India. The world’s largest democracy has come to the forefront as a new global powerhouse. An English-speaking populace with an increasing disposable income and a burgeoning market have enabled India to emerge as a viable partner to global industry.India is the seventh largest country in area and the second largest population in the world. India’s landmass is roughly a third of the size of the United States but with almost four times the population. It shares borders with Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. The capital city is New Delhi.India is in the global arena for increased foreign investment. While its size and growth potential make India attractive as a market, the most compelling reason for investors to be in India is that it provides a high return on investment.
India is a free-market democracy with a legal and regulatory framework that rewards free enterprise, risk-taking and entrepreneurship.This highly diversified business climate has shown rapid development and remarkable resilience since 1991, when economic reforms were initiated with the progressive opening of the economy to international trade and investment. Investment opportunities in India are today at a peak, valued in excess of 850 billion dollars in diverse sectors over the next five years. The government of India is committed to enabling foreign investors to discover India as a partner with whom they can work in synergy to achieve their objectives of growth and profitability.Economic growth in India today is being rewritten by India’s highly entrepreneurial and rapidly globalizing private sector. Indian firms are bullish about their economy and are eager for U.S. commercial and joint venture partnerships, technologies, brands, services, and know-how.Corruption still remains an obstacle to foreign direct investment. But India is turning a sharp corner in this regard as it moves closer to global integration.
ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE AND REAL ESTATE
The Taj Mahal in Agra, in the province of Uttar Pradesh. Simply the world’s most beautiful building and a stunning example of the elaborate aesthetic world that the Moghuls created in India. Built by Shah Jahan as a tomb to his favorite wife, it’s difficult to imagine a grander gesture throughout history.Located only 126 miles from Delhi, it nonetheless takes 5 hours to get to Agra by national highway. But with the construction of a brand new toll road, travel time would be reduced to under 2 hours. The Yamuna Expressway, a project of Jaypee Infratech, will be a 6-lane access-controlled Expressway and is indicative of the surge in private sector investment in India’s infrastructure.The National Highways Authority of India is mandated to implement the National Highways Development Project, an ambitious initiative aiming to build world-class roads with uninterrupted traffic flow. However, more investment is needed in order to develop India’s crumbling road infrastructure, something the government is keen to address.Construction and maintenance of transport infrastructure, including roads, highways and bridges, is allowed at 100 percent FDI. A very crucial element that could hold the key to India’s infrastructure overhaul is public-private partnerships.Quality, not quantity. The future of Indian infrastructure looks bright, and the positive change is affecting the road, air, and sea network of the nation.
The Indian Himalaya. Vast. Pristine. Humbling. The term “Himalaya” is a Sanskrit word meaning “the Abode of Snow” and marks the crossroads of Asia’s three main religions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. In this greatest of mountain ranges lies the source of India’s main source of renewable energy: water. More and more private companies, both local and international, are taking advantages of the opportunities in power sector investment.As the Indian economy continues to surge ahead, its power sector has been expanding concurrently to support the growth rate. The demand for power is growing exponentially and the scope for the growth of this sector is immense. But with increased demand for power comes capacity shortages. National surveys of industrialists consistently rate power supply as one of the most critical constraints. With responsibility for electricity supply shared constitutionally between the central and the state governments, the Indian government has placed increased emphasis on improving the efficiency of supply, consumption, and pricing of electricity. Only reforming power sector management and financing at the state level can achieve this.According to the Indian Ministry of Power, a 107,000 MW power capacity needs to be added before 2012 to bridge the demand gap. About one-fourth to one-third of this growth will come from independent power producers, with the rest coming from the public sector.The Ministry of Power is facilitating the development of Ultra Mega Power Projects with the capacity of about 4000 MW, each under the tariff-based competitive bidding route. Power projects like the Baspa-II Hydroelectric Project in the Himalayas are just the beginning of a new stage of Indian power generation and transmission, and the potential for more projects is huge.
INDIAN SOCIETY AND TOURISM
Mumbai. The powerhouse of Indian business, industry and trade. India’s most dynamic and westernized city is an assault on the senses.India’s population, at 1.2 billion and growing, represents over 15 percent of the world’s inhabitants. In terms of purchasing power parity, the Indian economy ranks the fourth largest in the world. It is crucial to know that India is driven primarily by domestic consumer consumption and stands in marked contrast to Japan, the Asian Tigers and China, all of whom have followed the export-oriented model. However, poverty still remains a major concern besides disparity in income. One of the major challenges for the Indian economy and those responsible for operating it, is to remove the economic inequalities that are still persistent in India after its independence in 1947.Upon its celebration of fifty years of independence in 1997, India adopted the slogan “Unity in Diversity”. The Indian tourism board has also launched a wildly successful “Incredible India” campaign to attract more tourists. That so much of India’s past remains discernible today is all the more astonishing the country’s rapid pace of development. India has an elusive soul. A nation so complex and bewildering, intimidating yet utterly compelling. It is unforgettable.
The story of India is one of growth and rebirth. As the global economy suffers from an economic recession, India’s progress and breakneck journey into economic nirvana will result in a reincarnation of a new global order. To know the 21st century is to know India. Namaste!