India Economic Update
Milind S. Kothari
Managing Partner
BDO India

Closing the fiscal year 2023-24 (April-March), the Indian economy is displaying remarkable robustness in the wake of a stable government at the Centre and several progressive economic policies delivering positive results. This summer, India is readying itself for the general elections of arguably, the world’s largest democracy in the world!

Taking centre stage in the stellar economic performance is the GDP growth of more than 8.4% during the quarter of October-December 2023, which surprised many and compelled a flurry of upgrades by several global multilateral institutions. The last quarter’s performance surpassed even the impressive first two quarters, at 7.8% in April-June 2023 and 7.6% in July-September 2023. The final quarter (January-March) of this fiscal year is also expected to deliver a growth of 8% or above, leading to equivalent growth for the whole year.

With this high growth, India is expected to contribute 16% of global growth, the second-largest share in the world in terms of market exchange rates. The tantalising speculation is that if India can sustain a 10% growth sprint, it will become the second-largest economy in the world by 2045 and the largest by 2050.

However, these expectations come with a slew of challenges. With an estimate that one in every four working people in the world will be from India in the next 20 years, reskilling will be an uphill task. Currently, in relation to a specific job only 51% of the workforce is employable, highlighting the criticality of upskilling missions, such as Skill India, which aims to bridge the skill gap and enhance employability. Moreover, increasing female participation remains a key challenge; with less than 30%, the rate is one of the lowest in the world.

With the general elections around the corner, the reform agenda is on pause. It is time to reflect on what has been achieved in the past ten years of the Government led by the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, and what is still work-in-progress. The flagship reforms have been the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax, which brought a unified single tax across the country on goods and services; the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, which addressed stressed assets that plagued the banking sector; and another major reform, RERA, a regulation for the real estate industry that feeds nearly 250 other industries and contributes nearly 15% of the GDP. Major reforms that are awaited are related to labour and the customs duty regime that should boost manufacturing and help India become part of the global value chain.

The high-decibel economic parameters corroborate the growth story, with India’s forex reserves hitting an all-time high of USD 642bn. Moreover, while income-tax collections registered a 19.88% growth over last year, GST collections have shown an increase of 11.7%. The eight core infrastructure industry sectors clocked a 6.7% growth in February this year, with coal, cement, and natural gas clocking a double-digit expansion.

On the trade front, India signed a trade and economic partnership agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – a grouping of Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland that includes a binding USD 100bn investment commitment. As part of the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA), EFTA has committed to promote investments to increase foreign direct investments (FDI) in India in the next 15 years and to facilitate the generation of one million direct employment in India through such investments. TEPA is the fourth major deal signed by India to promote trade and economic cooperation in the last three years. The others are with Australia, Mauritius, and the UAE.

Realising the criticality of the semiconductor and chip-manufacturing industry, the Government has set up an India Semiconductor Mission (ISM), a specialised and independent business division within the Digital India Corporation that aims to build a vibrant semiconductor and display ecosystem to enable India’s emergence as a global hub for electronics manufacturing and design. This programme will likely give an impetus to semiconductor and display manufacturing by facilitating capital support and technological collaborations. Already, two manufacturing collaborations at a global scale have taken off, with initial production being planned for 2026.

The all-pervasive initiative, Viksit Bharat, is gaining momentum. To become a developed nation by 2047 (the centenary of India’s independence), each government ministry has launched several schemes that can be tracked real-time to gauge their effectiveness. In years to come, the focus on these initiatives will be accentuated in the pursuit of the goal of becoming a developed nation.

By the time the next edition of The Indian Tiffin is released, India will be in the midst of the general election, and soon, a new government will receive the mandate from the citizens of India to take the reins for the next five years. Ahead of the results, most believe that the present Government is likely to get a renewed mandate, and the reform plan for the first 100 days is already in place. Indians can look forward to a summer of hope, with a ride into a brighter future with seat belts on.

M & A Tracker
Rajesh Thakkar
Partner and Leader

M&A Tax and Regulatory

Deal Advisory Services

M&A in India

Between 30 January 2024 to 31 March 2024, around 122 M&A deals were announced, of which 45 M&A deals were closed. The aggregate value of deals announced is USD 3,907.84mn; dominated by 92 domestic deals (USD 1,676.75mn) and 30 cross-border deals (USD 2,231.09mn).

In terms of sectors (considering only closed deals), the Utilities sector saw deals worth USD 489.13mn, followed by the Financials sector with deals worth USD 228.11mn and the Consumer Discretionary sector with deals worth USD 69.8mn.

