India’s top ten business cities and what they are known for

Mumbai – beautiful, never sleeps, the financial and commercial capital of India

Mumbai

Mumbai is the ultimate commercial and financial city of India – a true 24/7 powerhouse that never sleeps. It houses the headquarters of a large number of major Indian companies like Tata Group, Reliance Industries, Aditya Birla Group, Larsen & Toubro, Godrej Group, and Hindustan Petroleum among others. The city is also the headquarters of the Reserve Bank of India, National Stock Exchange, Bombay Stock Exchange, and – yes – Bollywood.

GDP (PPP) – 310.0 billion

Delhi

Delhi is the National Capital of India – and on a global scale, it is one of the great capitals of the world. It is also the most populous city of the country. Being the political center, Delhi is home to all the prominent political personalities and officeholders including the President, the Prime Minister, and distinguished ministries. Delhi is a metropolitan city and attracts a large part of the population from all the states. With the ever-growing rates of urbanisation, the city accommodates everyone and has a diversified economy.

GDP (PPP) – 293.6 billion

Kolkata

Kolkata – oh yes, I know it has a reputation as relaxed or even sleepy – but it was the capital of British India and houses India’s oldest stock exchange. Most people are not aware that more than 83 percent of the city’s population is employed in the tertiary sector. Kolkata is the third richest city in South Asia after Mumbai and Delhi. Kolkata is a house of many Indian corporations like Coal India Limited, ITC Limited, Britannia Industries, Allahabad Bank, National Insurance Company, and United Bank of India among others.

GDP (PPP) – 150.1 billion

Chennai

Chennai is one of India’s great southern cities with all the manners, politeness and conservatism that goes with it. It is the capital city of Tamil Nadu and sits by the Bay of Bengal. Given its glorious history and its significance as Madras Presidency during the British rule, Chennai is historically and culturally rich and diverse, attracting tourism in turn. Besides being a pioneer in art, culture, and music.

GDP (PPP) – 110.0 billion

Bengaluru

Bengaluru used to be called the “garden city” but today is better known for massive traffic jams. It has a “young” feel and houses some of India’s most trendy eating and drinking establishments. It contributes more than 35 percent of India’s IT exports. The city also houses some major manufacturing industries like Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Bharat Electronics Limited, and Bharat Earth Movers Limited among others. Infosys and Wipro have their headquarters in Bengaluru. The city is home to 8 billionaires.

GDP (PPP) – 86.0 billion

Hyderabad

Hyderabad comes across first as located in a dry and rocky area – but the city is known for its rich history, food, and its multi-lingual culture, both geographically and culturally. The city has an estimated population of around 8 million, making it 4th largest city in India, while the population of the metropolitan area was estimated above 9 million. Religiously and culturally, the city is united with Hindus, Muslims, and Christians.

GDP (PPP) – 75.2 billion

Pune

Pune, a place for learning, thinking and doing. Pune is a city located in the western Indian state of Maharashtra and now closely linked with Mumbai. It is the 8th largest city in India and the second largest in Maharashtra. India’s first Prime Minister called Pune “The Oxford of the East” because Pune attracts students from all over the world. There are a large number of good schools in Pune affiliated either with the Maharashtra State SSC Board or the All-India Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and CBSE boards.

GDP (PPP) – 69.0 billion

Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad was the historic home of Gandhi’s famous ashram and is now a dynamic commercial hub – it is one of the fastest-growing cities and is one of the best cities to live in. Ahmedabad is an economic and industrial hub of India and is the largest city in Gujarat. There are several significant companies located in the city and the place is known for the textile industry. This city attracts a large number of tourists every year as there are several amazing monuments along with numerous modern buildings. Have fun – go there during the amazing kite festival.

GDP (PPP) – 68.0 billion

Surat

Surat is known by several names – the silk city, the diamond city and the clean city – it is one of the cleanest cities in India and is the best developing urban community. Surat has the largest stone cutting and cleaning centers and is especially known for diamonds. Surat has a large textile industry and there are more than 380 dyeing and printing mills with 41,000 power looms.

GDP (PPP) – 59.8 billion

Visakhapatnam

Thankfully known by the shorter name of Vizag, this city manages to combine a powerful steel industry, major port and lots of natural beaty. It is a great economic destination that is also known as the financial capital of Andhra Pradesh. This coastal city is also known for its medication, programming, and pharmaceutical industry.

GDP (PPP) – 43.5 billion

(Thanks to multiple sources including INDIA TODAY for the above)

India adopting digital payments as Covid spurs rapid move away from cash

I am a big fan of The Hindu Business Line and one of their recent reports shows a big shift in India to digital payments – the cash economy, so long a burden for India, is dying out as a result of Covid and long-term Modi Government efforts.

