I have visited India over the last decade, some 12 times, prior to that being in 1995 and to my recollection some 25 years before that.
India, in my eyes has really developed. On one visit about 5 years ago I recollect queueing at arrivals in Indira Gandhi Airport, New Delhi passport control and feeling somewhat hot, although it was 01:00am. I noticed that this area was not air conditioned.
Then, on my next visit about 11 months later, the same area was excellent. The air conditioning was installed and the area was unrecognisable with a real sense of calm and cooling.
I have witnessed first-hand how India has grown – the motorway infrastructure, the metro, even huge shopping malls with proper air conditioning and department stores. Wherever you go, India is busy making improvements, investing.
On my expeditions through India to Jaipur, I have seen “natural” historic ac systems from previous centuries in the palacial Rani Mahal (whereby air was introduced through windows and channelled through chimneys into the living quarters to provide comfort cooling) to multi storey ac systems and actually having single split ac units installed in my home in the Punjab. Yes, India is now really ‘cooling’. If predictions are correct then India will be one of the largest users of ac in the near future.
Even on the refrigeration front, frozen food used to be unavailable. How I used to salivate for sausages and bacon, until my last trip when I went into a mini supermarket (these are on the increase also) and was able to purchase them to my delight. Ok, they weren’t your cumberland sausages but they went down very well.
The mini supermarket was called MORE and that sums up India, it wants more, it has more to give to the global market, with a rising GDP of approximately 8% year on year, the money is out there.
Business investment opportunities, especially in refrigeration and air conditioning are just waiting to be seized.
The recent 35% rise in the exchange rate of the pound to the rupee makes India very attractive. The more you give, the more you get.
On my last visit, leisurely strolling through duty free, I actually saw an impressive bottle of Glenfiddich at a price of £5,000. By the way it came with a watch also.
Certainly, it has the money and now is the time.
Paul Singh FInstR, AIfL, LCGI is the owner and managing director of the ChillAir Training Academy, Birmingham.