India- A Re-emerging Economy

As history remarks, from 0 AD to 1700 AD, India was the richest of all the economies in the world. By 1700, there was 32% of the wealth of the world, was in India. Then, came the era of colonization when different countries from the west started looting India with their trading prospects which ultimately led India to be a poor country (as westerners still think we are), but I am going to cite few examples as to how India is not an emerging economy, but a re-emerging economy. We were never poor.

At the time of Independence, the GDP of India was close to 4.2% and by 1973, during the state of Emergency declared by our then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, India’s GDP was the lowest of around 3%. But, after that there was no looking back. Today, the world reckons and eyes the emerging markets which is adding more than 50% to the Global GDP Calculations and India is one of them. That means, the developed economies has realized the potential of these emerging markets, which has led to globalization. Rich in tradition and societal culture, India is not just an emerging economy but a well-balanced socio-economic hybrid.

In 1991, as India opened its gates to the world, the post era of liberalization has given India Inc., an upper curvature in all the graphs. There are strengths, which cannot be unnoticed and itself being researched and published by a lot of westerners and Indians themselves, but more or less suppressed to the world. This is what I call an Indian Edge. 

There are few points which gives rise to this Indian Edge.

1. India, has always been a country of savings before liberalization and even after liberalization, the Gross Domestic Savings (GDS) accounts to around 30-32% despite western impact on India. Moreover, this GDS is utilized for capital formation which accounts parallel to the same amount of percentage growth. That means, a normal Indian still saves and create capital for himself/herself.

2. The domestic demand of India has always been more and despite of its global outreach, Indians consume a lot locally. That means, we are becoming globally local and locally global simultaneously.

3. India has low government and household debts then most of the developed economies in the world. That means, we are not that much in debt than most of the European countries like Italy, Spain, Germany etc and Britain having the highest debt.

4. India, is the second most entrepreneurial nation in the world, with the highest number of youth (aged 25 – 35), we have presently the highest number of startups in the world. Mexico being the first, marginally ahead by 1%. The number of Entrepreneurs in India, is around 18% from the world.

5. The Service sector in India accounts to 66%, which means a lot of Industries today are driven by different service sectors, which means there is an increasing demand-supply ratio in India, which will make us the most economically sustained nation in the future.

6. With people investing a lot in Gold (which is taken as consumption by global economists), even a small middle-class family has invested in gold, which has seen a tremendous and consistent rise in the last 30 years. And India is far more ahead than any other country in the world. Most of the gold reserves in US is under federal reserves, but in India, 75% of the total gold utilization is among the normal household.

7. The remittances to India from Indians all around the world is more than 50%. That means, there are a lot of Indians staying abroad who has a need to send their money to their loved ones in India or just for capital formation with sole intention of living their second innings in their home nation. This adds to the economic growth of India.

These are just few points, which describes India as a re-emerging economy. With ‘Jugaad’ i.e the Indian way of doing things out-of-the-box, Indians have more skills of doing the same thing in different ways. This adds to the Indian edge. With a lot more social parameters, which Indians are indebted to, India is not just a land of cows anymore. Well, every nation has its pros and cons. While every world is chasing its realms, India is never going to be ignored in the process. And the world will stop running behind GDP and Inflation but Human Development Index and Gross National Happiness, which India has to focus on. Then we will see India like in 1700.

Money can’t buy you happiness, or can it?

Education: The Benefactor of all Conundrums

Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), the Great Indian Spiritual Leader once said,

“The goal of mankind is knowledge, now this knowledge is inherent in man. No knowledge comes from outside; it is all inside. What we say a man “knows”, should, in strict psychological language, be what he “discovers” or “unveils”; what man “learns” is really what he discovers by taking a cover of his own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge”. 

India, as we know is always at the turmoil of its social, economical and political dealings of its society and the ruling government. We, debate, question and make our own country vulnerable by pointing out the deeds of souls at the center-stage. But, doing that do we actually know where we are and the change we are making to this very own society we belong to? Who cares? We like to debate and fortify the arguments. In our own simple day-to-day routines, we come across situations where our principles are often revived over a logical and definite reasons around it. Just like not everyone drinks cow’s milk, but yeah milk is milk and white. Often, we point out that there are few wrong people ruling our nation, but aren’t we the ones who elect them? And some who don’t even care to vote in the elections. Aren’t we corrupt over those small petty issues and bribe to get things done? And we talk about corruption of these political and business leaders. We as consumers are often ruled out by some or the other issue somewhere, and we don’t know how to deal with it and ultimately let it go off the haywire. The simple answer lies in that macro word “EDUCATION”. Do we actually know what true education is?