Significant deals closed between 30 January 2024 and 31 March 2024

Target Company
Sterlite Power Transmission Limited
Acquiring Company
Not Available
Deal Value (in mn USD)
  • REC Power Development and Consultancy Limited invested USD 289.13mn (INR 24bn) in Sterlite Power Transmission Limited (SPTL).
  • The investment will help the company expedite the delivery of its critical project, which is an integral part of the larger Green Energy Corridor that would help evacuate around 20 GW of renewable energy.
Target Company
ACME Cleantech Solutions Private Limited, 369 MW Solar Power Assets
Acquiring Company
BluPine Energy Private Limited
Deal Value (in mn USD)
  • BluPine Energy Private Limited (BluPine Energy) acquired the 369 MW Solar Power Assets of ACME Cleantech Solutions Private Limited for USD 200mn (INR 16.56bn).
  • The acquisition would boost BluPine Energy's total renewable capacity to 2.4 GW. Its ultimate aim is to develop a portfolio exceeding 4 GW in India.
  • After the transaction, 369 MW Solar Power Assets of ACME Cleantech Solutions Private Limited would operate under the ownership of BluPine Energy.
Target Company
Kisetsu Saison Finance India Private Limited
Acquiring Company
Mizuho Bank
Deal Value (in mn USD)
  • Mizuho Bank acquired a 15% stake in Kisetsu Saison Finance India Private Limited for USD 144.56mn (INR 12bn).
  • The strategic investment would enable Credit Saison India to continue its journey towards becoming a well-diversified, resilient lending franchise with a focus on growth and profitability.
  • After the transaction, Mizuho Bank would hold a 15% stake in Kisetsu Saison Finance India Private Limited.
Target Company
Bonatrans India Private Limited
Acquiring Company
Jupiter Wagons Limited
Deal Value (in mn USD)
Consumer Discretionary
  • Jupiter Wagons Limited (Jupiter) acquired a 94.25% stake in Bonatrans India Private Limited (Bonatrans) for USD 32.68mn (INR 2.71bn) in an all-cash deal.
  • The acquisition would meet the captive requirement of Jupiter and cater to the evolving demand in the domestic and export markets.
  • After the transaction, Bonatrans would operate as a subsidiary of Jupiter.

Significant deals announced between 30 January 2024 and 31 March 2024, but not closed

Target Company
Reliance Capital Limited
Acquiring Company
IndusInd International Holdings Limited
Deal Value (in mn USD)
  • IndusInd International Holdings Limited (IndusInd International) is acquiring Reliance Capital Limited (Reliance Capital) for USD 1,165.45mn (INR 96.61bn) as part of the resolution plan.
  • IndusInd International has submitted a proposal that includes an upfront cash payment of a sum accounting for 37.03% of the initial amount claimed. The company has also proposed some amount for the benefit of the Committee of Creditors (CoC), which will be part of the upfront cash.
  • The resolution plan can be implemented within 90 days from the plan's approval and is subject to certain regulatory approvals.
  • After the transaction, Reliance Capital would operate as a subsidiary of IndusInd International.
Target Company
Chenani Nashri Tunnelway Limited
Acquiring Company
Cube Highways and Infrastructure Pte Limited
Deal Value (in mn USD)
  • Cube Highways and Infrastructure Pte Limited (Cube Highways) entered into a binding agreement to acquire Chenani Nashri Tunnelway Limited for USD 641.3mn (INR 53bn).
  • This investment expands Cube Highways’ geographic presence in North India and further reinforces the company’s leading position in the Indian highways sector.
  • After the transaction, Chenani Nashri Tunnelway Limited will operate as a subsidiary of Cube Highways.
Target Company
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited
Acquiring Company
Caladium Investment Pte Limited
Deal Value (in mn USD)
Consumer Discretionary
  • Caladium Investment Pte Limited is investing USD 229.56mn (INR 19bn) in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited for a 6.41% stake.
  • As part of the transaction, the buyer will acquire 6,58,00,866 warrants (at a conversion ratio of 1 equity share in lieu of 1 warrant) on a private placement basis at a price of INR 288.75 each.
  • After the transaction, the buyer will hold equity shares representing a 7.49% stake.
Feature Story
Neeraj Ssinnha
Partner & Leader/ Financial Services

FinTech: Revolutionising the future of India’s financial services

Over the last three decades, the FinTech revolution has been a significant disruption to financial services globally, marking the largest transformation in a centuries-old industry. FinTech start-ups have challenged the status quo and created seamless digital experiences to help consumers and businesses access financial products faster, easier, and cheaper. They build products and services with a digital-first approach and leverage technology to acquire and service consumers end-to-end. They also actively automate and digitise their back-end processes and depend far less on manual interventions compared to the traditional financial services giants.

Globally, the FinTech industry has scaled rapidly, crossing USD 300bn in annual revenues in 2023 and is set to grow multi-fold to surpass USD 1.5tn by 2030, as per a BCG and QED Report. It has already created 165+ unicorns (entities valued at USD 1bn or more) globally and is valued at over USD 2.1tn, as per CB Insights. The US has over 50% of these unicorns and is the largest FinTech hub globally, accounting for some of the largest and most scaled FinTechs.