This has massive positive implications for GST income for government.

Business Line reported that ACI Worldwide released a new report that indicated more than 70.3 billion real-time payments transactions were processed globally in 2020, a surge of 41 per cent compared to the previous year.

This comes as the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically accelerated trends away from cash and cheques towards greater reliance on real-time and digital payments, according to the study.

According to the report, India retained the top spot with 25.5 billion real-time payments transactions, followed by China with 15.7 bn transactions.

In 2020, the transaction volume share in India stood at 15.6 per cent and 22.9 per cent for instant payments and other electronic payments respectively, while paper-based payments had a considerable share of 61.4 per cent.

The report speculated that by 2024 the share of real-time payments volume in overall electronic transactions will exceed 50 per cent. This will further touch 71.7 per cent by 2025.

“India’s journey of creating a digital financial infrastructure has been characterized by collaboration between the government, the regulator, banks, and fintech. This has helped to advance the country’s goal of enabling financial inclusion and also provided rapid payment digitization for citizens. The pandemic has further accelerated the adoption of digital payments with many first-time users adopting digital payments and significant uplift by merchants,” said Kaushik Roy, VP, and head of product management, Asia, ME, and Africa, ACI Worldwide.

Melbourne edtech firm TALi launches learning app in India

Pictured is Glenn Smith, MD, TALi Digital

I was pleased to hear from Michelle Wade, Commissioner South Asia at Global Victoria, that Victorian edtech and digital wellness company TALi Digital this week launched their Indian platform via the Times of India. The two apps — the TALi app and TALi TRAIN — are designed to improve children’s attention skills, which are so important for their ability to listen, learn and focus on tasks at home and at school. Targeting children aged 3-8.

As Michelle wrote on Linked In – “Very proud of our team, and particularly Annie SanthanaGopi Shankar and Stuart Bland for the many months’ work and continued support to Tali Digital.”

Well done!

IMF Projects India’s Growth Rate to Jump to Impressive 12.5 Per Cent in 2021

My good friend Mugunthan Siva is the CEO of India Avenue Investment Management – an India and Australia investment company – and he has advised me of great news for the Indian economy and investors.

The International Monetary Fund is now forecasting India to grow GDP at 12.5% in 2021 – the only double digit forecast amongst developed and emerging economies.

Expected global growth of 6% will also play a role in India’s growth given its incrementally increasing role in supply chains, the rise again of the IT outsourcing industry and its strength in pharmaceutical manufacture and export.

In 2022 the IMF forecasts a further 6.9% GDP growth for India – once again the leader of the pack. If India continues to grow like this the US$5tn goal of the Modi’s Government appears within reach in the next 4-5 years.

According to Mugunthan, India’s equity market is evolving nicely given the pivot post COVID. Market breadth has normalised and active managers are dominating the landscape again, as they should in an inefficient equity market like India’s. The next 3 years should see a strong recovery in corporate profit.

India to become the 3rd largest economy and “sweet spot” for investors over next decade

Indranil Sen Gupta, BofA Securities

Indranil Sen Gupta, BofA Securities, recently expressed the view that India is likely to become the 3rd largest economy over this decade. This will be driven by:
– sweetspot for the demographic dividend
– significant FX reserves to protect the economy
– 9-10% nominal GDP growth over the decade
– Low interest rates will lead to the next capex cycle, earnings growth

He said: “We see the economy growing at 9% nominal, that is 6% growth, 5% inflation, and 2% depreciation for the next two years. There are three drivers. The demographic dividend which we have all been talking about for the last 15 to 20 years is actually going to kick in from 2020 and help savings and investments. Secondly, there is financial deepening. Compare it to GDP ratio, which is around 40 to 50 per cent of GDP, should jump almost 100%. And thirdly, there is the emergence of mass markets, which the US probably saw 100 years ago. For example, the price of an entry level car today is 2.5x down from 14x 20 years ago. We think that is close to 1x on export basis.”

Read more at:
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/india-to-be-the-third-largest-economy-in-10-years-bofa-securities/articleshow/81685020.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Adani group transforms from coal empire to infrastructure, renewables and data

Gautam Adani is transforming his business

After spending two decades building a business empire centred on coal, Indian billionaire Gautam Adani is now looking at a different future. His ambitious plans are getting a boost from close friend Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mr Adani is diversifying into airports, data centres and defence – sectors Mr Modi considers crucial to meeting India’s economic goals. Investors are rewarding the pivot.

