Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla and Twitter says he is “incredibly excited about the future of India,” adding that it has “more promise than any large country in the world.”
“I am a fan of Modi,” Musk said in a video interview posted on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official YouTube website on Tuesday.
“He sincerely wishes to do the right thing for India.” “He wants to be open, he wants to be supportive of new companies, but he also wants to make sure it benefits India,” said Elon Musk after their meeting in New York.
Modi and Musk last met in 2015, when Modi paid a visit to Tesla’s Fremont Factory in California.
The Indian prime minister is on his first state visit to the United States, where he will meet with politicians and corporate executives to discuss defence, technology, and India’s position in the Indo-Pacific.
According to CNBC’s Seema Mody, Modi will be hosted by President Joe Biden at a White House dinner in Washington on Thursday, where he will meet a plethora of business titans including Apple’s Tim Cook, Google’s Sundar Pichai, and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.
Modi “really cares about India because he’s pushing us to make significant investments in India, which is something we intend to do, and we’re just trying to figure out the right timing,” Musk said.
Investing in India
According to one analyst, Tesla has a lot of promise in India.
“Every single American company with a listed subsidiary in India has seen higher growth and value creation in India,” said Nilesh Shah, managing director of Kotak Mahindra Asset Management.
“U.S. investors will be reassured that building a U.S.-India partnership will be a true win-win situation for both countries,” he added.
Tesla’s investments would aim to boost India’s sustainable energy generation, largely through solar and wind, according to the EV maker’s CEO.
“India is fantastic for solar.” The quantity of land required to create enough electricity to power India is really little. I suppose it would be about 1% or 2% of India’s land area, so it’s extremely possible.”
Other investment opportunities include stationary battery packs and electric vehicles.
“India will be a promising market for Tesla because their fate in China will be similar to that of other American car manufacturers who were defeated by Chinese competitors,” Shah said.
Musk also stated that he is interested in boosting internet connectivity in India and aims to bring SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband service to the South Asian country.
This can be “extremely useful for remote or rural villages where they may not have access to [the] internet or where the internet is very expensive and slow,” Musk said.
Musk stated that Modi invited him to visit India, which might happen as early as next year.
During his visit to New York, Modi met astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, investor Ray Dalio, and Grammy Award-winner Falguni Shah.