India Economic Update
Milind S. Kothari
Managing Partner
BDO India

In a wobbly financial world, the Indian economy manages to retain a steady composure, with critical parameters displaying stability that stems from strong economic growth, comfortable forex reserves and a manageable current account deficit, among others.

Reflecting on the economic prowess of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the stunning announcement that India will become the third-largest economy in the world by FY 2028. This milestone will likely be achieved two years earlier than projected, with India surpassing Japan and Germany at the current growth rate. India would then account for a 4% share of the global GDP; only trailing behind the USA and China. That being said, India will need to target a sustainable 8% growth to provide sufficient employment to millions of job aspirants. 

Presently, on the back of strong domestic investment, the GDP for FY 2024 is projected at 6.1% by economists. However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank, maintains the growth estimate at 6.5%. One of the key performance indicators, the Goods & Services Tax (GST), India’s single tax, clocked USD 19.5bn for June 2023, reporting 12% higher collections over the same month last year. GST, introduced six years ago, has come of age riding a vigorous economy, continued economic momentum, and strong anti-evasion measures.

Another reason for cheer is India’s forex reserves which closed at USD 607bn, crossing the benchmark of USD 600bn after 15 months. Additionally, India remains a favourite insofar as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is concerned, reporting a 10% increase in inflows, despite an overall global decline in FDI investments. The all-important reforms agenda may take a back seat with the central elections slated for the summer of 2024. Hopefully, the plan will return to centre stage after the elections with a stable central government.   

Moving to India’s foreign trade, the persistent geopolitical tensions, disruption in global supply chains due to the Russia-Ukraine war, monetary tightening, and recessionary fears have led to weakened global demand. The April-June quarter of 2023 showed a slowdown in merchandise exports as compared to the heady growth of the preceding year which was partly fuelled by high oil and food prices. Against this backdrop, India has an agreement with the UAE to trade in local currencies, and is internationalising the Indian rupee, after entering into a similar arrangement with Russia. Acceptance of the rupee as a base currency is essential to insulate India’s trade performance with its growing heft in the global economy. This will also bring succour to exporters and protect against exchange-rate risks.

On the business front, a story gathering large momentum is India’s meteoric rise as a global powerhouse of start-ups. With 98,000+ start-ups, 400+ incubators, and 108+ unicorns, India is emerging as the world’s start-up capital. The success of the start-up community is partly driven by India’s famed digital public infrastructure. These ventures are transforming India’s socio-economic landscape, attracting the interest of international investors and foreign governments. To ensure that adequate corporate governance and self-governance are integrated into the start-ups, a newly established Startup20 Engagement Group under India’s G20 presidency has recommended a possible Startup Governance Maturity Level Framework, addressing each stage of a start-up’s journey.

On the energy front, India seeks to become energy independent by 2047 and achieve a net zero goal by 2070. Using renewable energy across all economic spheres is central to this goal. Green Hydrogen is considered a promising alternative for enabling this transition. The Government approved a National Green Hydrogen Mission in January 2023 to make India a leading producer and supplier of Green Hydrogen in the world. The mission outcome projected by 2030 is development of a green hydrogen production capacity of at least 5 MMT (Million Metric Tonnes) per annum with an associated renewable energy capacity addition of about 125 GW in the country, with over USD 100bn investment that has the potential to create 6,00,000 jobs and achieve a reduction in fossil fuel imports to the tune of nearly USD 12bn.

India continues to attract global attention where hiring talent is concerned with an estimated projection of nearly half a million new appointments by Global Capability Centres (GCC) that are being set up by multinationals. The government is drawing up a skill-upgrade plan which includes partnering with 30 countries, focusing on specific sector requirements, as part of its multi-pronged strategy to train and supply skilled Indian workers across the globe. To support this initiative, around 30 ‘Skill India International Centres’ are being set up nationwide.

With a satisfactory monsoon in progress across most parts of India (which has a deep impact on the economy), India can look forward to the deliverance of a robust economic performance for this financial year.