In less than two years, Mr Adani has gained control of seven airports and almost a quarter of India’s air traffic.

Adani will boost his renewable energy capacity almost eightfold by 2025.

Last week, he won a contract to co-develop a port terminal in Sri Lanka, a neighbour India is courting to check China’s influence in the region.

Adani Enterprises last month signed a deal with Edge- ConneX to develop and operate data centres across India.

After starting out as a commodities trader in the late 1980s, Mr Adani is now India’s second-wealthiest person, with a net worth of US$56 billion. He has added US$50 billion to his fortune in the past year, about US$5 billion more than Mr Ambani, Asia’s richest man, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

USA coming to terms with India’s “longstanding relationship with Russia”

India’s decision to purchase S-400 missile systems from Russia sparked debate in the USA

INTO INDIA has often reminded readers that India has a close and long relationship with Russia – and is capable of being friends with both sides of international disputes.

Now they’re talking about this in the US.

Here’s what Admiral John Aquilino said during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday to be the next commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command or INDOPACOM: “The United States needs to understand that India has had a longstanding relationship with the Russians for security cooperation and military equipment.”

“India is really a terrific partner and as we’ve seen from the recent Quad discussions, I think the importance of India and the rest of the nations in the Quad will increase. We’re at a balance. However, India has had a longstanding relationship with the Russians for security cooperation and for military equipment,” he said.

Let’s hope the USA can also move away from the “goodies and baddies” approach to international affairs and see that it is possible to sustain healthy connections with apparently competing countries and ideologies.

Global “Indo-Pacific” strategies appear to target China

HMS Queen Elizabeth

Global “Indo-Pacific” strategies appear to target China

Here is a selected list of recent initiatives that might be designed to contain China:

  • The British Government is about to announce a foreign and defence policy review with the “new big idea” of a focus on the Indo-Pacific
  • The new UK aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and accompanying fleet will deploy in May on a maiden voyage to the Indian Ocean coordinated with the US
  • On the flight deck will be a squadron of F35 jets from the US Marine Corps, showing UK and US cooperation
  • The UK mission looks very much like a strike force, including two Type 45 destroyers, an Astute Submarine and two Type 43s
  • At the same time the recent QUAD (Japan, India, Australia, USA) meeting was the first attended by all four leaders and was strong on a free and open Indo-Pacific
  • India, Australia and Japan have an active working party examining supply chain security (code for not buying everything from China)
  • Many foreign ministries from France to Germany have recently produced Indo-Pacific strategies
  • Former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer recently said “The single most geopolitical issue in the world today is the rise of China”
  • Downer went much further in his comments: “This is an issue of war and peace.”
  • Meanwhile Australia is in the 10th month of a trade war with Beijing
  • France and Germany are also deploying large warships to the region this year
  • The UK also wants to turn the G7 into an alliance of 10 democracies by inviting South Korea, India and Australia – yet another concern for China

The Indo-Pacific packs some punch – it now accounts for close to half of global economic output and more than half the world’s population: it contains the world’s two most populous nations, China and India; the world’s second and third largest economies, China and Japan; the world’s largest democracy, India.

Add these up – and draw your own conclusions. What do you think?

Is the QUAD becoming more like NATO?

The QUAD meeting in March was the first where all four national leaders attended – signalling a new higher level for the group which is India, Australia, Japan and the USA.

China will see this meeting as “containing China”, an attitude likely to harden stances between China and the countries of the region. Although it is far from being another NATO, there is no doubt this meeting moved the QUAD in that direction.

Since its creation in 2004, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue has striven to be a loose cooperation and has tried not to become an overtly security group along the lines of NATO. It is a fine line to tread, as the increasing focus of the QUAD has been China.

Although the word “China” does not appear in the recent statement, all the language points to it – promote free, open rules based order, international law, counter threats, freedom of navigation and overflight, democratic values and meet challenges to the rules based maritime order in the East and South China Sea.

The US did not hold back in its language – US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who sat in on the summit, declared “these four leaders made a massive joint commitment today”.

“We have taken the Quad to a new level,” Mr Sullivan said from the White House.

Yet the QUAD partners have diverse perspectives and perhaps very different reasons for coming together. Certainly, Chinese belligerence has been a big motivation.

Australia has been bruised and somewhat taken by surprise by the recent Chinese trade war which has seen massive decline in Australian products in China – at the same time as Covid has hit the high paying international education market from China. When Prime Minister Morrison went public and alone in calling for an inquiry into the Chinese origins of Covid19, the diplomatic lines of the two countries went blank and the trade war “punishment” from China rolled out – the two countries have not been speaking for some time.

