Vedanta chief Anil Agarwal: Infrastructural reforms will help in creating jobs
Anil Agarwal, the founder and Chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc, said, "God helps those who help themselves. Problems are just a state of mind. I will just say that don't indulge yourself in any illegal work as it may bring a host of troubles on you. Besides, I would like to request youths that they should not hunt for a job but try to create the same. You will have to do some extraordinary work if you really want to succeed."
Anil Agarwal, the founder and Chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc, in an exclusive interview with Anil Singhvi, the Managing Editor of Zee Business, said that handing over government-owned companies to the public will transform both the country and its economy. Here are edited excerpts from a comprehensive interview:
Q: First of all, I would like to ask about big issues like NPAs at banks and stressed assets that are troubling the country. It seems that the problem is on the verge of being settled. Can you please let us know about the kind of changes that are needed to smoothen the process completely?
A: I feel, these issues will take time to settle down in a similar way as the previous steps of GST, demonetisation or Bankruptcy law did. The process to become smooth, took time. At present, all institutions like courts and banks are taking time to understand the what is involved.
I feel courts should bring some changes to clear the process. Big companies' assets can't be in 'no man's land' for such a long time.
Secondly, I will say that almost every step that has been taken by the incumbent government was dine courageously and this fact is recognised across the world.
Q: The government has done a lot of work in four years of its presence and is preparing for more reforms. What else do you want to see?
A: I feel there are only two things that have changed the world. The first is infrastructure. This is true whether it is the United States, China or some other country. The second is Information Technology (IT). When it comes to infrastructure, development can be propelled through areas like highways, overhead bridges and tunnels as well as Railways. I feel that these areas can be generators of tremendous employment opportunities.
In today's world, the term EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) is being used a lot. I would like to add F to it and this means Finance. Simple policies by the government can be a game-changer for the country and will generate a number of employment opportunities.
IT is the second and any change in this sector will make many people join it. Interestingly, the world considers that Indian minds are great when it comes to IT and innovation.
Q: Your talk related to infrastructure and IT is hinting towards something. It has been a long time since I heard about any acquisition from your group. Do you have your eyes on these two fields?
A: My hands are full and I avoid walking in areas that are beyond my calibre.
Q: Almost all acquisitions that you have made are successful businesses in themselves.
A: I concentrate only on things that come out from the land. I have a huge faith in the motherland and believe that whatsoever comes out from it has the capacity of creating jobs. And that's the reason that connects me with her.
Today, we are importing 50 percent goods that propel our economy and these things are being imported even after a maximum of these goods, like copper, iron-ore, bauxite and gold among others, are available in bulk in the country itself. I always feel that our country should become self-reliant and the day this happens we will be at a different level.
Q: I would like to know about the process that lets you handle pressure that comes to you?
A: God helps those who help themselves. Problems are just a state of mind. I will just say that don't indulge yourself in any illegal work as it may bring a host of troubles on you. Besides, I would like to request youths that they should not hunt for a job but try to create the same. You will have to do some extraordinary work if you really want to succeed.
Q: Do you think that the Indian economy will regain the pace of its growth, which has slowed over the last two years?
A: I would like to say that there are two types of economies in the world. The first is run in a democracy and the second is run by governments like in China and Russia. In a democracy the government is not involved in business and the second is where the government owns businesses. In case of democracy, 80 percent business is publicly owned and remaining 20 percent is available in public sector. But when it comes to India, the business environment here has turned out to be a khichdi.