Doing Business in India Doing Business in India

Doing Business in India


India - with its consistent growth performance and abundant highly skilled manpower provides enormous opportunities for investments. India is the largest democracy and tenth largest economy in the world. India is the fourth largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power parity.

India has a federal system of Government with clear demarcation of powers between the Central Government and the State Governments.

India provides a liberal, attractive, and investor friendly investment climate.

India has the most liberal and transparent policies on foreign direct investment (FDI) among major economies of the world.

  • 100% FDI is allowed under the automatic route in all sectors/activities except in few areas, which require prior approval of the Government. 
  • Under automatic route, investors are required to only notify the Reserve Bank of India within 30 days of receipt of inward remittances. 

India has liberalized and simplified foreign exchange controls.

  • Rupee is freely convertible on current account.
  • Rupee is almost fully convertible on capital account for non-residents.
  • For FDI- Profits earned, dividends and proceeds out of the sale of investments are fully repatriable.
  • There are some restrictions for resident Indians on capital account on incomes earned in India.

Investment Policies

Why India?

World's largest democracy with 1.2 billion people.
Stable political environment and responsive administrative set up.
Well established judiciary to enforce rule of law.
Land of abundant natural resources and diverse climatic conditions.
India's growth will start to outpace China's within three to five years and hence will become the fastest large economy with 9-10 per cent growth over the next 20-25 years (Morgan Stanley).
Investor friendly policies and incentive based schemes.
India's economy will grow fivefold in the next 20 years (McKinsey).
Cost competitiveness; low labour costs.
Total labour force of nearly 530 million.
Large pool of skilled manpower; strong knowledge base with significant English speaking population.
Young country with a median age of 30 years by 2025: India's economy will benefit from this "demographic dividend".
The proportion of population in the working age group (15-59 years) is likely to increase from approximately 58 per cent in 2001 to more than 64 per cent by 2021.
Huge untapped market potential.
The urban population of India will double from the 2001 census figure of 290 m to approximately 590 m by 2030 (McKinsey).
Progressive simplification and rationalization of direct and indirect tax structures.
Reduction in import tariffs.
Full current account convertibility.
Compliance with WTO norms.
Robust banking and financial institutions.

Indian Economy

India has undergone a paradigm shift owing to its competitive stand in the world. The Indian economy is on a robust growth trajectory and boasts of a stable annual growth rate, rising foreign exchange reserves and booming capital markets among others.

According to Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), Indian economy is estimated to grow at 6.9 percent in 2011-12 as compared to the growth rate of 8.4 percent in 2010-11.These GDP figures are based at factor cost at constant (2004-05) prices in the year 2011-12. The growth rate of 6.9 per cent in GDP during 2011-12 has been due to the growth rates of over 8 per cent in the sectors of electricity, gas and water supply, trade , hotels , transport and communication, and financing, insurance, real estate and business services.Mospi expects slow growth in the sectors of agriculture, forestry and fishing (2.5 per cent) , manufacturing (3.9 per cent) and construction (4.8 per cent). The growth in the mining and quarrying sector is estimated to be negative (-2.2 per cent).

Agriculture Sector

According to the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC), The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector is likely to show a growth 2.5 per cent in its GDP during 2011-12, as against the previous year's growth rate of 7.0 per cent. Production of foodgrains is also expected to grow by 2.3 per cent as compared to 12.2 per cent growth in the previous agriculture year. The production of cotton and sugarcane is also expected to rise by 3.3 per cent and 1.6 per cent, respectively, in 2011-12. Among the horticultural crops, production of fruits and vegetables is expected to increase by 3.5 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively, during the year 2011-12.

