Friday, March 25, 2011

Billionaire Warren Buffett bowled over by Indian hospitality

2011-03-23 11:10:00
Last Updated: 2011-03-23 14:55:29
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Billionaire financier Warren Buffet speaks at a fundraising event in New York City June 26, 2007.   REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files
Billionaire financier Warren Buffet speaks at a fundraising event in New Yo...

Bangalore: Indian hospitality today received a strong endorsement from the world's third richest man, Warren Buffett, who said he was treated much better here than back in the US.

"I am just overwhelmed by the welcome I have received from the moment we got here. They treat me much better in India than they do in the United States," said the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway at a brief meeting with Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Wednesday morning.

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"I want to transport all this... I believe in free trade," he said in a lighter vein.

"We had a great dinner last night... I met some very interesting people, had a great conversation. I couldn't feel more welcome and more delighted to be here," said Buffet, who is staying at Taj West End during his visit to the country.

"This is my first trip to India and the first foot I placed on Indian soil was in Bangalore... and it won't be the last," said the 80-year-old billionaire.

"When I come back, I will be 100 in 2030," he joked, but quickly added that he planned to come back much before that and was hopeful of seeing business expand here by then.

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"We want to be where the action is and the action is here," Buffett, who yesterday admitted to having made a late entry into India, said.

Buffett, who viewed a short presentation on investment opportunities in Karnataka and the Global Investors meet held in 2010, said he was impressed by the speed of implementation of the MoUs signed during the Investors Meet.

"... It is very impressive," he said, lauding the efforts of the Karnataka government in facilitating the establishment of a Nestle food processing plant in a short timeframe of barely 10 months.

Yeddyurappa extended an invitation to Buffett to be the chief guest at the Global Investors Meet in 2012 during the nearly half-hour-long meeting.

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