Tuesday, 31 January 2012


When I return to India I am always amazed at just how much is happening. There is no such thing as a slow news day, being in India is always exciting.

Right now India is growing and is going to continue growing at about 7%. The RBI Governor is equally confident that inflation will slow over the course of the year. But it is the businesses that are driving India’s growth, new and young Entrepreneurs, IPOs and numerous mergers and acquisitions are keeping the Economy moving. However, big business continues to worry about the cost of borrowing and likely power shortages and the delays in policy decisions that can make this worse. On a separate note, one of the things Indian business can be proud of is the number of women in high level positions, particularly in the Banking and financial services sector, many other countries are still striving to accomplish this.

In my view there are 2 issues haunting India, poverty and the lack of a perceived solution.

India is blessed with many self motivated individuals that are willing to dedicate their time and money to changing the lives of the poorest in society. However despite successful grass route initiatives a large scale political solution to poverty seems a long way off. There is lots of political and social debate but the state of politics at the moment is not helping with quick decision making or long term solutions.

Similarly in the field of Anti-Corruption, there is a strong civil society lead campaign to make democracy more participatory and to help reduce corruption by attracting more able candidates. Again this is being driven by successful individuals including NRIs rather than the political classes.

My final observation, the more I travel in India the more impressed I am at how unimportant caste and religion are becoming across society. They no longer play a role in most of the interactions you have in both the Cities and rural areas. However in political discussions and across the media there is a huge amount of time dedicated to it. I do wonder if this energy was spent on the wider poverty issue there might be more progress.

None the less, India is still a truly vibrant and emerging nation that is a beacon for democracy and economic growth.

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