Internal and external confidence has returned in India: Mukesh Ambani

Speaking about the new government, he said that confidence is back in India, both at the individual and institutional level.

Dec 05, 2014 02:12 IST India Infoline News Service

Mukesh Ambani, RIL Chairman
In an event organised by Brown University, in association with CNBC TV-18 in Mumbai, Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in India and Reliance Industries chief, highlighted upon a number of issues including the growing investor's confidence in India, the telecom business, recent downfall in the oil prices and the regime change at the central government level.

Speaking about the new government, he said that confidence is back in India, both at the individual and institutional level. He was upbeat that "spirit of saying yes" has come back and the spirit of helplessness has gone.

"Confidence is the most important thing and both internal and external confidence has come back to India.  I have no doubt in my mind that we will be the fastest growing economy in the world in next 2-3 years." he answered, when asked about what was the one thing that stood out during the present government's six months tenure at the center.

Talking about the sharp decline in the oil prices to USD 73 per barrel, he said that for a country like India, "USD 60-70 per barrel is a good price". Also, he said there have been a lot of theories going on about why there was an upsurge in the prices and then a subsequent sharp decline.

"On a demand/supply parity, I think that would be marginally oversupplied and the very fact that Saudi Arabia refused to cut in the OPEC - a lot of us in the oil industry watched that John Kerry visited Saudi Arabia many times and there are all kinds of theories doing the round that right now, the economic supremacy is the biggest supremacy..... The Saudis have decided not to cut (oil prices), which is unusual. Therefore, it is a combination of political demand and supply."

However, he was confident that with technology and human capital, the cost of oil would reduce further and stabilise. "My version of the right price of oil is between USD 65 per barrel and USD 75 per barrel."

He also seemed excited about the good returns in the agricultural sector saying, "Fundamentally, Indian agriculture grew last quarter. Agriculture is a great opportunity, we again have the potential to double our yields. There is enough happening on technology, just like we talked about in the oil business to do the same in agriculture."

When quizzed about the problem in Infrastructure space, he was optimistic that there is a great opportunity in this segment, be it in power, telecommunications or energy. However, the need of the hour is to develop suitable financing that is beneficial to all the stake holders - users as well as the investors. He stressed on the need of a "mature governance" for any investment to be fair and deliver transparent returns. As for the telecom sector, where Reliance has a significance presence and looking to expand with Reliance Jio Infocomm, Ambani said that it is a driven by technology and the growth will be exponential. He lauded the innovative spirit of the companies operating in this business, while at the heart of it, the customers still rule the roost.

On the growth plans of Reliance, he said that they are not looking for any acquisitions right now, as backed by the Rs 200,000 crore worth of investment in Q4 of the current fiscal, Reliance will swell to double its current size and  he looks forward to building his company to double its size in the next two-three years. 

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