Invest India CEO Deepak Bagla resigns

As a Ministry of Commerce audit found concerns about the work carried out by Invest India, Deepak Bagla resigned.

Invest India’s managing director and CEO, Deepak Bagla, has resigned after an assessment by the Ministry of Commerce raised concerns about the organization’s activities in promoting foreign investment.

After a year of the audit, Bagla was called in for protracted interrogation. The individuals previously mentioned claimed that the Commerce Ministry had censured Bagla and asserted that the audit had revealed no significant work had been done on the ground.


Bagla and the Commerce Ministry have been contacted by Moneycontrol for comment. As soon as they react, we’ll update this copy.

Regular at media gatherings, Bagla was a well-known face while pitching the India story to investors at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year. He pulled together a group of young professionals who built the spectacular India Lounge on the Davos promenade, which quickly became a destination for Indian CEOs travelling to the Swiss capital.

Bagla frequently confused the work done by Invest India with India’s emergence to become a popular choice for foreign direct investment. Under section 25 of the Companies Act of 1956, the organisation was established in 2009 to promote investments.

Anurag Jain, Secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, who was appointed in September 2021, was not pleased that a contingent of more than 18 people travelled to Davos for the World Economic Forum meeting this year in business class, according to a senior official at Invest India.“That’s when a clean up of Invest India began, the secretary was very clear that such a big contingent from Invest India was not required but since approvals had come in, he let the contingent travel in 2023,” the official continued.

At board meetings, it was brought up as to why Invest India was working on unrelated projects when it had so much to do with its primary obligations. Targets were set, according to Invest India insiders, for how many tweets they had to send each day. To keep track of the employees’ tweets, rosters were created. The daily targets ranged from 200 to 500 tweets. An insider at Invest India claims that Jain once criticised the use of “fancy charts and graphs to deflect from core issues.”

A representative from Invest India claimed that when Bagla was questioned, not many success stories could be shown.“The output was nowhere comparable to the input. Meetings were called often to discuss who we are going to pitch to and how for publicity — from the tea that will be served to the menu. It was rarely about real work,” the official, who wished to remain anonymous, stated.

Nepotism charges were also brought against Bagla. “There are allegations of Invest India hiring children of IAS officers at higher salaries. I also tried to place my children there,” a former officer in the trade ministry told Moneycontrol.

Bagla was on an extension approved by the board when his original term ended in November 2022.

An online biography states that Bagla, a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and Saint Stephen’s College in Delhi, started his career there. With roles and responsibilities in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, he joined the Citibank Global Corporate and Investment Banking team in 1989.

Source: Moneycontrol