India’s ‘Mr. Incredible’ tries to bring the country up to speed

Source: Economic Times via Indian Economic Business News

India has long been cited as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but it hasn’t always been the most hospitable place for business travelers. Ranked 132 out of 185 on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, the country is often viewed as a hassle by executives. Part of the problem is that India has grown faster than its infrastructure. “Infrastructure that we created for 2020 are already getting filled up by 2012,” says Amitabh Kant, the man who is planning to bring India up to speed by 2017. Kant already revolutionized his country once. The instigator of the “Incredible India” campaign, he polished India’s flagging tourism image and turned it into a must-visit destination for the discerning traveler. Marketing aside, the campaign made sure journeying through the subcontinent was met with relative ease. Roads were repaved, landmarks rebuffed and the sector as a whole was trained to work with foreign guests. Today, the country sees 6.8 million overseas tourists annually. Now he is tackling what may be India’s most ambitious infrastructure project to date. The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, a $90 billion state-run enterprise, will involve connecting the 932 mile stretch between Delhi and Mumbai with new ports, airports, highways and rail links. For Kant, though, the real achievement will be the undertaking’s economic knock-on effect.