The “India growth story” is a long-term one for investors and business

India remains a compelling long-term investment and business story – despite a lot of negative talk about the Indian economy (mostly politically motivated but also buoyed by a slow down in growth).

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Most commentators expect the slowing to be temporary.

Take a look at the MSCI India index which has comfortably outperformed the MSCI Emerging Markets index (697.7 per cent vs. 485.1 per cent). Not too bad.

Favourable demographics is another driver with India having the world’s largest population of millennials – those aged between 21 and 38 – India has 450 million and these people will transform India. What it eats, drinks, how and where it travels, fashion, what it watches and listens to – life will change fundamentally.

More than 50 per cent of the population is under 25 years of age – a total of 600 million – with 1 million new people entering the workforce each month. Contrast this with China, which is ageing faster than any other country, with the over 60’s expected to account for 35 per cent of the population by 2050. Europe, the US and Japan face similar demographic challenges.

Urbanisation is another driver of growth – a third (34 per cent) of India’s population is urban, but it’s rising fast. Compare this to China (58 per cent) and Japan (92 per cent) – you can see the long-term growth story of India.

Then there is structural and economic change, with pro-business Prime Minister Narendra Modi – let’s steer clear of short-term politics but acknowledge that change has happened, and more is to come.

Visitors to India notice rapid improvement in infrastructure – road construction, plus 27 km of railway built per day, while India’s metro system is growing again, new airports and more.

Investors and businesses should be finding a way to participate in and benefit from the long-term India growth story.

Author: Stephen Manallack

Former President, Australia India Business Council, Victoria and Author, You Can Communicate; Riding the Elephant; Soft Skills for a Flat World (published by Tata McGraw-Hill INDIA); Communicating Your Personal Brand. Director, EastWest Academy Pty Ltd and Trainer/Speaker/Mentor in Leadership, Communication and Cross Cultural Communication. Passionate campaigner for closer western relations with India. Stephen Manallack is a specialist on “Doing Business with India” and advisor/trainer on “Cross-Cultural Understanding”. He is a Director of EastWest Academy Pty Ltd which provides strategic advice and counsel regarding business relations with India. A regular speaker in India on leadership and global communication, his most recent speaking tour included a speech to students of the elite Indian university, Amity University, in Noida. He also spoke at a major Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) global summit, the PR Consultants Association of India in Delhi, the Symbiosis University in Pune and Cross-Cultural Training for Sundaram Business Services in Chennai. He has visited India on business missions on 10 occasions and led three major trade missions there. He provides cross-cultural training – Asia and the west.

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