Industrial Extension Bureau, popularly known as iNDEXTb, is a Government of Gujarat organisation established to accelerate industrial development in the state. Rajkumar Beniwal, IAS, Managing Director, iNDEXTb, speaks on the dynamic environment for industrial development in the state, especially in the context of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017.
Which are the sectors that you are focusing upon?
There are many sectors on which we are focusing on like automobiles, petrochemicals, textiles, etc., then now we have this new area, defence, because the government has opened up this sector.
How much is the on-ground reality of these initiatives?
You can see the graph in the last 10-15 years, and how it is going.. that is the reality.
Where do you visualise the growth of Vibrant Gujarat in the next 5-10 years?
Vibrant Gujarat started in 2003 and now in 2017 it has become a global event. This time we are getting a lot of enthusiastic support from all over the world. Our teams visited more than 23 countries. The response was tremendous; we are receiving a lot of registration requests, we are receiving huge requests for participation in various theme seminars, a lot of requests for meetings. Now Vibrant Gujarat, the platform, has become so large, so big that it is going to benefit not only Gujarat but the entire country.
Coming to the funding which you are attracting, to what extent have 100 per cent FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) units been attracted to Gujarat now?
How much FDI will be allowed is the Central government´s decision. In every sector the limit is decided at the governmental level.
Are there any specific sectors which have not existed in Gujarat for which Vibrant Gujarat is now providing the necessary initiatives and other infrastructure?
Vibrant Gujarat is not only an investment-attracting event, but is more of a networking event, it is more of a platform for various industrial sectors, various industries to interact with each other, to come and see the ground realities, to know the various processes, to discuss ideas, to discuss innovations, to help start-ups; so it is not only limited to the investment. It is much more than that.
Gujarat has always excelled in textiles.
Is there any special focus being given to give a boost to this industry?
We are having a special focus on nine sectors in which Gujarat is going to excel and is already excelling. So that is the ´Make in Gujarat´ series we are doing this time in Vibrant Gujarat in which we have selected nine sectors. We will have concentrated theme seminars on those sectors.
There is an upcoming event in January, what is really going to happen there; is it going to be again a networking event?
There are a lot of activities, events, theme seminars, interactions and various sessions, in which people from all sectors will be participating - people from various governments, foreign governments, foreign dignitaries, heads of states, people from academics and Nobel laureate symposiums. More than 8-10 Nobel laureates will be coming, they will be discussing their innovations and strategies; how their innovations have helped the entire world to make it a much better place. We´ll also have academicians, universities, colleges, students, and corporate houses. There will be a lot of participation from across the world from the corporate sector as well as from India.
When we are doing all this and we are trying to make Gujarat a platform, what are the basic guarantees which Gujarat has provided?
Gujarat has one of the best infrastructures in the country to set up industries. We have the best power supply, we have surplus power supply rather, we have the best road infrastructure, we have the best port infrastructure, road connectivity, rail connectivity, we have the best water grade, and we have the best gas grade... so whatever an industry needs for prosperity or growth, Gujarat provides that, including a peaceful labour force.
This time, there is a new element of attracting Nobel laureates to be a part of the event. What is the thought process behind this?
The thought process is that industry is not a standalone kind of thing where we are going to talk only about investment. This time we have broadened the platform. So one side there are academics, research scholars, universities and students, and on the other side, there are industries and businesses. How do you interlink these two? So if Nobel laureates come up with a new idea, we´ll see how this new idea is received by the industry and how it is going to help industrial development in the future, how it is going to help make a better society. So industry is not a standalone system, it´s a system which includes everything. It includes research, which includes society also, which includes economics also´ it´s a broad spectrum and we are bringing all areas to one point.
So this time the government will go beyond being a facilitator...
Yes, that is our tagline also, ´Connecting India to the world´.