"When we talk about NRIs, we think that they will bring dollars and pounds. Our Indian brothers and sisters should not be weighed in dollars and pounds," Modi said at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
"They have a different work culture, global exposure, knowledge and experience. This experience can take us in a new direction," he said.
Modi also made several veiled attacks at the central government, and said NRIs and other investors now want to deal directly with state governments.
"Prime minister said something good yesterday (Wednesday). He said one should not lose hope, good days will be back soon," Modi said addressing the NRIs meet on its third day.
"Maybe we will have to wait 4-6 months for that, but I am sure good days are ahead," Modi said, referring to the time when a new central government will assume office.