India is adored for its rich history, cultural wealth and wildlife. For savvy businesses seeking to take advantage of emerging markets, it's also adored for its huge growth trajectory.From the Unicorns of Bengaluru to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reforms, we explore five reasons India should be your next business trip.
1. Economic Opportunity
In reports, forecasts and surveys, India has been touted as the ‘Next Big Thing’ for years. Today, the world’s fastest growing economy is truly a heavyweight player in the global marketplace.
Welf Ebeling, vice president of operations in Asia Pacific for the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), says pro-business reforms and accelerated infrastructure investment have been key drivers of India’s recent growth.
According to GBTA Executive Director and COO, Michael McCormick, India is “statistically where China was 15 years ago.”
These sentiments have been echoed the world over. Australia’s resources minister, Josh Frydenberg, said earlier this year that India’s urbanisation and growing middle class present significant economic opportunity for Australian businesses.
Last year, the International Monetary Fund also praised the positive economic policies of Modi’s Indian government, saying “growth will benefit from recent policy reforms, a consequent pickup in investment, and lower oil prices.”It’s safe to say that the contributors to India’s economic boom are many, as are the economic opportunities for western businesses.
2. Startup Central
In the first nine months of 2015, Indian start-up businesses attracted $1.44bn of venture capital funding.
Internet and Mobile comprised 70% of this investment, with food and drink, health and science also driving funding. According to Forbes contributor Edmund Ingham, e-commerce is to be the “next big market”, with staggering short-term growth predictions.
In late 2015, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi announced his ’Start-up India - Stand up India’ campaign, which encourages bank financing for start-up businesses and offers incentives for entrepreneurship and job creation.It’s just another example of Modi’s lauded positive economic policies, and an exciting prospect for western businesses on many fronts.
3. Growth, growth, growth
In August 2016, India’s Goods and Services Tax passed through the Upper House in an historic shot-in-the-arm to the country’s tax system.
The reform presents innumerable opportunities for Australian businesses.
If India’s real estate sector expands, demand for cement and still will expand with it. Australia’s mining equipment, technology and services, automotive research and development and design are also well-placed to cash in on India’s growth.Likewise, India’s infantile financial advice sector poses great opportunities for Australian businesses.
4. Unicorns of Bengaluru
Every emerging technology market has its answer to Silicon Valley, and Bengaluru (or Bangalore) is India’s crowning jewel (pictured). Five of India’s eight ‘unicorn’ star-up companies, or businesses valued at $1 Billion or more, call the southern city home.Bengaluru’s Flipkart, Ola, InMobi, Quikr and MuSigma represent a culmination of India’s positive economic policies, growth and technology. Last year, Silicon India reported that Bengaluru received the fifth largest venture capital funding at $2.6 Billion.
5. Tim Cook Went, Why Don’t You?
Apple CEO, Tim Cook himself visited Bengaluru this year to announce a new iOS App Design and Development centre in the city.
“India is home to one of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world,” he said.
On the economic growth potential of the subcontinent, Tim Cook was optimistic - “I see a lot of positive things happening in the country, and more will happen. From GDP point of view, there is no doubt in my mind that India will set new records. I can feel it will happen.”
India’s potential as the promised land for growing businesses seeking investments and partnerships is evidently massive.
However, travel managers need to be on the ball when sending employees to developing markets like India.
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