M & A Tracker
Rajesh Thakkar
Partner and Leader

M&A Tax and Regulatory

Deal Advisory Services

M&A in India

Between 30 May 2023 and 30 July 2023, around 82 M&A deals were announced, of which 41 deals were closed. The aggregate value of deals announced was USD 2,856.69mn; dominated by 63 domestic deals (USD 1,119.69mn) and 19 cross-border deals (USD 1,737mn).

In terms of sectors (considering only closed deals), the Consumer Discretionary sector saw deals worth USD 265.65mn, followed by the Financials sector with deals worth USD 56.96mn and Healthcare sector with deals worth USD 38.53mn.

Significant deals closed between 30 May 2023 and 30 July 2023

Target Company
Kurlon Enterprise Limited
Acquiring Company
Sheela Foam Limited
Deal Value (in mn USD)
Consumer Discretionary
  • Sheela Foam Limited (Sheela Foam) is acquiring a 94.66% stake in Kurlon Enterprise Limited (Kurlon) for USD 261.76mn (INR 21.5bn).
  • As a part of the transaction, Sheela Foam will acquire 3,46,02,375 equity shares of Kurlon and post-transaction, Kurlon would operate as a subsidiary of Sheela Foam.
Target Company
RBL Bank Limited
Acquiring Company
Mahindra and Mahindra Limited
Deal Value (in mn USD)
  • Mahindra and Mahindra Limited acquired 3.53% stake in RBL Bank Limited for USD 50.92mn (INR 4.17bn)
  • The buyer may consider further investment not exceeding a 9.9% stake, subject to pricing, regulatory approvals and required procedures.
Target Company
Sanofi Healthcare India Private Limited, Myoril
Acquiring Company
Corona Remedies Private Limited
Deal Value (in mn USD)
  • Corona Remedies Private Limited (Corona Remedies) acquired the muscle relaxant brand Myoril from Sanofi Healthcare India Private Limited for USD 28.53mn (INR 2.34bn)
  • The transaction includes the acquisition of Myoril and its extensions such as Myoril Plus, offering multiple strategic benefits for Corona Remedies.
  • Post transaction, Myoril and Myoril Plus will operate under the ownership of Corona Remedies.

Significant deals announced between 30 May 2023 and 30 July 2023, but not closed

Target Company
Route Mobile Limited
Acquiring Company
Proximus Opal
Deal Value (in mn USD)
Information Technology
  • Proximus Opal is acquiring an 83.56% stake in Route Mobile Limited (Route Mobile) for USD 1,046.76mn (INR 85.97bn) through a share purchase agreement followed by an open offer.
  • The acquisition will be in combination of a cash purchase (for INR 59.22bn) and an open offer representing 26% stake (for INR 26.75bn).
Target Company
Asap Holding GmbH
Acquiring Company
HCL Technologies Limited
Deal Value (in mn USD)
  • HCL Technologies Limited via its subsidiary HCL Tech UK is acquiring Asap Holding GmbH for USD 255.68mn (INR 20.23bn) in an all-cash deal.
  • The transaction is approved by the German Federal Cartel Office and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and is expected to be completed by September 2023.
  • Post transaction, Asap Holding GmbH will operate as a subsidiary of HCL Technologies Limited.
Target Company
Yachiyo Industry Company Limited, 4W (Y4W) Business
Acquiring Company
Motherson Sumi Systems Limited
Deal Value (in mn USD)
Consumer Discretionary
  • Samvardhana Motherson International Limited (Motherson) is acquiring a stake in 4W (Y4W) Business of Yachiyo Industry Company Limited (Yachiyo) for USD 158.58mn (INR 13.01bn).
  • Motherson will form an 81%:19% strategic partnership with Honda Motor where both partners will drive the business towards a strong and sustainable future and be fully prepared for next-generation products and technologies.
Feature Story
Preeti Sharma
Partner/ Global Employer Services
BDO India

Embracing Global Mobility: Navigating Diverse Regulatory Frameworks Around the World

The globally mobile workforce is a crucial element in the success of organisations seeking to expand their reach and gain a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. It enables companies to unlock new markets, connect with diverse consumer bases and gain insights into local cultures and business practices.  

