Transforming India

India is certainly getting transformed. For instance, according to one estimate, by 2010 RIL, in which Mukesh Ambani holds a 52 per cent stake, would overtake companies such as Boeing ($66 billion), Dell ($61 billion) and Microsoft ($51 billion), and would be within striking distance of Nokia ($69.9 billion), Vodafone ($71 billion), and Procter & Gamble ($76.5 billion) in the Fortune 500 list.

It can’t just be mere luck that with KG Basin and other finds by ONGC, Cairn and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation have raised hopes that domestic energy fields will meet 40-60 per cent of the country’s fuel requirements.

With rising consumer demand and greater disposable income, the country’s retail sector is projected to grow to $700 billion, while organized business is expected to be 20% of the total market by 2010. According to the report prepared by global consultancy Northbridge Capital, the retail market, which is currently worth $400 billion, is clocking an annual growth rate of 30%.

The number of High Networth Individuals (HNIs), with investible surplus of more than $1 million, in India has gone up by 23 per cent to 1.23 lakh as of December 2007, according to a DSP Merrill Lynch and Capgemini report.

The curbs on financing by banks and financial institutions have not prevented the domestic tractor industry – the segment most heavily dependent on financing – from treading on the growth path.

With Indo-US Nuclear Deal, and the end of nuclear isolation, India hopes to become a hub for manufacturing nuclear components and reactors, with domestic engineering companies forging global alliances to serve the international nuclear energy market.

Even in nontraditional areas, India’s performance is excellent. For instance, could one think of an Indian hospital group going global? Apollo is one. Narayana Hrudayalaya, the Bangalore-based globally renowned cardiac hospital chain, is set for an Rs 1,000 crore Health City project in Mexico.

India has retained its position as the second most-preferred global location for foreign investment in 2008 and will continue to do so till 2010, lagging only behind China, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has said in World Investment Report 2008.

India is helping the developed economy too. It is not only IT trio that are having their presence felt all over the world. As reported, amid the worsening financial crisis in the US, Forbes has named legendary investor Warren Buffett and Indian billionaire Anil Ambani among the world’s richest business people who are investing heavily in the American economy.

But some of the recent incidents are shocking. It is difficult to say if the transformation is for good and can continue if the government remains inactive and politicians don’t even try to solve some critical problems such as land acquisitions, terrorism, and Naxalite movement. Be it Mamta’s adamancy, Raigad referendum for Mukesh Ambani’s SEZ, Pasco failure to start construction in Orissa, or the murder of Lalit and recent incident in Noida are all just shocking. Can it all be overlooked or some serious retrospection essential?

India must keep transforming and transforming fast for a strong and powerful India. It is possible too. The latest edition of ‘India Today’ has wonderful articles providing views and solutions by great celebrities from all fields such as Sam Pitroda, Narayanmurthy, Premji, Tarun Khanna, Medha Patkar, and many. I request every one to go through them and try to build some local groups for transforming India.

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