Make in India week not an annual event, says Amitabh Kant2 min read . Updated: 15 Feb 2016, 01:37 AM IST
3,000 B2B and B2G meetings took place on the first day of the Make in India week at the MMRDA grounds in Bandra Kurla Complex
Mumbai: If numbers indicate success, then day one of the Make in India week at the MMRDA grounds in Bandra Kurla Complex was a stupendous show. Amitabh Kant, secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) which has organised the event, said by the end of the day, over 1.2 lakh people had registered. “An astounding 3,000 Business to business (B2B) and business to government (B2G) meetings took place today. So much so that when I wanted a place for a meeting, I could not find one," Kant said in a conversation with Mint at the Make in India venue.
The DIPP secretary, who is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s point person on the ease of doing business programme, had a sore throat by the end of the day. He addressed three state investment summits, Japan investment meet, and scores of government to business meetings apart from being present for other meetings.
When asked if this would be an annual feature, Kant said the Make in India week was a ‘once in a lifetime event’ for investors and for India. “If investors miss the bus this time, they miss it for the lifetime," he said.
He explained the uniqueness of this event saying it was for the first time that as many as 17 states are participating and competing for investment on such a large scale.
“There are countries like Sweden, Finland, Japan and Poland which offer expertise in certain sectors. The Swedish delegation is 170-member strong and Finland has come with 30 companies. Various Indian states are exhibiting their investment credentials together for the first time," he said.
He also pointed out that rarely before had the government roped in industry experts on such a scale to deliver the Make in India week. “We have participation from CII, from IITs, from a number of expert and industry groups. There are start ups, top companies, and industry associations who have joined the government to deliver this message that we are ready for the world," he said.
Asked if the Indian states were specifically selected and invited to participated in the event, Kant said the government first wanted to go with only top three states. “We wanted to go with the top three on the Ease of Doing Business index (EODB)," he said. When told that this selection would have left out Maharashtra since Maharashtra was ranked 8th on EODB, Kant said Maharashtra was a partner state for the event. “But then, more states said they would like to participate and we accommodated them. Later, even more were willing to participate but we capped the number to 17 because they came a little too late," he said.
The DIPP secretary said the government was looking at the event as an MoU signing platform only. ‘MoUs will be signed no doubt but the larger intention is to build an ecosystem which would lead to many more agreements being signed in future. The main narrative behind holding this event is to create confidence in India, to gain confidence ourselves to be able to tell the world that we are the best manufacturing destination in the world," Kant said.