India is the world’s third largest FinTech ecosystem, a burgeoning market with over 10,200+ FinTech start-ups that have cumulatively raised over USD 25bn in investments since 2014. The country is home to over 25 unicorns. While both global and Indian FinTech VC funding has seen a rapid decline in H2 2023, we are starting to see green shoots of recovery and India is seeing a sharper rebound (8%+ better) in investments than other global markets. This is attributable to the large financial inclusion opportunities that the country offers and the sheer focus that the Indian government has put on digitisation through initiatives such as JAM (Jan Dhan Accounts, Aadhar Identity and Mobile penetration) backed by Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) initiatives such as UPI (Unified Payments Interface), Account Aggregator (AA) and Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).

The Indian FinTech ecosystem can largely be divided into four large sub-segments: Digital Payments, Digital Lending, Neo Banking and WealthTech. While Digital Payments is the most scaled segment, not just in India but also globally, it is Digital Lending that is currently attracting the most venture capital investment interest and the highest valuations. This is largely due to digital payments scaling on UPI to cross 10 billion transactions monthly, but which has a 0% Merchant Discount Rate (MDR), and hence very low to negative unit economics. The pressure to unlock profitability has led most scaled FinTechs across segments to focus on digital lending, either by acquiring their own lending license (via fresh applications or via Non-banking Financial Company - NBFC acquisitions/ buy-outs) or by partnering with other large banks/ NBFCs on risk/ reward-sharing arrangements.

The regulatory environment remains dynamic, with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) both waking up to the disruption and scale that FinTechs are driving today and releasing a spate of new regulations and amendments of late, such as the Digital Lending guidelines, IT outsourcing guidelines, Co-Brand Card guidelines and Co-Lending guidelines. While these guidelines have disrupted a few FinTech businesses and business models, they have brought to the fore the importance of governance and compliance by design as a way of functioning for any financial services player, old or new alike.

Guest Column
Madhusudan E
CEO, KreditBee

India's FinTech Revolution: Driving Financial Inclusion and Growth

The International Monetary Fund has suggested that India is poised to become a USD 5tn economy by 2027-28. This growth trajectory is attributed to the exponential adoption of digital infrastructure for services, especially financial. India, a largely cash-based economy, has emerged as a global leader in real-time digital payments, accounting for almost 40% of all such transactions.

Digital adoption, seamless customer experience and low friction points continue to remain the driving forces for the continued expansion of FinTech products and services. A huge driver of this growth has been the JAM Trinity (Jan Dhan, Aadhar, and Mobile). It has been the key enabler of India's transformed and well-developed digital landscape. The real power of the JAM Trinity was first felt on a countrywide scale during the COVID-19 pandemic. The deep penetration of mobile phones in Indian society makes the JAM Trinity more powerful and gives it almost universal access.

The penetration of the JAM Trinity also paved way for access to credit in India’s largely underserved economy. However, despite these strides, challenges persist, particularly in access to credit. The traditional chicken-and-egg dilemma, where individuals need a credit history to obtain a loan but can only establish a credit history after receiving financing, continues to hinder financial inclusion. This underscores the urgent need for collaborative efforts to address this barrier and ensure equitable access to credit opportunities.

Financial inclusion has been a prominent area of focus for the FinTech industry. It not only means being able to access banking products but also credit, insurance, investment and other related products. FinTech firms are uniquely positioned to bridge the gap and extend financial services to underserved communities by leveraging innovative technologies, such as alternative data-based lending and digital payments. Digital lending solutions already constitute a significant portion of India's FinTech market, with projections indicating further growth in the coming years. These companies constitute a significant portion of the overall Indian FinTech market, accounting for 46% of the total market in FY22 and expected to rise to 60% by FY30.

India’s FinTech ecosystem continues to flourish - from an average adoption rate that is higher than that of most other countries to the introduction of enabling and supportive regulations. The Indian FinTech landscape continues to see impressive momentum and growth opportunities. By offering financial education to aid in selecting suitable services or delivering hyper-personalised products, we can naturally advance the financial well-being of the populace. The digitisation and larger adoption of allied ecosystems as well as the emergence of the next wave of technology disruption bode well for the country’s FinTechs. While the sector has always had a positive impact on financial inclusion, there will be a marked opportunity for players to have a larger ESG impact and drive innovations, partnerships and transformations for sustained and inclusive economic growth. Once inclusion and literacy goals are achieved, the crucial next phase would involve enhancing financial health.

Expert Reel
Global Fintech Fest

In this session at the Global Fintech Fest '23, Dilip Asbe, MD and CEO of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) that developed UPI (Unified Payments Interface), takes us through the journey and approach of creating India’s triumphant digital payments infrastructure, the opportunities for creating digital credit and other financial services and taking UPI to the world at large, thereby priming the global market for Indian FinTech players.

Mr. Asbe also gives us a glimpse of what India’s FinTech outtlok may look like in 2030.


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