Today, the institutes all over the world are working on classroom model of education with their core fundamentals lies in the books. But, do this kind of education is making us a good citizen and carry off with the passion of what we always want to do. The answer of the masses is no. The current model of education is not flexible enough to locate people at the right place. The multinational companies like Infosys, Wipro, TCS, Accenture, Microsoft etc therefore have their own training models for their new employees. That means the current education system is not meeting the requirements of the industrial model. And hence, this step has been introduced. But again, this is one side of the story for the ones who afford to get a right education. What for the ones who never had a chance to educate themselves in these classrooms? Well, these people are the building blocks of any nation. With over a population of 1.2 Billion people, the current model of the education system is not serving all. But instead, its making the deprived more deprive and ultimately building up the consensus of the nation in making its leaders and disarming some. What is the right type of education model required? Well, there need not be any model but it should spread as a wave in the masses, that education lies in oneself and the flexible conventionalism will bring about a change in the society. No doubt, there are a lot of initiatives being taken by our Indian Government in the Education sector, but the model has to be revived and the true sense of Education should be let out to the students. Age is no bar. With that, it will solve all the major problems our society and definitely make a much stronger nation with literate and sensible people. It will be indeed the benefactor of all the conundrums, if emerged as a right tool in identifying the limits of the human potential, not through those academic books but imbibing practical and mandatory education to the masses which will lead to an educated society in true sense.

Here are few videos of Sir Ken Robinson, a well-known educator, as he talks about what should be the future of education. It’s a must watch. Humorous and effective.

Schools kills creativity

Revolution in Education

The Entrepreneurial India

Entrepreneurship is an intuition game. 

India is a blessing in disguise for its youth (below 35) in the population of 1.2 Billion. It’s not only creating a generation of those young entrepreneurs but also creating a rampant behavior in expanding the workforce from the current 435 million. These entrepreneurs are not just adding to the employment statistics in India but also exploring into different sectors like Social entrepreneurship, Rural management, Supply Chain, Logistics, Consultancy , Product based services, Web-based services, ICTs, Social media, Green Energy and much more. The concept of Entrepreneurship is reciprocating and collaborative over innovation. Its storming like a wave in the thunder.

Today, the youth in India is much more likely to take a risk of getting into a start-up rather than working for a 9 to 6 job. It not just involves risk but also patience and self-realization to understand the dynamics of the particular market before tapping into it. The world has become more entrepreneurial friendly place like never before with globalization’s raising curve and its different sectoral, regional and national perspectives as mentioned by Thomas L Friedmann, in his book The World is Flat. Its more in the sense of satisfaction in working towards something and accomplishing the task no matter how big or small difference it make, but  definitely striking an efficient change in the society. As remarked by Subroto Bagchi from MindTree in The High Performance Entrepreneur, “ that sense of accomplishment is next only to having and raising your baby”.  Moreover, the government and big companies are more subjective to the sense of entrepreneurship and are rationally developing solutions that can facilitate the consumer experience with a much more diverging and intriguing approach. These entrepreneurs have made India more open to ideas and have motivated young people in the process of constructive nation building.

There are top-ranked management institutes in the nation like IIMs and IITs, which are more focusing on entrepreneurship and product development skills. Organizations like TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs), NEN, CIIE ( Center for Incubation for Innovation and Entrepreneurship) at IIM-A etc are fostering the idea of entrepreneurship and empowering the youth through their network and mentorship. Not just this, there are online websites like Dare, Pluggd, and many more which are engaging the entrepreneurs online with their latest research and news.

With more youngsters joining their family owned business, there is a glut in idea of entrepreneurship in their core propositional competency. Post which, the India in 2025, will be number one leader in the emerging markets, as we are always known as culture in diversity, now with a multitude of entrepreneurial insights and approaches. More done than said, India is becoming highly entrepreneurial in diversified sectors, and will soon has its differentiation from the approach in the west. And this India will see itself barring away from the clutches of poverty and unemployment, and heading towards a more sustainable society.

As we all know, it’s all about staying hungry, foolish and starting it up.