Global investor Jim Rogers praises PM Modi for wanting his country people to be successful

“For the first time in my life, there's an Indian politician who wants people to be successful,” the American said during a podcast episode of ‘Heard in the Corridor’.

Jim Rogers. / X/@iamjimrogers

Jim Rogers, an American investor and financial commentator, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the only Indian politician he has come across in his lifetime who wants people to be successful. Rogers was speaking during a podcast episode of ‘Heard in the Corridor’ hosted by Angela Chitkara on May.29, one week before the results of the Indian elections were announced.

“He (Modi) has learned a lot. He used to just be a typical Indian politician buying votes, but now he seems to understand how economics work, how capitalism works, and he wants people to be successful. For the first time in my life, there's an Indian politician who wants people to be successful. So, I'm enthusiastic,” Rogers said. 

Speaking on whether he would invest in India or China, the 81-year-old said he has always been skeptical about doing so. “If you want to invest, you can invest in both [India and China]. The Chinese market is down because of the virus and because of a huge real estate bubble. India is making all-time highs for a variety of reasons,” he said.

“I'm not investing in India at the moment because it's making all-time highs. I'm looking for investments in China because it's down a lot. But both are great investments if you get your timing right,” Rogers advised. “If India comes down and Modi is serious and he seems to be, then I'll be putting more money into India.”

When asked about the turning point that led to a significant interest in India, Rogers responded by highlighting the role of Prime Minister Modi, who has been elected twice and is now preparing for a third term at the Centre. “He has been a great politician. He's popular everywhere, but he never really did anything except be a politician. Now he's starting to understand you have to give incentives, you have to help people,” Rogers said. 

India taking steps in right direction 

When asked by host Chitkara where he sees India globally now, especially if Modi means what he says and takes the right actions, Rogers responded with optimism.

“India is going to, for the first time in my lifetime, be an extremely exciting investment country, investment destination, as well as a manufacturing destination,” he said. “Everything I see in India is now changing for the better. India's got a great future now,” Rogers emphasized. 

Rogers also highlighted the potential for significant improvements in Indian infrastructure, noting that Modi recognizes the need for better highways, airports, and ports. “We will see after the election, but everything he says now and the few actions he has taken have been going in the right direction,” Rogers said. 

When asked about the rise of US multinationals in India and the potential for increased US investment in the country, Rogers commented on the historical challenges, describing it as a “bureaucratic nightmare”. “But now it's becoming easier and the Indian government is supportive of people opening in India,” he said.

Success of Indians abroad 

Rogers also highlighted the significant population of over a-billion-and-a-half Indians, both within the country and among the diaspora, many of whom left due to excessive bureaucracy but have since achieved remarkable success abroad. “There are lots of overseas Indians who left, as I said before, because of so much bureaucracy, but many of them have been extraordinarily successful,” he said. 

He referenced a study indicating that Indians are the most successful immigrant group in the US, known for their intelligence and hardwork. With a supportive government in Delhi, Rogers expressed optimism about the future potential for investment and growth in India.

“You go around the world, there are unbelievably successful Indians everywhere, because they've got the brains, they've got the education, it now looks like it's going to be in India as well as outside of India,” he added.