The future of economic reforms in India

Ever since the UPA came into office, they’ve blamed their inability to make progress on various fronts, down to their need to respect ‘coalition dharma’. Take economics and market liberalisation as an example, many influential people including a few Union Ministers have spoken of how the Communists held them back and blocked the reform agenda every step of the way.

Given that the Comrades from West Bengal have shot themselves in the foot by failing to topple the UPA as a result of their withdrawal, it would be fair to assume that all roadblocks (excuses) to market liberalisation have been cleared. No?

Knowing India, I’m sure the answer isn’t that straight forward. Yes, there are some pretty entrenched views on liberalisation in various elite circles in India, but when you go speak to the average joe bloggs, they’d welcome better quality, innovative services and lower prices, and for this reason, I believe that the UPA should go out there and make the case for reform more convincingly.

With electoral fortunes looking bleak for the UPA, what have they got to lose?

Indian Entrepreneurship – Lakshmi Mittal, the trailblazer

Was invited to the Emerging India awards yesterday evening with global icon Lakshmi Mittal in attendance and Trade Ministers from India and the UK -Kamal Nath and John Hutton playing second fiddle to an audience comprising some of India’s best SME’s, who had flown all the way to this prestigious awards ceremony that celebrates India’s talent in nurturing entrepreneurs.

Lakshmi Mittal, in his keynote address, spoke of his challenges when he was first starting out in the steel business. He recollected how the production of his first tonne of steel brought a profound sense of satisfaction that even his 110 million tonne Arcelor Mittal doesn’t match.

In his address, Kamal Nath highlighted: “…with the internet and a Fed-ex account, SME’s are able to compete with some of the world’s biggest companies.” As the promoter of a SME myself, I couldn’t agree more.

India’s banker – KV Kamath, CEO of ICICI Bank paid a tribute to Indian entrepreneurship and highlighted that the number of SME’s applying for an award had gone through the roof. With 20,000 applications made in the first year, this year, a staggering 300,000 Indian SME’s had applied in 10 categories!!

We’ve all heard key statistics that make Indians tick – for example, India has a population of over 1 billion, a middle class bigger than the entire population of America, or more engineering graduates than all European countries put together etc, but the one fact about India that knocks me off my feet everytime is that India is a young country. Simply put, there are more young people in India than China and almost everywhere else.

I’ve posted a blog previously in which I explain that certain traits are built into our DNA. I believe that entrepreneurship is exactly one of those traits that is built into Indian people. I can confidently predict that the trend of Indian entrepreneurs taking on and winning global boardroom battles, like Lakshmi Mittal, has only just begun.