Should Elon Musk become Elon Bhai to do business in India?

Elon Musk

Rama Krishna Sangem

Should Elon Musk become Elon Bhai to do business in India? Says so, Carl Pei, CEO and co-founder of Nothing, electronic hardware company. Pei’s post on X on February 19, Monday that Musk must change his name to Elon Bhai gone viral in the social media. It’s a known fact that Musk has been lobbying hard to sell his Tesla cars in India for the last few years. But, due to heavy customs duty of 100 per cent, Tesla cannot attract customers in India.

Musk recently entered a deal with the Indian commerce ministry to invest around 2 billion US dollars to set up a Tesla  manufacturing unit in India so that he can escape his cars cheaper. Indian government has offered to give a 15 per cent concession on imports duty, if Tesla make its cars here locally. Of course, behind this decision of India, the US has worked hard.

Carla PRei was indirectly heckling at Indian government’s policy of crony capitalism.- unless you are close to those in power, you cannot do business in India. So to please the ruling Modi led BJP government in India, Musk should change his name to Elon Bhai, is what  Carl Pei was suggesting. Though it is a lighter vein joke on X, the post also takes a pot shot at the Modi government for not allowing independent businessmen to do business in India.


Who’s Carl Pei?

Before discussing whether this criticism is right, let’s know who is Carl Pei. Born on September 11, 1989 in Beijing, China, Carl’s parents first migrated to the US and later to Sweden. Carl Pei, who studied at Stockholm School of Economics, first worked in Nokia and later OnePlus. Very recently, he switched over to found his own venture of electronics hardware firm, Nothing.

This 34 year old entrepreneur is obviously not happy with Indian government’s policies towards global business firms. Though India refutes this charge and maintains that it has done a lot in the last 10 years to improve Ease of Doing Business here, many investment and business groups feel otherwise. That’s a reason, why Hindenburg Research has alleged in January 2023 that Adani group has escaped the governance norms.

Now, Musk must tell us whether he is Okay with Indian government’s business friendly approach.

Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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Rama Krishna Sangem

Excel India national news magazine is a media startup founded and piloted by Rama Krishna Sangem, a Hyderabad based senior journalist with over three decade experience in the field of media, mostly in print journalism. His rich experience in reporting for both Telugu and English newspapers and heading a TV news channel and some online outfits will be of immense use to this venture. Excel India English news magazine seeks to fill the gap of analytical understanding to our readers who today are confronted with myriad media platforms. Our online version not only offers regular updates and commentary on happenings around us, but also gives larger stories not limited by space constraints of a print magazine. Excel India is ably run by a team of senior journalists committed to values and quality standards in the profession. We urge you all to support and guide us in this endeavour. Reach us at