Corporate India Finds Greener Pasturesin Africa

To avoid stiff competition and red tape at home, companies are looking across the Indian Ocean

Indian billionaire Ravi Ruia has flown to Africa at least once a month for the past year and a half. He's invested in coal mines in Mozambique, an oil refinery in Kenya, and a call center in South Africa. Soon, he may also have a power plant in Nigeria. "Africa looks remarkably similar to what India was 15 years ago," says Firdhose Coovadia, director of African operations at Essar Group, the $15 billion conglomerate headed by Ruia and his brother, Shashi. "We can't lose this opportunity."

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