The pandemic indefinitely changed the world of work, especially international workforce mobility, ushering in new trends that are transforming the erstwhile space. It thus becomes crucial for organisations to meticulously evaluate how these trends impact their compliance framework as they engage in talent mobility, globally.

Global Mobility Trends

  • Remote work arrangements are expected to continue due to numerous benefits such as enhanced productivity, reduced overhead costs and access to a larger talent pool beyond traditional commuting distances. However, managing remote employees requires a robust digital infrastructure, a reimagined approach to employee engagement and collaboration, and new work protocols that meet business and regulatory requirements.
  • The rise in business travel is a direct consequence of the relaxation of international travel restrictions and the widespread adoption of remote work arrangements over traditional deployments. The escalating number of business travellers also presents significant challenges for organisations to comply with immigration, tax, and social security regulations across multiple jurisdictions.
  • A surge in traditional deployment models, including an uptick in short-term assignments, is being observed. Despite the growing popularity of remote work, specialised projects still require international assignments. To maximise the benefits of short-term assignments, organisations must develop efficient cross-border onboarding processes and strengthen their support systems.

How to Manage the Impact of Changing Trends on Global Mobility Frameworks

  • Business Traveller Risks and Compliance: With increased business travel, companies need to have a robust risk management plan to adhere to immigration, tax, social security, and labour regulations. Employers should establish strong tracking and reporting systems to effectively manage their business travellers while ensuring adherence to local laws.
  • Revamping of global mobility policy and terms of deployment: Traditional global mobility policies and processes may not be suitable for addressing the specific needs of business travellers and short-term deployments. Compensation, benefits, stock incentives, and similar rewards may need to be adjusted to accommodate the requirements of frequent travellers. For instance, traditional relocation support may not be necessary for short-term assignments. A per-diem policy may not be cost-effective for business travellers due to the increased frequency of travel and added job responsibilities during those trips. 
  • Redefining Payroll Processes: As companies adopt the distributed workforce model, it is crucial to review their payroll procedures to comply with multi-country payroll regulations, compensation rules, tax, and social security protocols for mobile employees. To simplify these processes, enhance accuracy and meet compliance standards, organisations could consider centralising payroll tasks or investing in advanced payroll technologies that cater to the unique requirements of a mobile workforce.
  • Avoiding Permanent Establishment Risks: With the increasing adoption of remote work arrangements, businesses may unintentionally face tax implications in multiple jurisdictions. In some cases, the presence of employees in a foreign country could lead to the organisation constituting a permanent establishment. To avoid these risks, organisations need to meticulously design global mobility and remote work policies, along with supporting documentation, a code of conduct, and job descriptions that can be verified based on facts.
  • Tax Jurisdictional Disputes: As more people work remotely for foreign organisations, it is important to determine how a country's tax laws apply to such arrangements. At times this may give rise to double taxation. To avoid these issues, businesses should work with tax experts to understand the impact and mitigate the risk of double taxation. Organisations may evaluate seeking advance rulings and/ or resort to other tax certainty mechanisms available in relevant jurisdictions.
  • Cost cross-charge arrangements and Transfer Pricing: Cross-border movement of employees between related parties is subject to Transfer Pricing Regulations. Organisations should evaluate the functional matrix of the particular deployment arrangement between related parties. It plays a determinative role for the purposes of arm’s length analysis of cost cross-charge arrangements.
  • Indirect tax implications: The relationship between the home entity, host entity and employees need to be evaluated to ascertain any indirect tax obligation. Organisations should evaluate if the host tax jurisdiction considers it as a supply of services subject to indirect tax, and whether the home jurisdiction considers this as an export of services for various concessions.


To thrive in a constantly evolving world, organisations must proactively brace to tackle the challenges posed by global mobility. This approach allows them to reap the benefits of a diverse and globally competent workforce and provides employees with an opportunity for personal and professional growth as they embark on cross-border journeys.

