India is On Right Track, Growth Rate Reflects It: Lloyd Blankfein
Goldman CEO says I-bank to grow investments, local franchise
New York: Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which has deployed almost $3.5 billion over the past decade in the country, will continue to build on its role in India as trusted adviser, financier and investor, said CEO Lloyd Blankfein. “If you are willing to commit your own money, which we are, you command attention and it is helpful to attract other people’s money,” Blankfein, 62, told ET in an interview in New York. “It is one thing to recommend, but when your clients see you doing it, that is the sincerest form of advice you can give.” Blankfein touched upon a wide range of topics during his interview such as Federal Reserve rates, the outlook for global markets, the Trump regime, financial regulations in the US and India’s growth pillars. The conversation took place in his 41st floor office overlooking the Hudson River and Jersey City.
India is not an outlier any more, he said: “If you told me five years ago that India was going to be outgrowing China consistently for a period of time, I would say that would have been a surprise to me then and less of a surprise to me now because I have seen it evolve that way.”
Blankfein said India must leverage its greatest natural resource — an educated, business-savvy population now able to achieve success at home instead of having to go abroad. “There has been an elevation in the confidence that India is on the right track and you see that reflected in the growth rate. You will always rise faster when you are on an escalator headed up than an escalator headed down,” Blankfein said.
The rule of law, patent protection, labour flexibility and tax stability will boost confidence. “Investors like rationality and predictability,” he said.
India and China are the nub of the emerging market story. Pointing out to a shift taking place in global financial currents, he said, “Now emerging markets are the financiers of the developed markets. They have the bigger reserves.”