Industry Sector

The manufacturing sector is likely to show a growth of 3.9 per cent in GDP during during 2011-12 as against the growth of 7.6 per cent during 2010-11. According to the latest estimates available on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), the index of manufacturing and electricity registered growth rates of 4.1 per cent and 9.5 per cent, respectively during April-November, 2011-12, as compared to the growth rates of 9.0 per cent and 4.5 per cent in these sectors during April-November, 2010-11. The mining sector is likely to show a negative growth of 2.2 per cent in 2011-12 as against growth of 5 per cent during 2010-11. The IIP mining registered a decline of 2.5 per cent. The construction sector is likely to show a growth rate of 4.8 per cent during 2011-12 as against growth of 8 per cent in the previous year. The key indicators of construction sector, namely, cement production and steel consumption have registered growth rates of 5.3 per cent and 4.4 per cent, respectively during April-December, 2011-12.

Services Sector

The estimated growth in GDP for the trade, hotels, transport and communication sectors during 2011-12 is placed at 11.2 per cent as against growth of 11.1 percent in the previous year. This is mainly on account of growth during April-November, 2011-12 of 15.5 per cent in passengers handled in civil aviation .Further, private corporate sector registered significant growth in trade, hotels and restaurant and business services during first half of 2011-12. There has been an increase of 28.0 per cent in stock of telephone connections as on December 2011. The sales of commercial vehicles witnessed an increase of 19.2 per cent per cent in April-December 2011. The sector, financing, insurance, real estate and business services, is expected to show a growth rate of 9.1 per cent during 2011-12, on account of 16.9 per cent growth in aggregate deposits and 15.9 per cent growth in bank credit during April- December 2011 (against the respective growth rates of 28.0 per cent and 19.2 per cent in the corresponding period of previous year).The growth rate of community, social and personal services during 2011-12 is estimated to be 5.9 per cent.

Investing in India

Manual on industrial policy and procedures in India

Intellectual property Rights

India provides protection to Intellectual Property Rights in accordance with its obligations under the TRIPS Agreement of the WTO. The importance of intellectual property in India is well established at all levels- statutory, administrative and judicial.

India has well-established administrative mechanism for enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights. Police officers are empowered to take action against the infringement of IPRs in case of pirated and counterfeit products.

Cases of infringement of IPRs are tried in the judicial courts. Indian Intellectual Property Rights Laws also provide for appeals in the judicial courts of the administrative decisions relating to Intellectual Property Rights.

The Intellectual Property Rights protected under various statues in India are as follows:-

Copyrights and related rights
Geographical indications
Plant varieties
Lay out designs of integrated circuits
Protection of undisclosed information


India has undertaken exhaustive amendment of its Patents Act 1970, three times since 1999. Now Indian Patents Act is fully compliant with India's obligations under the TRIPS Agreement of the WTO. The three amendments that were carried out since 1999, introduced the following main changes in the old Patents Act:-

1. India carried out first amendment in the Patents Act in 1999 and introduced exclusive marketing rights and mail box facility for inventions relating to chemical and pharmaceutical products. India introduced these transitory provisions as India had availed of the transition period available till 01 January 2005 to developing countries in introducing product patent protection to all areas. 

2. India carried out an exhaustive 2nd amendment to the Patents Act in year 2001. This amendment brought the Indian Patents Act in compliance with India's obligations under the TRIPS Agreement.

3. India again carried out 3rd amendment of the Patents Act in year 2005 and introduced product patents protection for chemicals and pharmaceutical products.

Detailed information about the Indian Patents Act is available at the website of Controller of Patents, Designs and Trademarks at 

The Patents Act 1970

The Patents (Amendment) Act 1999


Copyrights and related rights

India's copyright law, laid down in the Indian Copyright Act 1957 as amended by Copyright (Amendment) Act 1999, fully reflects the Berne Convention on Copyrights, to which India is a party. Additionally, India is party to the Geneva Convention for the Protection of Rights of Producers of phonograms and to the Universal Copyright Convention.

The copyright law has been amended periodically to keep pace with changing requirements. The recent amendment to the copyright law, which came into force in May 1995, has ushered in comprehensive changes and brought the copyright law in line with the developments in satellite broadcasting, computer software and digital technology. The amended law has made provisions for the first time, to protect performer's rights as envisaged in the Rome Convention.

