Infrastructural projects helping improve India’s relationship with African countries: Indian corporate sector leader

Washington, May 25 (PTI) India’s infrastructure projects are helping it strengthen ties with African nations, an Indian corporate executive has said, as he asked US development finance institutions to collaborate with the country to ensure the quickest execution of such projects to regain the trust of the nations lost out to China.

S Kuppuswamy, a senior executive from the Shapoorji Pallonji group, was here to meet officials from both the private and government sectors to discuss the need for financing major infrastructural projects in Africa, which is increasingly looking towards countries like India and the United States.

These projects by India have “phenomenally” increased India’s ties with African nations, he said.

“Our invitation is that development finance institutions from the US and elsewhere should collaborate with India… to see that more such (infrastructural) projects are executed in the quickest possible time in Africa to ensure that the nations lost out to China in the last two decades can be regained for mutual benefit,” Kuppuswamy told PTI in an interview.

“Today, if you go to Ghana, any president there, whichever party he belongs to, takes pride in saying, when I go there, we are under your roof. I’m told that when President Barack Obama visited Ghana, he was shown the presentation, oh, an Indian company has constructed this, Kuppuswamy said.

“So, these are all things that enhance the prestige of Indian companies,” he said.

Over the past few decades, the Shapoorji Pallonji group, which is more than 150 years old, has developed several major infrastructural projects in various parts of Africa including the presidential palace in Ghana and an international convention centre in Niger. In India, it recently completed the Bharat Mandapam.

“We hope that these projects, along with our attempts to get into mining-related infrastructure projects in Africa, will take Indian construction and infrastructure companies multiple notches up in Africa and in other parts of the developing world,” he said.

Engineers from these African nations say that Indian companies involve them in the project, involving teaching and training them.

They say “We are able to learn a lot about construction and all. This does not happen when we work for Chinese or other companies. This is something which is going to stand us in good stead,” he said.

“Today, if you look at quality, African nations look more to India and to my group companies rather than to other countries’ companies. Because we have been in a position to prove that we can do it at a lower cost and of greater quality than other nations,” Kuppuswamy said.

Observing that healthcare is a sector where Africa lags behind a lot, he said that top-quality hospitals can be constructed with Indian construction technology, with healthcare equipment from the US or other countries.

“If there is financial assistance available from here, it can be run by qualified doctors from India or even elsewhere on a 5 or 10-year running contract with which we will be in a position to uplift the healthcare capabilities of these countries,” Kuppuswamy said.

Responding to a question, Kuppuswamy said Indian companies are much better than the Chinese in quality. “We treat people well. We impart learning to them. We take up corporate social responsibility activities on a large scale,” he said.

“Wherever Shapoorji Pallonji group companies go, they give something to the society which is remembered by them much beyond the period of construction of these projects which means that we take pride in our ability to involve the local population in the construction and in uplifting the quality of life of those areas where you go for working,” he said.

Share this article
Shareable URL
Prev Post

Voting underway in 58 LS constituencies, 10.82 per cent voter turnout recorded till 9 am

Next Post

Pakistan PM Sharif to visit China next month for formal launch of second phase of CPEC

Read next