Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to have caught the attention of global investors quite effectively, with CEOs and founders of renowned companies betting big on India and crediting the government for moving to improve business conditions. The latest to join the ‘fan club’ is Prem Watsa the CEO and founder of Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holdings. Watsa, who is often referred to as the Warren Buffett of Canada, has said that PM Narendra Modi is doing a great job and should be re-elected. “I have said this in our annual report and we are very bullish on India. This is because we consider Mr Modi to be the Lee Kuan Yew of India,” Watsa told. Lee Kuan Yew was the first PM of Singapore and is widely credited for transforming the country and being its ‘founding father’.
Watsa said, “Mr Modi is a very hard working man. He has eliminated corruption at the top and I think he is going to do a wonderful wonderful job over the years. I am hoping he will be re-elected in a few years and re-elected again and India will be transformed during that time”. Asked if he thinks India is the ‘shining star’ among emerging markets, Watsa said, “There is no question about that”.
Speaking after he met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Toronto, Watsa said, “Of all the countries in the world, I just told the Finance Minister that the only country that I am really bullish on is India. I think India has unlimited possibilities and potential. We are very happy to invest in India”. “Fairfax India raised a billion dollars and we have invested that money and over time we think we will raise more money. We will raise a lot of money, I don’t like putting a number. The opportunities are unlimited,” he said. “We are looking at companies with a track record, not startups. We think of our investments as very long term. We are not thinking of exiting at all,” he added.
Recently, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase and one of the world’s most influential bankers was all praises for PM Modi’s initiatives. “To the Indian people I would say that you have the fastest growing economy in the world. There are some fabulous companies here, great education, and a Prime Minister who is making all the right moves. This is a great country,” Dimon told CNBC-TV 18.
Aberdeen Asset Management in its report titled “India: The Giant Awakens”, has also credited PM Modi for finding solutions to multiple challenges, sowing seeds for structural changes and introducing reforms that may not be “big-bang”, but are definitely long-term in nature. “Contrary to some reports, Modi remains popular and reforms have not run out of steam. If one looks closely, changes are taking place everywhere. Indeed, reforms were always intended to be long-term in nature, rather than big bang,” the report said.