Washington | NASDAQ can play a key role in bringing much-needed investment into India from global investors, according to a top official of the American stock exchange.
India has right now "over 200 very large startup companies that could go public in future" and that's unheard of anywhere else in the world, NASDAQ executive vice chairman Edward Knight told PTI in an interview on Tuesday.
NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) is a stock exchange that lists some of the world's largest technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon. It is one of the world's oldest and second-largest stock exchanges by market capitalisation, after the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Knight noted that India has "a very strong legal system...very strong universities" and "all the ingredients that have produced and could continue to produce great early-stage companies, innovation and technological innovation".
"But," he said, "you need capital and the capital needs of India have continued to grow with its success.” As India grows from a demographic perspective and the economy advances, the country needs better infrastructure and that will require capital to be built, Knight said.
"You need capital for startup companies. So from NASDAQ's perspective, we feel we could bring the global investor more directly involved in the Indian economy and bring more capital to India,” Knight said.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, he said, has already talked about putting rules in place that would allow Indian companies to list in the United States.
“We have over a hundred Israeli companies that are listed in the United States. That's done with complete cooperation with the Israeli government and also with the Tel Aviv stock exchange. Their view is that capital from the United States through IPOs at NASDAQ goes back to their country and helps grow their economy. It makes the pie bigger for everyone. And I think we could have a similar dynamic in India if the rules allow it,” Knight said in response to a question.
The NASDAQ official said there is a fairly obvious focus on India now as it becomes more difficult to invest in China.
“So it's a natural progression and what we see in our own company and in the companies who list on NASDAQ is an increased interest in having a more secure supply chain and investing more in India,” he said.
The US and India, Knight said, are making a major effort to engage through cooperation to create opportunities for the people of both countries.
“Growth and jobs are important to both the countries. And those are a product often of early stage high growth companies. The conditions to create those companies and for those companies to be successful are sometimes hard to duplicate. We have them here in Silicon Valley in the United States. India has it in certain parts of its country, but we want to broaden that opportunity, learn from each other,” he said.