Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Railways, launches the PIO Investors
Help Desk, an India government initiative in association with PIOCCI
Indian Diaspora business leaders and representatives from more than 20 countries gathered at
the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi, to participate in the first such public-private initiative
that will be powered by the partners virtually as well as through on-ground activities.
PIO INVESTORS HELP DESK was inaugurated and launched by Honourable Union Minister for
Commerce & Industry and Railways, Shri Piyush Goyal. Attending were senior officials of the
Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Ministry of External Affairs, Invest India team, PIOCCI
officials and representatives. The Honourable Minister said the Indian Government will
ensure that Diaspora investors received all information, hand-holding and support to set up
enterprises or pure investment. He said his Ministry and the Government will be keen and
willing to entertain special requests, emphasizing the vision of the Honourable Prime
Minister Shri Narendra Modi to woo Diaspora investment and utilize the Diaspora’s
accomplishments especially in science, technology and innovation across all sectors.
Among the dignitaries addressing the gathering included Additional Secretary in the Ministry
of External Affairs Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik, Joint Secretary of the Department for
Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry
Ministry Smt. Sumita Dawra, CEO of Invest India Shri Deepak Bagla, Patron of PIOCCI Shri Raj
Kumar Bhatia, Working President of PIOCCI Shri Atul Kulkarni and Vice President of PIOCCI
Shri Munish Gupta. The august gathering included several Secretaries and Joint Secretaries
of the Government of India, Resident Commissioners of different States of India,
representatives of other Ministries, Ernst & Young, Indian National Students Association
alumni who have set up businesses and start-ups in India and across the world and members of
PIO INVESTOR HELP DESK was virtually introduced on the Invest India website (and, other
connected online platforms) and also on PIOCCI website. It was explained that queries
invited and generated electronically through websites as well as received by PIOCCI will be
handed over to Invest India for resolution through responses elicited from Central or State
Government, or any other authorities as required. PIOCCI would also embolden the initiative
by offering its Indian members to match with prospective Diaspora investors / joint venture
Supported by Indian Missions overseas through the Ministry of External Affairs, specifically
the Overseas Indian Affairs (OIA) Division, PIOCCI and Invest India intend to undertake
activities to generate awareness on investment reforms in India, showcase opportunities as
well as specific projects across different priority sectors in India, assess and understand
the investment interests of the Diaspora, address Diaspora queries with regards to setting
up enterprises, work with nodal Ministries and State Governments / local authorities, to
induce, facilitate and enhance Diaspora economic engagement, specifically investment. It is
felt that Diaspora is enthused with growing opportunities in a New India with dynamically
changing policies especially reforms aimed at encouraging investment, emphasis on
manufacturing and expanding trade opportunities. The Diaspora has an inherent and emotional
attachment that attracts them to invest in the changing India. Yet, it is felt that to drive
Diaspora investment with a focused approach required a platform with like-minded and able
partners that guide and even hand-hold prospective investors to pave the way for efficient
processing of proposals and projects.
PIOCCI will collaborate with Invest India to significantly expand the outreach and connect
with businesses and investors among the 30-million-strong community of Non Resident Indians
(NRIs) and People of Indian Origin (PIOs). NRIs include those who continue to retain Indian
passport and are residing on long term visas in countries for work or business or may have
gained permanent resident status of other countries. PIOs include those who possess
passports of other countries and typically comprise two categories – one, that have now
lived for 4 or more generations in certain countries where migration dates back 200 years,
and, two, those categorized as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card Holders who have
naturalized as citizens with first and second generation families in western/ developed
countries. With India offering special, long-term NRI visas, and OCI Cards (now merged with
earlier PIO Cards) allow special rights to visit and stay in India for longer periods,
engage in professional/ work and business activities.
Formed in 2003 and headquartered with a full secretariat in New Delhi, PIOCCI has
successfully created a hub-and- spoke model of 50 Country Chapters around the world as well
as 20 State Chapters across India. PIOCCI vision and mission is to not only enhance
Diaspora’s economic engagement with India, but also business network the Diaspora worldwide.
PIO INVESTOR HELP DESK will be manned in India as a nodal point to then support investors to
coordinate with State Governments and Central Governments and any statutory authorities. In
special cases, incentives may be offered or discussed. The objective goes beyond generating
awareness to actual facilitation, helping remove bottlenecks and efficiently responding to
concerns. Invest India will serve as an official representative through the Ministry of
Commerce & Industry, and in tandem with Ministry of External Affairs, to connect with all
other Ministries and State Governments.
After the inaugural session, two intense conference sessions followed with presentations by
Invest India, Ministry of External Affairs Overseas Indian Affairs Division, and a dialogue
between Diaspora business leaders and government officials.
Discussions during sessions and off-line during the course of the day highlighted that this
new public-private initiative should target small and medium investments from the Diaspora.
Large investments have their own pathways.
a. A mechanism of enhanced economic engagement to be led by Invest India (Ministry of
Commerce & Industry – DPIIT), Ministry of External Affairs - OIA (Missions) and PIOCCI.
b. MEA officials are now placed in State Secretariats (CM office) to provide liaison for
investment. Invest India also plans to beef up its presence in States. PIOCCI Country
Coordinators (globally) and State Coordinators (India) will work through PIOCCI Secretariat
in Delhi to liaise with Invest India and MEA. A team will be created for PIO INVESTOR HELP
DESK with a representative from each organization to evolve a working relationship.
c. PIOCCI will enable extended and expanded outreach to Diaspora business community through
virtual and on- ground events conducted through Missions of India overseas and Invest India.
Objective is to inform and generate awareness on investment reforms, special projects,
incentives and fast-tracking proposals.
d. Immediate areas of interest were identified as –
Start-Ups (especially IT, Innovation & Technology)
Tourism & Hospitality
Investment Instruments through Stock Exchanges, Brokers, Funds, RBI and Private Banks
Infrastructure (surface transport, shipping, logistics)
Agri & Food Processing
e. Diaspora also serves as a foundation for expanding technology transfer and trading. This
creates new markets overseas.
f. Diaspora has been making individual investments/contributions in philanthropic projects.
This needs to be streamlined with a view to safeguarding such projects and ensure outcome.
This could significantly expand and grow philanthropic investment in Education, Skilling,
Culture, Water & Sanitation, Healthcare and even noble missions such as the National Clean
g. Going forward, it is proposed that PIOCCI and Invest India work together to enable an
ecosystem of stakeholders in India and constantly engage with them, to include -
Ministry of External Affairs-Overseas Affairs & CPV Divisions.
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Commerce & Industry
Ministry of IT, Communications
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Science & Technology
Ministry of Tourism
Ministry of MSME
Ministry of Skill Development
Ministry of Water & Sanitation
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Jal Shakti (including the National Clean Ganga Mission)
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat,
Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Madhya
Pradesh, West Bengal and Northeast States.
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