targeted action


India is poised to become a major investment destination for global businesses as the country’s economy continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite facing significant challenges during the pandemic, including a sharp economic contraction in 2020, India is now seeing strong growth in various sectors, including manufacturing, services, and agriculture. International investors are taking note of India’s potential, with many already increasing their investments in the country. Some of the world’s largest tech companies, including Apple, Google, and Amazon, have announced plans to expand their operations in India, while other major firms are investing in areas such as renewable energy, infrastructure, and healthcare. The Indian government has also been working to improve the country’s business environment, with measures aimed at simplifying regulations, reducing bureaucracy, and boosting foreign investment. These efforts have already resulted in increased foreign direct investment (FDI) in India, with the country recording a 13% increase in FDI inflows in 2021. Despite these positive developments, India still faces significant challenges, including a high level of income inequality, a large informal sector, and ongoing issues related to corruption and red tape. However, with its large and growing consumer market, a young and skilled workforce, and a favourable business environment, India is well positioned to attract increasing amounts of foreign investment in the coming years.

Young Workforce

Recently India surpassed China’s population and became the most populated country in the world. While this might sound like increased pressure on resources, India is well positioned on its growth and development trajectory. India’s population is one of the largest in the world, which means that there is a vast pool of potential workers. This workforce is also diverse, with different levels of education and skill sets, which can be leveraged to drive economic growth and innovation. India has a young population, with over 65% of the population under the age of 35. This demographic dividend is expected to provide a boost to the economy in the coming years as these young people enter the workforce and drive growth. Indians are well-known for their innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. With a large pool of talented individuals, India has the potential to be a leader in innovation and technology. Overall, India’s population represents a significant asset for the country, providing a strong foundation for economic growth and development. However, it is important to note that India also faces significant challenges, including poverty, inequality, and infrastructure issues, that need to be addressed to fully realize the potential of its population.

Manufacturing Hub

India’s Sensex index has been trading at a record high compared to the S&P 500, reflecting the country’s potential to attract capital investments. India’s manufacturing sector has been a focus of the government since the launch of the ‘Make in India’ campaign in 2014, which aimed to emulate the successes of East Asian countries such as Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan, which had turned into rich economies by filling factories with workers who made products that the world wanted to buy. However, boosting manufacturing to 25% of GDP, a key metric for the program, has proved elusive. While the ratio rose to 17.4% in 2020 compared to 15.3% in 2000, Vietnam’s factory sector’s share of GDP doubled during the same period. Meanwhile, The rivalry between the United States and China has resulted in a China-plus-one strategy, benefiting countries like India and Vietnam, according to supply-chain analysts. In India, Apple’s key Taiwanese suppliers have been awarded incentives from the Government to increase smartphone production and exports. As growth slows in powerhouses like China and Germany, there is a growing need to identify another country that can drive the global economy. Morgan Stanley has predicted that India will contribute to a fifth of global expansion this decade, making it one of the three countries that can generate more than USD 400 billion in annual output growth.

Consumer market

With a population of over 1.3 billion, India represents a massive consumer market. This large consumer base provides a significant opportunity for businesses to tap into and grow their sales. According to a recent report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the Retailers Association of India (RAI), India’s consumer market presents a USD 1 trillion investment opportunity for both domestic and international businesses. The report estimates that India’s consumer market is expected to double to USD 6 trillion by 2030, from USD 3.2 trillion in 2020. Five key drivers will fuel this growth – increasing per capita income, a rising middle class, urbanization, digitalization, and a shift in consumer behaviour. The increasing per capita income is driving demand for high-quality products and services, while the rising middle class is expanding the market for aspirational and premium products. Urbanization is another important driver, with India projected to have 75 cities with a population of more than one million by 2030, up from 52 in 2020. This presents a significant opportunity for businesses to tap into the growing demand for consumer goods and services in urban areas. Digitalization is also a key factor, with India’s e-commerce market expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27% to reach $200 billion by 2026, up from $38.5 billion in 2017. This growth is driven by increasing internet penetration, rising smartphone usage, and a growing preference for online shopping. Finally, the report highlights the shift in consumer behaviour, with consumers becoming more health-conscious and environmentally aware. This has led to a rise in demand for organic and sustainable products, as well as a growing interest in wellness and fitness.

The Challenges

India has made significant progress in the last few decades towards becoming a developed nation and world leader. However, there are still several key challenges that need to be addressed to achieve these goals. One of the biggest challenges facing the Indian economy is the lack of adequate infrastructure. The country’s roads, railways, ports, airports, and other key infrastructure are in dire need of modernization and expansion. This not only hinders economic growth but also makes it difficult for businesses to operate efficiently. Despite progress in the education sector, India still has a long way to go in providing quality education to all its citizens. The literacy rate in India is around 75%, which is significantly lower than in developed countries. This limits the potential of the country’s workforce and reduces its competitiveness in the global market. India’s healthcare system faces several challenges, including inadequate funding, limited access to quality healthcare in rural areas, and a shortage of skilled medical professionals. Improving healthcare services is crucial to reducing the burden of disease and improving the quality of life for citizens. India has made significant progress in reducing poverty in recent years, but inequality remains a major challenge. The country has one of the highest levels of income inequality in the world, with a large portion of the population living below the poverty line. Addressing this challenge will require sustained efforts to create jobs, improve education, and provide social safety nets to vulnerable populations. India is also one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases, and the country faces significant environmental challenges such as air pollution, deforestation, and water scarcity. Addressing these issues is crucial for sustainable economic growth and the well-being of citizens.