Brand Narendra Modi may have been further amplified, following the Indian Prime Minister’s recent visit to the US.
On the final day of his Washington trip, India’s PM met with eminent US and Indian technology executives, including Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Google’s Sunder Pichai, and Apple’s Tim Cook Google’s Sunder Pichai among others to keep the narrative around the India growth story alive and kicking.
Certainly, his tour of the US seems to have added cubits to Gujarat’s stature as and flagbearer for innovation and technology. The string of projects last week was an affirmation of the state’s growing clout as an investment destination.
Last week, the Gujarat government signed an MoU with American computer storage chipmaker Micron Technology for a semiconductor assembly and test facility at Sanand in Ahmedabad. Micron will set up a semiconductor assembly and test plant in Gujarat with an investment of around Rs 22,540 crore. A report claimed that the US-based firm will receive 50% fiscal support and incentives worth 20% of the total cost from the Gujarat government. The project is expected to generate 5,000 jobs and 15,000 community jobs.
Further, German industrial and automotive-component supplier Schaeffler inaugurated a manufacturing unit in Savli (Vadodara). Schaeffler, claimed a report, will add capacities of over 10,000 sq. m of production space to the existing plant, and cater to the demand in the wind, heavy industries, and railway sectors, the company informed. It added that the capacity expansion is aimed at manufacturing spherical roller bearings (SRB) and spherical rollers, while also expanding its heat treatment capabilities.
Like with Micron, Schaeffler’s project is expected to create massive employment opportunities. The German company expects the employee strength at the Savli plant to increase two times.
The most significant development, however, came in the form of Google opening a global fintech operation centre in GIFT City, a central business district.
So, was the Indian PM’s US tour a watershed moment for the country? Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel said, “During the nine years of PM Modi’s government, the country has significantly progressed in all sectors. From his (PM’s) US tour, Gujarat has the maximum benefit, as we signed an MOU with American company Micron Technology for semiconductors. Hopefully, we will organise a foundation stone laying ceremony.”
The moot question is whether the trip has benefitted Gujarat the most or Gujarat only. Has the supposedly India story morphed into an out-and-out Gujarat story?
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut believes that the Indian PM hasn’t looked beyond his own state. He tweeted, “Is this true Devendraji? Modiji went to the US and made only one investment contract, for his own state of Gujarat. Maharashtra received nothing. Is Mumbai really the country’s financial capital?”