India as Economic Power

As early as October 2007, McKinsey Quarterly stated, ‘India is moving quickly to capture its place on the world stage’. India has arrived and it is getting visible at all the international platforms of some consequences,

India is still cost effective and labor intensive economy. It has its educated talented mass too. IT sector has established and upgraded itself to carry out all sorts value added outsourcing of work from developed countries. Even with competition and various other challenges, India continues to drive leadership in the global sourcing market with a 58 per cent share. Indian companies are building a hub of centres across 70 countries that create a seamless solution for the clients. Indian companies are also investing and providing employment in the developed countries. IT exports from India totalled about $69.7 billion during financial year 2011-12.

India has also created a strong manufacturing and export oriented industrial framework. All global automobile makers worth name are having manufacturing facilities as well as product development centres. Some such as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Ford and even Toyota along with trying to take the maximum advantage of the large domestic market are also making the country an export hub for at least some platforms of their cars. Indian manufacturers such Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra are busy in fulfilling their dreams of becoming a global company with acquisitions abroad and have developed world class products through their Indian and overseas R&D centres. In motor cycles, Hero and Bajaj are already among the top few in the world, while for tractors, Indians are the largest manufacturers. In heavy engineering industry too, L&T, Crompton Greaves, BHEL have earned their place.

The Tata Group is the largest manufacturing employer in the UK.

Ireland’s richest person — Pallonji Mistry — is an Indian.

Coal India is the single largest coal producer in the world.

India is the largest whisky manufacturer in the world.

Indian management has established itself globally by turning around the acquired companies such as Corus and JLR. While Ford failed, Tata Motors could make it profitable as jewel in its crown.

Globally known brand names such as Citigroup, Pepsi and Motorola are associated with an Indian CEO. And in US, as per one estimate, over 50% of total patents filed for industrial innovations in the US have Indian brains behind them. Similar may be the number for new startup entrepreneurs in US. (I got reminded of the stories of persons such as Dr. Suhash Patil that I came across in ‘The Game Changers’.)

Indian academicians have achieved distinctive place with many Business Schools of American universities having deans of Indian origin. Soumitra Dutta, the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University; Nitin Nohria, dean of the Harvard Business School; Sunil Kumar, dean of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business; Dipak C. Jain, the current dean of INSEAD ( French business school), was the dean of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management until 2010; Jaishankar Ganesh at the Rutgers School of Business-Camden and G. (Anand) Anandalingam at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

Through frugal innovations that includes, Nano, the cheapest car in the world from Tata Motors; Aakash, the cheapest tablet PC in the world, priced at $46; and other cheap tablets; Chhotukool from Godrej Appliances provided a cooling solution, at nearly half the cost of an entry-level refrigerator. India today has earned respect for its designing talent.

And that is the reason that companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, Intel, etc especially in IT that generates maximum value from innovation, rely on resources from India. It might have started with Texas Instruments and GE but today almost every globally established company has or is in the process of setting up its R&D centres on India. According to an estimate, the number of foreign R&Ds operating in India till December 2011 was about 900.

With 100 companies of over a billion dollar market cap, India has established its position globally.

Indian bankers have established themselves all around the world for efficient financial management. Indian banks have significantly less bad loans versus pretty high in China.

Bangalore has more Grade-A offices than Singapore
India is the largest diamond cutting and polishing centre in the world.
India is the largest sugar consumer in the world.
Parle-G is the world’s largest selling biscuit brand
KEC is global leader in tower production capacity

There is no dearth of IT entrepreneurs in India today. Infosys N R Narayana Murthy has become the icon of Indian IT industry and was recently selected as one of the 12 “greatest entrepreneurs of our time” according to a Fortune magazine list that was topped by Apple’s late chief Steve Jobs.

But Indians are exploring many fields other than IT, ITeS or pharma sector. For example, Ram Karuturi, CEO of Karuturi Global, had already made his company the world’s largest cut flower exporter. And Ram is not the only Indian looking to African countries for setting up farming enterprises with a huge potential to meet the India’s shortage of edible oil and pulses.

India is the largest exporter of rice this year and can do the same with sugar too. It will have 90 million tons of wheat this season. India feeds 17 per cent of the world population with barely 2.4 per cent of the arable area, 4.2 per cent water and 11 per cent livestock. A young farmer of Darveshpura village in Nalanda district has set a world record in potato production through organic farming. Few months ago, a group of farmers in the same village had created a “world record” producing 224 quintals of paddy per hectare. I get reminded of the time when India was dependent on foreign grains.

And when it comes to compare India with China, I get reminded of the size of media. India has the largest number of newspapers/publications any country in the world has. There are over 72,000 publications currently registered with the Registrar of Newspapers of India. And over 700 TV channels have been permitted to uplink or downlink from the country; over half these claim to be ‘news and current affairs’ channels. The number of FM radio stations has zoomed and will go up further – from over 250 now to around 1,200 in the next five years.

India is pushing ahead in its own unique way, perhaps, in spite of the mediocre political leadership.

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