India has come a long way in the ease of doing business. But, it “has a long way to go”, said Kumar Mangalam Birla, the group chairman of the $45-billion Aditya Birla Group.

“We need the centre and the states to work in collaboration and that is the most obvious way to create wealth. If you are looking for investment, ease of doing business is obviously a very important criteria,” said the 51-year old seasoned industrialist recognised for leading over 36 Indian and global acquisitions in the past 19 years at the Indian multinational.

Birla’s statement comes at a crucial time when the country is anxiously awaiting the World Bank’s Doing Business Report to be released on October 31. India had jumped 30 places to 100 among 190 countries, last year, on the back of notable progress in resolving insolvency, paying taxes, getting credits, enforcing contracts, protecting minority investors, and construction permits.

The Prime Minister’s vision is to take India to the top 50 and thought leaders and bureaucrats are hopeful that this time India will perform even better than last year.

Addressing the audience at India Summit 2018 in Mumbai on Thursday, Birla further emphasised on the need to improve investments to cope with the high growth, and bring in more women into the workforce to strengthen the business environment in the country.

He sounded optimistic about the improvement of the recent economic uncertainties and non-performing assets (NPAs).

“NPAs largely seem to have gone through the IBC process, some have got resolved, while others remain to be resolved. Hopefully one sees end of the tunnel.”

Commenting on the China-US trade war, Birla said that any kind of protectionism creates uncertainties and is not good in the long run. While he hopes that the current tariffs wars is short-lived, he added that “It has already impacted the world GPD by 0.2%” and if it continues for another few months, the impact will rise up to 0.5%.

Going forward, Birla sees his company’s financial services, cement, metal, garments and retail as big areas of growth.

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