Several measures have been adopted to strengthen and streamline the enforcement of copyrights. These include the setting up of a Copyright Enforcement Advisory Council, training programmes for enforcement officers and setting up special policy cells to deal with cases relating to infringement of copyrights.

Department of Secondary & Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development


India provides trademark protection for marks of goods and services, collective marks, certification trademarks and well-known marks under the Trademarks Act 1999.

Application for registration of a trademark should be filed with the trademark registry. Trademark is registered after publication in the trademarks journal to invite opposition and after further examination. Registration is not must for protection, however, it is mandatory for taking action against infringement. Registration is valid for an initial period of ten years and can be renewed for further period of ten years.

Police officers are empowered and seized without warrant the counterfeit goods and machinery used to commit the offence. Penalties ranging from six months to three years and fines have been prescribed in the Act for trademarks violations.

Further details regarding trademarks protection are available at the website of Controller of Patents, Designs and Trademarks


Geographical indications

Protection to geographical indications is provided under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999.

A geographical indication may be registered with the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks for all goods originating in a definite territory of a country, or a region or locality in that territory. The Geographical Indications Act provides for additional protection of higher level to goods notified by the Central Government. Registration of a geographical indication is for ten years with possible renewal for further ten-year periods.

Further details regarding geographical indications protection are available at the website of Controller of Patents Trademarks and Designs


Protection of Plant varieties

Protection to plant varieties is provided by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Act 2001. This Act provides an effective system for protection of plant varieties and farmers' rights to stimulate investments for R&D both in public and private sectors for the development of new plant varieties by ensuring appropriate returns on such investment. This Act complies with India's obligations under Article 27.3 (b) of the TRIPS Agreement of the WTO by providing an effective sui generis system for protection of plant varieties.

New plant varieties could be registered under this Act for Plant Breeder Rights based on the international criteria of newness, distinctiveness, uniformity and stability. The essentially derived varieties are also registered under this Act based on internationally accepted criteria. This Act also has some unique features like benefit sharing, community rights, gene funds, compulsory licensing etc. Penal provisions are also provided in this Act against infringement of Plant Breeder Rights.

A Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority has been constituted to administer this Act. The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights rules have also been framed under this Act. Applications for plant varieties should be filed with the Authority. Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India is the administrative department for implementation of this Act.

Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture

Industrial Designs

The Designs Act 2000 provides to protection to registered designs in accordance with India's obligations under the TRIPS Agreement.

Independently created designs that are new or original are protected under this Act. The Act provides a right to the owner of the registered industrial design to prevent third parties not having his consent from making, selling or importing articles being or embodying a design, which is a copy or substantially a copy of the protected design when such acts are undertaken for commercial purposes. The duration of the protection is ten years.

For further details, visit the website of Controller of Patents Designs and Trademarks at



Investment opportunities in Selected Sectors

India, lying in the Northern Hemisphere, is the seventh largest country in the world covering an area of 32,87,263 sq km. It lies between 8 degree 4' North to 37 degree 6' North latitudes, and 68 degree 7' East to 97 degree 25' East longitudes. It measures about 3,214 km from north to south between the extreme latitudes and about 2,933 km from east to west between the extreme longitudes. It is bounded by the Great Himalayas on the north; by the Bay of Bengal on the east; by the Arabian Sea on the west; and by the Indian Ocean on the south. The mainland comprises four regions, namely, the Great mountain zone, plains of the Ganga and the Indus, the desert region and the Southern peninsula. The total length of the coastline of the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands and Andaman and Nicobar Islands is 7,516.6 km. Besides, India shares a common border with the neighbouring countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan on the north-west; China, Nepal and Bhutan on the north; Myanmar on the east and Bangladesh on the east of West of Bengal. Sri Lanka is also separated from India by a narrow channel of sea formed by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.

India's unique and vast geography, endowed with diverse topography, has made it one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world. It is the world's largest democracy with stable policy environment, law and order as well as responsive administrative set up. It has become a global resource for various manufacturing and services industry. It is a land of abundant natural resources like coal, iron ore, manganese ore, mica, bauxite, petroleum, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, limestone, dolomite, kaolin, gypsum, apatite, phosphorite, steatite, fluorite, etc. Its large area is covered by lush green forests producing wide variety of products of high quality like timber. It is a home to rich and varied vegetations endowed with different climatic conditions. It is rich in flora and fauna.