Guest Column
Jyotirmayee Chaturvedi
AVP- Global Mobility

Global Mobility – A Key Business Strategy for Growth

Global mobility as a discipline, is not new, but COVID–19 outlined its prominence like never before. The pandemic transformed the already VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) business environment to BANI (Brittle, Anxious, Nonlinear and Incomprehensible) as the swings and frequency of the former increased multifold. To combat this frenzy, businesses realised the need for diversification, be it in revenue streams or talent, and mobility naturally emerged as the key stratagem to serve these purposes.

Organisations need to explore new geographies to expand their customer base and markets. This requires the physical presence of staff in new locations to gain intelligence on the local business environment and hiring local talent to build relationships. Mobility assists with both. Research shows that a company with 50% international business can optimise its performance by hiring 25% of its executives from the countries in which it plans to operate.

The concentration of talent pool in one country is a thing of the past; modern organisations focus on tapping the global talent market. It helps in offsetting the labour market risks through diversification and provides avenues of skill development and knowledge transfer to existing employees. The movement of employees between geographies results in an exchange of ideas and skills that helps foster a culture of learning and continuous improvement.1

Employees are inclined to stay with organisations that invest in their personal and professional growth. The war for talent is real and global opportunities are undoubtedly an incentive. In a study done with 600 professionals and HR executives, 96% agreed that effective mobility programs increased employee performance and retention.2

Mobility results in the rampant and widespread exchange of ideas - innovations in one nook are made available in another. The cross-country movement of employees accentuates knowledge transfer, which helps organisations gain a competitive advantage to bring holistic solutions. Moreover, such collaboration fosters cultural sensitivity and adaptability, crucial for furthering a harmonious and inclusive work environment.

Modern-day organisations need leaders that demonstrate adaptability, sensitivity, inclusion, spontaneous thinking along with technical expertise. Mobility provides the requisite exposure to hone such skills, thereby preparing future leaders and minimising the skill gap.

Besides being a key contributor to business strategies, mobility is evolving to align with emerging global needs -

Global mobility contributes to all ESG components:

  1. Green global mobility furthers the cause of the environment
  2. Regulations like PWD, GDPR, etc. contribute towards social goals
  3. Transparency in data disclosure and adherence to regulations advance the constituents of governance

DE&I initiatives bring diversified experiences, knowledge, and perspectives that together provide impetus to organisational growth. Mobility has the potential to congregate people from different ethnicities and backgrounds, furthering the DE&I goals.

The pandemic brought a shift to remote work - employees now travel for leisure while continuing to work. Organisations, therefore, are looking at ‘taking work to employees rather than bringing employees to work’. 74% of employers want to shift at least 5% of their previously on-site employees to full-time remote work post-COVID.3

‘Agile’, a concept from the IT space, has found its way to organisations at large. Agility is a combination of speed, ability to change, and resilience – much needed to stay relevant in today’s market. The rapid change in business variables poses a need to adapt, keep the workforce abreast and be resilient to adversities, and all this needs to be done expeditiously. We need to ‘fall fast’ (Simon Sinek) and start again.

Mobility provides much-needed exposure, making employees adaptable while keeping them au-fait with market changes, client requirements, and technological shifts – a recipe to step up the game.

In a nutshell, talent mobility is a multipronged tool for organisations that assists with business strategies, keeps pace with global trends, and helps to tap a diversified talent pool – a concoction for success.

As Saber Ben Hassen says - “Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport” - these are the success stories of businesses, individuals, and multinationals that have set foot beyond their national boundaries.

1Top Proactive strategies for emerging market companies (

2Global Mobility: The Best Practices For A Strategic Win - Topia

3Talent Management Trends 2023 | Intersection of People & Tech (

Expert Reel
Walker Morris

Hybrid and remote working opened up new ways to work and new recruitment channels, providing opportunities and access to new talent pools, while changes in regulations have opened up opportunities for immigration and overseas recruitment.

Watch this video as experts from Walker Morris and BDO taking the UK as a reference discuss working and recruiting from anywhere with a focus on immigration, tax and global mobility.


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