India on the other hand has close commercial and personal (leaders) ties with Japan, plus it has experienced border clashes with China in the Himalayan region.

For India and Australia, the meeting adds to their increasing close relationship with Japan, boosted by recently creating a three-country working group to improve supply chain collaboration. Further bad news for China.

In another step up, the Foreign Ministers will meet at least once a year.

It’s all about – in the QUAD’s own words – “leveraging our partnership to help the world’s most dynamic region respond to historic crisis, so that it may be the free, open, accessible, diverse, and thriving Indo-Pacific we all seek.”

China will not like what it has seen from this meeting.

China’s “close the doors” diplomacy (as seen with India and Australia) and punitive actions have certainly added urgency to the QUAD dialogue and might in the end be regretted in Beijing. But of course, how would we know? When the doors are closed, there is no diplomacy or discussion with China.

Why is the Indian American diaspora so successful and now influential in the US?

The power of India in the US. People hold placards of Kamala Harris, as she prepares to take her oath as vice-president of America, at her ancestoral village in Thulasendrapuram.

Migrants from India are the most successful migrant group in the USA and now they are becoming influential and leading in politics. Even President Joe Biden recently quipped that “Indian Americans are taking over the country”.

These Indian Americans have played a “stellar role” in education, technology and entrepreneurship. Now public administration and politics.

Companies in the US headed up by Indian American CEO’s right now include Google, Microsoft, Albertsons, Micron Technology, Mastercard and Adobe Inc.

Biden should feel close to the Indian migrants – his speech writer (Vinay Reddy), Vice President (Kamala Harris) and the leadership of NASA’s Mars Mission (Swati Mohan) all have Indian heritage. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Indians are a small migrant group – around 3.8 million migrated making up 1.2 per cent of the US population.

But this diaspora is the richest, most educated and among the most successful ethnic groups in the USA.

Why?

Indian entrepreneurial drive makes them unique among migrants

The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine of the US in its report titled The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration had said in 2015-16 that “Indian immigrants are the most entrepreneurial of any group including natives, and immigrant businesses represent more than a quarter of businesses in the transportation, accommodation, and recreation and entertainment sectors.”

Indians have chased better education

According to Pew Research Center data from September 2017, about 32 per cent of Indian Americans have a bachelor’s degree and 40 per cent are post-graduates. The comparable figures for all Asian Americans are 30 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively. If all Americans are considered, Indians stand out even more as only 19 per cent of Americans have undergraduate degrees and 11 per cent have post-graduate education.

Indians make more money

The Indian community in the US earn a lot more than all other ethnic groups, white Americans included. A recent survey by Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development found that the average income of Indian American families is $120,000, compared to the overall US average of $88,000.

So, why are Indians the most successful?

A recent book titled The Other One Percent: Indians in America bySanjoy Chakravorty, Devesh Kapur and Nirvikar Singh found some answers.

Singh hypothesises that “There is no ‘secret sauce’. There are no peculiarly Indian cultural traits (that make Indian Americans more successful than others)…. They came very carefully selected. They were not coming from poverty. The simplest policy prescription may be this: Make sure everyone has access to education,” he told the media.

The immigration of Indian Americans really began in 1965 when the US lifted caps it had placed on immigrants from some countries. Since then, the visa process has favoured the entry of mostly upper class, educated Indians, their close relatives, students with very high scores and skilled workers.

Summarising why Indians succeed in America

They are a migrant group with access to educational resources and having a stable financial background. Without these two, migrants generally stay at lower levels of income and influence.

You have not seen the best yet!

80 per cent of second-generation Indian Americans are under the age of 25 years. This means their political influence and commercial success is likely to grow further in the years and decades to come. The Indian American population is expected to almost double to 2 per cent of the US population by 2030. They are mostly concentrated in New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, California and Texas.

Indians now standing out in public service

President Biden has appointed significant numbers of Indian Americans to his team – Uzra Zeya, Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, State Department; Mala Adiga, Policy Director to Dr Jill Biden; Aisha Shah, Partnership Manager, White House Office of Digital Strategy; Sameera Fazili, Deputy Director, US National Economic Council (NEC); Sumona Guha: Senior Director for South Asia at the National Security Council, White House; and Sabrina Singh: Deputy Press Secretary, Vice President White House.

In addition, two Indian Americans, Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal, have already ruled states such as Louisiana and South Carolina as governors.

The story of Indian Americans is amazing right now – and will continue to grow.