The diverse economy of India encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries and a multitude of services. With the largest area of arable land, India is one of the world's biggest food producers. It is the largest producer of milk, sugarcane and tea as well as the second largest producer of rice, fruit and vegetables. India's pool of technical manpower base with an increasing disposable income and its burgeoning market have all combined to enable India emerge as a viable partner to global industry. It is the preferred hotspot for organizations keen to outsource their R & D activities, software development work, customer contact centers or IT enabled business processes. The top sectors attracting highest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into the country are:- electrical equipments, services sector (financial and non financial), telecommunications, transportation industry, fuels, chemicals, construction activities, drugs and pharmaceuticals, food processing, cement and gypsum products. Huge investment potential exists in the upcoming Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) sector and the real estate industry.

The Government of India is making all efforts to supplement all such advantages of the country. It has made infrastructure development as one of the key area of focus. Sound and effective connectivity via rail, road, ports and air, between the Indian States and with the rest of the world, is a necessity. Along with this, efficient power supply and excellent telecommunication network plays a very important role in the country's development. Accordingly, the Government has undertaken several policy measures and incentives to attract investors into the country and provide a good quality of life to the people.

Thus, India is one of the few markets in the world which offers high prospects for growth and earning potential in practically all areas of business, particularly in tourism, information technology (IT) and agricultural sector. There exists immense investment opportunities both at the national level and the State level.

National Level Investment

India is one of the largest economies of the world. It is a fast growing free market democracy which has come to the global forefront as a hub for manufacturing and services industry. It is the fourth largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) and the tenth most industrialized country in the world. Its diversified natural and human resource base; a vast consumer market; a well connected infrastructural set-up; sound macro-economic foundation; etc places it at a competitive position on the world platform.

Moreover, the process of reforms and the consequent deregulation, liberalisation and globalisation of the economy has unleashed the enormous growth potential of the country. This has made India a preferred destination for domestic and foreign investments. It has become the 2nd most attractive investment destination among the Transnational Corporations (UNCTAD's World Investment Report, 2005) and is among the top three investment 'hot spots' for 2004-07 (UNCTAD Corporate Location, April 2004). As a result, India is attracting increased foreign investment, both through Foreign Institutional Investment (FII) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). For instance, the cumulative FDI inflows since August 1991 to September 2006 have amounted to Rs. 1,81,566 crore (US$43.29 billion). While, during April-September 2006, total FDI inflows (excluding 'reinvested earnings' and 'other capital components') stood at Rs. 20,155 crore (US$4.38 billion). The sectors attracting high cumulative FDIs have been the electrical equipments followed by services and telecommunications. Similarly, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai are the first four spots recognised as destinations for FDI inflows.

In order to encourage flow of investment into the country, the Government of India has set up several investment facilitation agencies, which include:-

Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB):- set up in the Ministry of Finance, specifically for expediting the approval process for foreign investment proposals. It is the Secretariat for executing the policy of the Government on FDI. All proposals received in the FIPB Secretariat are considered by the Board.

Foreign Investment Implementation Authority (FIIA):- set up in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to facilitate quick translation of FDI approval and implementation; to provide a proactive one-stop after-care service to foreign investors by helping them obtain the necessary approvals; sort out operational problems and meet various Government agencies to find solutions to problems. Thus, it assumes the role of understanding and addressing the concerns of investors as well as of the approving authorities; and initiating multi-agency consultation; etc.

Investment Commission (IC):- set up in the Ministry of Finance, to advise the Government on changes in the policy and procedures that will enhance investment in India; recommend projects and investment proposals that should be fast tracked/mentored and thus promote India as an investment destination.

Secretariat for Industrial Assistance (SIA):- functioning with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, acts as a gateway to industrial investment in India. It provides a single-window clearance for entrepreneurial assistance and facilitates the processing of investors' applications requiring Government approval.

