An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Is India off the Economic Launch Pad?

Naveen Chaddha says that Indian economy has taken off the launch pad.. has it?

This weekend I will try and bring some everyday stories that depict the "other" – and uglier side – of the growth in India. Not that I am against the growth. Quite the contrary! I am bringing this to start a debate as to what major factors need to be taken into account in this pursuit, without which it may be a shortlived launch.. my greatest worry!

When I talk about India, I often refer to the image of a rocket ship launching. The country is taking off, and I see this in real time when I travel there every six weeks. The Indian economy is one of the fastest growing in the world, with GDP growth touching 9.3% last year. Simultaneously, India is experiencing exponential domestic growth for retail products and services due to the burgeoning middle class, which consists of 300 million consumers.

Many people still equate India with off-shoring and the IT services of Infosys (INFY), TCS, and Wipro (WIT). While those remain dominant, over the past five years Indian companies have vaulted new sectors to prominence on the global stage including technology, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, infrastructure, energy, consumer retail, telecom, financial services, media, and hospitality. India has developed a global brand that reflects its best-of-breed ability in not only IT but many other industries as well.

Private equity and venture investment have tripled in 2006 to $7.5 billion, and exit opportunities for venture- and private equity-backed startups are only expanding as the Bombay Stock Exchange rises and merger and acquisition activity grows.

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