The largest democracy in the world celebrates its 60th birthday this week. For many of us, reaching this milestone may be a time to reflect on what we’ve achieved in our lives to this point and what lies ahead of us on our journey on this planet.
For India, it’s just getting going!
While independence was granted by the UK on 15 August 1947, it wasn’t until 26 January 1950 that India got its written constitution. On that day, six decades ago, India declared itself a secular, socialist democracy, promising equal rights to all its citizens regardless of religion, language, creed or culture.
India today is a beacon of hope for the rest of the world. It’s not perfect and of course has its fair share of problems such as grinding poverty as well as caste and communal tensions.
But whilst domestic markets in developed economies went into free fall as a result of the credit crunch started by the collapse of the banking system in the US and then the rest of Europe, India was experiencing 6.9 percent growth in GDP and consequently according to the influential Forbes magazine recorded the fastest growth in number of millionaires on the planet.
And the Indian Government hasn’t lost any time on pursuing its business-friendly agenda to support its phenomenal business growth.
This year, the ruling Congress Party – that was swept into power on a business-friendly agenda in May 2009 – will pursue a number of key growth strategies.
These include fiscal stimulus measures to increase consumer spending in its growing domestic market – which offers a fantastic opportunity for new business for companies here in the UK.
So India is a land of opportunity. But it’s also a land full of contradictions, too.
You may think that luxury Western brands will fly off the shelves.
But that would be to assume – wrongly – that brand owners need not bother “glocalising” their offerings to appeal to a very discerning and brand literate consumer class.
The opportunities are of course abundant.
But brand owners mustn’t ignore what management consultants McKinsey dubbed the “seekers and strivers” that together will represent a customer segment of 120m households by 2025.
And by then, India will be getting into its stride at the ripe young age of 75 years-old!
Read more on Happy Birthday India!…