India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF):- collects, collates and disseminates comprehensive information on India. It has been developed as a single-window resource for in-depth information and insight on India. It also produces a wide range of well researched publications focused on India's economic and business advantages.
Through such an institutional set-up, the Government has been undertaking several policy measures and incentives in the various segments of the economy, including the infrastructure sector. This has created an investor friendly climate and unfolded numerous opportunities for investment into the country.

State Level Investment

India is a country with a rich and varied cultural heritage and is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. It is divided into twenty eight States and seven Union Territories based on the diversity in culture and geography of the regions. Each State/UT of India has a unique demography, history, art and craft, dress, festivals, language etc. which provides numerous opportunities for the investors the world over. They are endowed with large number of places of tourist interests like beautiful landscapes, wildlife and forests, hills, plateaus, valleys, monuments, forts, palaces, temples, etc. Each State have distinct inherent strengths, ranging from abundant supply of mineral resources and large forest reserves to the availability of good fertile lands, which are suitable for growing variety of agricultural and horticultural crops.
Several world-renowned companies/ industries exist in these States which encourage large investments into the country. They are largely confined to iron and steel, cement, textiles, agro-processing, mineral-based industries, drugs and pharmaceuticals, chemicals, electronics, automobiles, etc. Various State Governments have also recognised Information Technology (IT) industry as an integral part of the economy, thereby attracting new players into the market. IT revolution is committed to provide good governance that ensures transparency, reduction in transaction costs, efficiency and citizen centric delivery of public services. Therefore, the Government is making all efforts to facilitate the growth of such industries and promote overall development of the economy.

Most importantly, the State Government has undertaken several policy measures and incentives so as to provide ample business opportunities. These policies seek to create much-needed investment friendly environment in the States, highlight the major foreign direct investment (FDI) sectors and thus reflect the true position of the State economy. For instance, the Industrial Policy has been formulated with a view to accelerate industrialization process of the State. While, Information Technology (IT) policy has been framed to bring private investments into the IT sector and develop a roadmap for e-governance. Such developmental policies also aim to adopt strategies for enabling the residents of States to take full advantage of the employment opportunities.

However, for improvement of the quality of life of the people of the State as well as promote rapid industrialization and balanced development, infrastructure facilities are highly required. The quality of infrastructure is widely regarded as an essential determinant of growth in the States. Agricultural growth depends upon rural infrastructure such as the spread and quality of irrigation, land development, extent of rural electrification and the spread of rural roads. While, non-agricultural growth highly depends upon sectors such as electric power, road and rail transportation, ports and airports as well as telecommunications. All these services increase the productivity of existing resources going into the production and helps to attract more investments. Moreover, it is responsibility of the State Governments to provide such critical infrastructure facilities required for the industrial and commercial development of the State, for instance, making available the power at an appropriate price and of acceptable quality.

Hence, the economic growth and development of the country is highly dependent on the administrative set up, agricultural and industrial base; human resources as well as infrastructural network of all the States/ UTs. Accordingly, several opportunities and incentives are offered to them, from time to time, so as to motivate investors to invest therein. Some of the major States/UTs of India, which attract large investments are given below.

Special Economic Zones

Special Economic Zones established/notified prior to SEZ Act, 2005

SEEPZ Special Economic Zone
Development Commissioner,
SEEPZ, Andheri (East)Mumbai-400096
Tel: 91-22-28290856, 28291388, 28290046, 28292147, 28292144
Fax: 91-22-28291385, 22829175


Kandla Special Economic Zone,
Development Commissioner
KSEZ, Gandhidham, Kachchh
Tel: 91-2836-252194, 252273, 252194, 252475, 253300, 252281
Fax: 91-2836-252250,

Cochin Special Economic Zone,
Development Commissioner,
CSEZ, Kakkanad,
Cochin - 682030
Tel: 91-484-2413222, 2413235, 2413111, 2413234
Fax: 91-484-2413074


