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India can be the world biggest producer of arms and ammunition: Vedanta’s Anil Agarwal

13 Apr 2022

Press release on Anil Agarwal session

The government has no business to be in business and once it is out of business, India would instantly be a $5 trillion economy, according to Mr Anil Agarwal, Founder and Chairman, Vedanta group.

Speaking at the 7th National Leadership Conclave of All India Management Association (AIMA), yesterday, Mr Agarwal pointed out that there are 52 defence factories in and around Jabalpur and Bhusawal that operate at 10% capacity, and he argued that once those were made independent, India will become the biggest producer of arms and ammunition in the world.

He also wants the government to get out of the tourism business. “We will have 10 times more people coming here. We have a 10,000 year history,” he said.

Mr Agarwal said that it was unfortunate that India has only one coal producer - Coal India. “We should have 10 companies producing coal,” he said. He argued that 50% of India’s energy security must be in India and India must trust local entrepreneurs and support them.

“The world wants us to stop coal,” Mr Agarwal said, adding that even his daughter says the mining is not a good business. He also said that the Middle East does not want India to produce oil, which India can produce at $7 a barrel. “Barmer can be a Houston,” he said. He said that India imports all its copper though it has the largest copper deposits in the world and copper can create jobs.

On India’s commitment to net zero emission by 2070 and shifting most of the energy to renewables by 2030, Mr Agarwal said that though India is not comparable to the US, as it has not industrialized, India is endowed with low-sulphur coal, oil and gas and it is on the cusp of a renewable energy revolution. He said that one day, energy will not involve any input cost, just like telecom, and it would a service with only capital cost. Vedanta will be a zero carbon company by 2030, he said.

Talking about his foray into semiconductors, Mr Agarwal said that India’s electronics industry had shut down because of duties and foreign influence. He said that India has everything for making semiconductors and Vedanta has tied up with Foxconn and local production of semiconductors will give a big fillip to India’s electronics and auto industries.

Today’s geopolitics has created a great opportunity for India, according to Mr Agarwal. “India is in a sweet spot,” he said and explained that Americans are looking for alternative sources of supply and India is the first choice because of its size and large human resource. “This is a time to move forward and develop Indian manufacturing,” he said.

However, he said, India needs to sort out its borders quickly so that it can focus on having enough wealth to provide food, water, education and health to all Indians. He said that it is possible within five years to achieve an India where nobody goes hungry and every child goes to school. He said that once the government is out of business, it can just collect money and spend it on infrastructure, education, health etc.

Mr Shrinivas Dempo, Senior Vice President, AIMA and Chairman, Dempo Group of Companies, moderated the chat with Mr Anil Agarwal.

The session was livestreamed on AIMA’s social media channels.

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