Abhijit Iyer-Mitra India supplanting China as a manufacturing hub and what needs to be done

Abhijit Iyer-Mitra outlines the challenges for India to meet its own requirements and not depend on China and how years of red tape and people working at cross purposes has practically brought its manufacturing down to its knees. Where should things be reset, how to restart India to be the manufacturing powerhouse are discussed in-depth. Don't miss watching this till the end!


  1. And while we are distracted by this, did you hear about india setting up a strategic petroleum reserve in the US?

    Is this really a good idea? What if some US administration doesn’t like an elected Indian government and bar access to the reserve?

  2. We need to build a business that’ll tackle challenges faced by Indian businesses re government and other issues. We have political activism and protecting organizations for all kinds of social issues/groups but we need the same for businesses to protect and tackle the challenges posed by bureaucracy

    The biggest hurdle for an entrepreneur I’ve felt is the rampant corruption in literally every department. Bribe is something they felt is their birthright – they’ll delay your work or try to threaten in various ways. We’ve had certain GST refund not yet paid even after refund letters have been issued since January 2019. Complaining on GST portal resulted in automatic closure with note to meet the concerned officer. All this is because we haven’t paid a single penny in bribe (despite officers asking us explicitly). This is on top of the fact that they take months to issue refund letter while our CA says those who are giving bribe it’s issued on the same day and refund also comes fairly quickly. The bribe is about 3-5% of the refund amount as I’ve learnt.

    A real entrepreneur doesn’t want to deal with all this. He wants to build an innovative business. the bribe/corruption attitude of bureaucracy really disheartens one’s enthusiasm. If you don’t bribe them you’re always under worry that they’ll try to hurt on any opportune moment. If you bribe them you will lose the honesty within you and the guilt of being part of the criminal corrupt system will take its toll on your enterprising energy.

    The only solution is to make things electronic without face-to-face contact ever required and all interactions are recorded on the platform and enforce deadline to complete the case on officers or else automatic fines and penalties. There are policies and laws but the enforcement is missing as you could understand from the delay in GST refunds I’ve mentioned above.

    Till this electronic solution is ready, we need an honest, committed, intermediate business that will provide a shield for small businesses to thrive with all legal/government matters be tackled by it. It’ll name and shame officers who delay the things required by its affiliated businesses at level of government/court/media.

    • “The biggest hurdle for an entrepreneur I’ve felt is the rampant corruption in literally every department.”

      This will make a great YouTube channel. Get people to post their bribe stories on YouTube and watch how things unfold after the post.

  3. Prof R. Vaidyanathan of IIM on one of the videos on your site mentioned it takes 22 permits to start a paan shop. Abhijit’ s emotionally charged talk is correct that the ecosystem/obstacles to start a business needs to be significantly improved. However, I do not agree with him that a national vision is not important. Any industry/technology/process must not destroy our air, water, or soil. There are innumerable innovations where we can leapfrog the old and damaging technologies, e.g., fossil based plastics have destroyed our air, water and land…today we have several innovations that can capture methane from landfills/farms to create bioplastics, etc. I’ve outlined in my book ideas to develop a grand vision. See link https://www.amazon.com/Creating-Green-Cultural-Economy-Integrates/dp/1462016022/ref=nodl_

    • We need not have grand vision, all we require is a need based common sense vision. Do we have a waste disposable policy, when tons of garbage is produced daily ? The only waste disposal we have is for cow dung taught by our ancestors. Further why can’t we have a law to jail those defaulters for non payment of bills and incentives to MSMEs ?

  4. Abhijit has called spade a spade. What ever he stated I experienced torture as an entrepreneur in 80s. Labour strike, power cuts, bribes etc. Basically India is not a land for entrepreneurs. No entrepreneur starts his business for criminal purposes but the system forces entrepreneurs to cheat or else he perishes. So who makes money ? Real estate mafia, journalists mafia, advocates mafia, bureaucrats mafia and political mafia etc who are not wealth creators.Technically entrepreneurs in India are branded as thieves, thanks to few businessmen who were victims of corrupt system and defunct judicial system.

    Who are wealth creators ? Agri sector, manufacturers and NRI remittances from gulf .Now Remittences will fall steeply. The central govnt is glorifying ease of business where as the state govnt are villains. A NRI Mittal wanted to invest 50k crores in India and he had to flee.Vedantas sterlite in TNhave been massacared . When indians are thrown out of India, it is a joke that a foreigner can start business in India.

    AP has 960 km of sea coast. Struggling to put up resort and water sports project, but the laws are too complicated.same sea and beaches as Dubai and Bangkok but no vision for babus to develop tourism. 100% fdi Permitted in tourism, but zero investment. Another irony is caravan tourism, where neither transport dept nor tourism ministry have any clue on this subject.

    India is a perfect place for washing off bad karmas and to lead an ascetic life ? But the question is who will create wealth for future generations or to depend on MANREGA .

  5. Don’t know what pleasure Iyer Sir got at the end of the interview. It was self recrimination all the way from start to finish. How to wash hands to avoid Wuhan virus would have been more useful


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