India - a Dynamic Global Partner
India is known as an emerging and exciting place to conduct business, drawing the world's attention and investment since it distinguished itself in the global economy. Rising from its post colonialist, protectionist climate into one of the fastest growing economies, its transformation was no small feat, and today rivals the attention of Brazil and China. But what exactly can be learned from the Indian experience, and where do we go from here?
Emerging from a heavily regulated economy into one of the world's fastest growing economies was a 90-degree turn for India. With deep agrarian roots and meager growth rates throughout the 19th century, industrialization was only slowly moving towards economic integration in a climate most considered to be deeply regulated and insecure. Yet since its liberalization endeavors began in 1991, the country has shifted towards a market-based economy, attracted sizeable Foreign Direct Investment, and in 2008, established itself as one of the world's fastest growing economies.
It's 2016 and India is in an enviable position. As the original BRIC group stumbles in the rebalancing act, economic growth in India is far ahead its fellow nations with a steady 7%. As a newly minted industrial country, finding the balance between sustainability and growth is a high priority challenge.
The road was not always easy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is accredited with much of the excitement about India's new direction, struggled to garner political capital and push economic reforms through parliament. Modi's "Make in India" is an initiative conducted by the Government of India to foster internal growth, with a key focus on the manufacturing sector. Since its implementation, its promoters have worked in tandem with foreign companies and industries. Investments have grown significantly since then. Global companies such as Bayer, Merck, GE, Airbus, BMW and General Motors have all been drawn into expanding their operations in India. "Make in India" initiative is, in part, based on the understanding that sustainable growth is key to long-term success, as illustrated by the three pillars (New Sectors, New Processes, New Infrastructure).
General global unease and criticisms about India's prospects pushed back the strong drive earlier this year, as the country's GDP indicators lagged, and analysts pointed to inadequate infrastructure. India's infrastructure is a point of concern, with a growing economic gap, but it's centrality in Make in India holds promising ventures for the future.
In light of many of the world's struggling economies, India has proved a resilient, attractive nation for growth and innovation. Characterized by its flexibility and promising open mindset, its new dynamism is contingent on its new found position in relation to investors; not as a lender, but rather a global partner.