The power of youth sparks Indian economy

Venkat Raman

In his highly acclaimed and equally criticised book, ‘Imagining India,’ Nandan Nilekani, one of the most successful entrepreneurs of modern India, says that demography experts, spurred by ‘Malthusian hysteria,’ had advocated population control for India and China, since runaway growth in population could lead to social and economic crash.

“The impact of human capital in India has so far had large payoffs for the economy, especially since the 1991 reforms. Our skilled workers have been the nerve stem of the IT, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications industries in India. Globally as well, human creativity and economic competitiveness are now closely linked, and competition among countries is competition between their human capital,” he said.

Continental contrasts

But elsewhere in the Book, he admitted that while a billion plus people may offer a huge base of human capital, “it also signals a potentially massive, detrimental burden on our environment, food production and resources, as millions of people join the middle class, ramp up their consumption, and per capita energy intake grows. We will have to find solutions for these concerns.”

India at once is a complex Subcontinent of contrasts, contradictions on the one hand and a land of high potential and immense opportunities on the other.

In some ways, the book and the author symbolise India and her people- intrinsically interesting and inexhaustibly intelligent.

Human capital, countenanced by business acumen and technological prowess set the country’s stage for global engagement. With economic reforms, India is the world’s preferred destination for investors, corporates and commercial entities.

Business Summit

Indian engagement should get- Nandan NilekaniIf you are in doubt, you can ask Mr Nilekani. He will be in Auckland on Friday, March 13 at Crowne Plaza Hotel to participate at the Business Summit of the New Zealand India Business Council.

As the Founder-Director and later Chief Executive of the IT giant Infosys, as  former Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UDAI) and as an eternally successful entrepreneur, he would articulate on the Summit theme of ‘Growing with India: Inspire, Innovate and Grow.’

He would probably tell you how the teeming millions of young Indians, along with the ‘business geniuses’ create an environment that mix and match western technology and ideology for global delivery of success and prosperity. He could narrate the intensity of potential that the world’s largest democracy offers for foreign entrepreneurs for further creation of wealth.

Population advantage

As he mentions in ‘Imagining India,’ “Since independence, India struggled for decades with policies that tried to put the lid on its surging population. It is only recently that the country has been able to look its billion in the eye and consider its advantages.”

On December 6, 2014, The Economist honoured Mr Nilekani with the ‘Social and Economic Innovation Award’ at a function held at Marriott Hotel in Hong Kong. The Award recognised him for the development of India’s national identification scheme (UDAI). “A lack of formal identity documents excludes many Indians from the modern economy. Mr Nilekani led the project to create a national scheme based on biometric verification,” the citation said.

High Growth

Indian engagement should get- Dr Reuben AbrahamAddressing an INZBC meeting in Wellington on September 25, 2012, Dr Reuben Abraham, Executive Director, Indian School of Business (Hyderabad, India) and a non-resident scholar at the Urbanisation Programme of the New York University said that India is entering the high growth stage.

India could be a much larger trading partner for New Zealand than most people recognise (perhaps US$ 10 billion to US$ 20 billion). We will never see an opportunity like this again, of a continental economy moving to the middle income and rich status. No matter the troubles of doing business in India, it is worth investing time and money there,” he said.

You could ask Dr Abraham if India continued to be an attractive destination when you meet him at the Business Summit in Auckland on March 13.

He may yet again ruffle some feathers but you would always find the true Indian in him.

Interesting insights

The power of youth sparks- Ajay ShriramAjay Shriram, Chairman & Senior Managing Director of DCN Shriram Limited and President, Confederation of Indian Industry will also provide interesting insights into the Indian business district.

Writing his Times of India Blog on February 21, 2015, he hoped that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley would focus on core areas in his fiscal budget 2015-2016. The budget was introduced to Lok Sabha on February 28.

“Investors, particularly foreign investors, have repeatedly pointed out that regulatory uncertainty remains a key hurdle to doing business in India. In this context, the Finance Minister should provide an assurance that tax administration will be kept simple, consistent and predictable.

“A framework for dispute settlement without going into litigation is recommended so that disputes can be resolved at a speedier rate. On the indirect tax front, implementation of a uniform GST will simplify the tax structure which currently seems overly complicated to businesses newly entering the market,” he said.

Mr Shriram will also be a keynote speaker at the Summit.

Read our Editorial, ‘Optimism puts Indian in its own grouping,’ under Viewlink.

  1. Nandan Nilekani
  2. Dr Reuben Abraham
  3. Ajay Shriram


What: Summit 2015Who: India New Zealand Business CouncilWhen: Friday, March 13

Where: Crowne Plaza Hotel

             128 Albert Street, Auckland 1010

Tickets: From $290 per person

Contact: Sunil Kaushal on 021-2804189


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