Madras Special Economic Zone
Development Commissioner
MEPZ Special Economic Zone, National Highway 45,
Tambaram, Chennai-600045 MEPZ CHENNAI
Tel: 91-44-22628220, 22628230, 22628233
Fax: 91-44-2628218

Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone
Development Commissioner
VSEZ, Duvvada,
Visakhapatnam, 530046
Tel: 91-891-2754577, 2587555
Fax: 91-891-2587352


Falta Special Economic Zone
Development Commissioner
FSEZ, M.S.O Building, 4th Floor, Nizam Palace,
Tel: 91-33-22472263, 22477923, 22404092
Fax: 91-33-22477923

Noida Export Processing Zone
Development Commissioner
NSEZ, Noida Dadri Road, Phase-II,
Noida District, Gautam Budh Nagar-201305 (U.P.)
Tel: 91-120-2562315, 2567274, 2567270-73,
Fax: 91-120-2562314, 2567276


Surat Special Economic Zone
Development Commissioner,
Surat Special Economic Zone
Diamond Park,
Tel: 91-261-2372733, 2372734

Manikanchan, Salt Lake SEZ
(for gems and jewellery)
West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation Ltd.,5,
Plot No.-1, Block-CN, Sector V, Salt Lake City,
Tel: 91-33-23674861
Fax: 91-33-23674860


Indore Special Economic Zone
3/54, Press Complex, Free Press Home,
H.B. Road, Indore-452018
Tel: 91-731-2560619, 2560666, 2560674
Fax: 91-731- 4290586

Jaipur Special Economic Zone (Gems and Jewellery)
Chairman cum Managing Director
Rajasthan State Industrial Development & Investment Corporation Ltd., (RIICO)
Udyog Bhawan, Tilak Marg
Tel: 91-141-2227751, 5113201
Fax: 91-141-5104804


Mahindra City-SEZ, Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
(Information Technology)
M/s. Mahindra Industrial Park Ltd.
Arjay Apex Centre, 24, College Road,
Chennai-600 006
Tel: 91-44-2821 2893-94
Fax: 91-44-2821 2895

Mahindra City-SEZ, Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
(Apparel and fashion accessories)
M/s. Mahindra Industrial Park Ltd.
Arjay Apex Centre, 24, College Road,
Chennai-600 006
Tel: 91-44-2821 2893 / 2894
Fax: 91-44-2821 2895


Salt Lake Electronic City-SEZ, Kolkata
(Software Development and IT enabled services)
M/s. WIPRO Ltd., Wipro Infotech,
Thapar House, 124, Janpath,
New Delhi-110011.
Tel: 91-11-23366997
Fax: 91-11-23362145

Moradabad Special Economic Zone
Managing Director,
U.P. State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd.,
UPSIDC Complex A-1/4, Lakhanpur,
Kanpur-208024 (Uttar Pradesh)
Tel: 91-512-2582851-53
Fax: 91-512-2280797


Jodhpur Special Economic Zone
Chairman cum Managing Director
Rajasthan State Industrial Development & Investment Corporation Ltd., (RIICO)
Udyog Bhawan, Tilak Marg
Tel: 91-141-2227751, 5113201
Fax: 91-141-5104804

Mahindra City, Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
(auto ancillaries)
Chief Operating Officer,
M/s. Mahindra Industrial Park Ltd.,
Arjay Apex Centre, 24, College Road,
Chennai-600 006
Tel: 91-44-2821 2893 / 2894
Fax: 91-44-2821 2895


Surat Apparel SEZ
Village Vanj, Distt. Surat (Apparel)
Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation,
Udyog Bhavan, Block No.4, 2nd Floor, Sector-11,
'GH' Road, Gandhinagar -382 017, Gujarat
Tel: 91-079-23225801/5811
Fax: 91-079-23225815

M/s. Nokia India Pvt. Ltd.,
Sriperumbudur (Tamil Nadu)
(Telecom equipment and services in telecom
2F, Prakash Presidium, 110,
Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam,
Tel: 91-44-47119000
Fax: 91-44-47119999