Business in India is Not a Cakewalk, But it Can be Made Easier

For companies planning to set base in India, tackling the legal wrangles could be a major challenge. This can usually be attributed to the complexity of laws involved as well as the fact that several regulations might be applicable to one section of the business and might require varied expertise. Of course, any legal compliance also requires dedicated resources as one wrong step could put the company’s future in jeopardy. Those looking for investments as well as those looking to invest have similar issues to tackle. With large amounts of money involved, the negotiations stretching for months to settle at just the right figures. In all such transactions, it is the high stakes involved that really drive the behaviour and cooperation of the parties. The environment for investment in the country is also being targeted vigorously by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He recently said that he was confident that as far as investors were concerned, India was the best destination in the world, courtesy its skilled human resources and rapidly improving infrastructure. “The vision for the next five years is to have investment-led growth. We are targeting Rs 100-lakh crore worth of investment in the coming five years,” he was quoted as saying. India has also been making waves in terms of improving business competitiveness and ease of doing business in recent times. In May, India emerged the world’s 43rd most competitive economy in the 2019 edition of the IMD World Competitiveness Rankings. Last October, India jumped 23 places to rank 77th among 190 countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report. Explaining that the government was working on policies to promote inflows from domestic as well as foreign sources to achieve this vision, the PM stressed that the “policies are not designed to get some short-term benefit out of transient disruptions” being seen around the world. Instead, the government is focussed on improving India’s competitiveness through long-term reform measures such as steps towards improving the ease of doing business rankings, tax reforms with lowering of tax rates and simplifying procedures, labour sector reforms to encourage formalisation and FDI-related reforms to further liberalise the investment climate, he added. This is where experts such as law firms and legal professionals come into the picture. Whether a sensitive merger or acquisition, cross-border investments or the regulations enforced on them, such a firm should keep vigilant and wise, handling your affairs with their sharp eye for detail. They should be able to structure, negotiate and then document the financing seamlessly for you. Their expertise must span over mergers and acquisitions; joint ventures; due diligence; incorporation and compliance; foreign investment; entry strategy, private equity; fund formation and registration; investment structuring; overseas investment; external commercial borrowing; capital market advisory; and regulatory litigations and appeals. Each one of these transactions requires a horde of activities. For instance, for a private equity deal, the firm should be involved from the time of concretizing the term sheet and advising on suitable structure and on legal, regulatory and tax implications to conducting legal due diligence and identifying legal risks for the investor, drafting, negotiating and reviewing documentation related to the investment (including share subscription agreement, share purchase agreement, shareholders agreement, indemnity agreement etc.), closing of the transaction and compliance issues thereafter.

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