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A Systematic Approach to an Unprecedented Situation

A perspective on India’s COVID-19 response by Invest India, VP, WAIPA

“India has tremendous capacities. It is exceptionally important that countries like India lead the way to show the world what can be done.” 1
                              - Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme

Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO, Invest India (the national investment promotion and facilitation agency of India), in his interview with Bostjan Skalar, CEO of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), shines a spotlight on India’s systematic, timely & effective approach to mitigating the health & economic effects of COVID-19. 

He credited the timely lockdown in containing the spread of the virus to a few cities & society segments in India. Further, an extremely active awareness campaign around COVID and the measures undertaken by the government, ensured that there was no panic within the country and people understood the necessity of the strict lockdown being enforced across India. 

The lockdown and the consequent containment of the virus in few parts of the country have allowed for a gradual reopening of industries & businesses and have facilitated a focused economic resurgence plan for India. 

The government has worked dedicatedly for ramping up health infrastructure to ascertain seamless delivery of healthcare services. India’s journey from having zero PPE manufacturers to becoming the 2nd largest PPE producing country- is a testament to India’s agility and its ability to pivot successfully in a time of crisis. 

Mr. Bagla, during his conversation, credited the government for handling the crisis through a long-term lens. While the immediate focus has been to resurrect demand, the economic package announced under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan has been with the focus on developing a strong foundation for the Indian economy by strengthening the 60 Mn+ MSMEs in the country.  

In his interview, Mr. Bagla also brought to the fore the crucial role played by national IPAs in an unprecedented situation such as the COVID-19 pandemic. He highlighted that IPAs are at the core of the system- with a direct connect with investors and decision makers at the Centre and at the state level. This unique positioning allows IPAs to play the crucial role of joining the dots and ensuring business continuity even during crises. Mr. Bagla said, “the jigsaw falls in place when you have someone to put the pieces together and this is where I see the emerging role of IPAs”.