in India’s financial hub showed how risky doing business in the country might become.
“What will be news in the months ahead is how the government responds. Because the attack in Mumbai, striking as it did at India’s financial heart, showed just how risky doing business in India may become,” the business gurus said.
Pointing out that ”India is being tested as never before,” the column said that in the coming months, global business community would be watching whether India can tackle obstacles to advancement.
“... in the coming months, the world, and in particular the global business community, will be watching for the answer to a crucial question: whether India can overcome its greatest obstacles to advancement, which include both terrorism and India itself,” Jack and Suzy Welch noted.
Nonetheless, the column asserted that if other countries serve as any indication, “India’s future remains bright.”
When the 9/11 strike happened in America, the country had a multi-pronged response and similarly Spain and Britain came back strongly from the brutal attacks in 2004 and 2005, the column said.
“Their governments redoubled anti-terrorism measures, and their people rallied,” Jack and Suzy Welch said and added, “Expect Indians to rally, too. They will find the will to fight back... The changes required in homeland security will be massive.”