10 December 2015

India poised to dominate the 21st century

The 21st century could be the 'Indian century' as the country readies itself to emerge as a global leader, finds a new IBM study. More than 51% of executives stated that improved governance and the removal of excessive regulation will be a crucial driver of sustained economic growth. While building a strong social infrastructure was identified as the second most important contributor to economic productivity, over 40% of respondents identified good quality of physical infrastructure and availability of skilled resources as important drivers of growth.

The IBM study, Indian Century: Defining India's Place in a Rapidly Changing Global Economy, is based on interviews with 1,088 Indian executives across large enterprises, startups, academia and government to get their perspective on opportunities and roadblocks for the Indian economy.

India benefits from entrepreneurialism and diversity, currently ranking as the fourth-largest source of technology startups globally. By 2020*, India will constitute 30% of the world's workforce and by 2030*, the nation is projected to have the largest middle-class population in the world. A young population equipped with the right skills and growing middle-class will reinforce economic activity through increased consumption and investment.

"India is witnessing a transformation that promises to minimise constrains and support economic advancement. The buildout of social and digital infrastructure, powered by local innovations will help India become an integral part of the global ecosystem. The study rightly points out that India has immense potential to leapfrog traditional growth paradigms. If we are able to capitalise on the opportunities present in front of us, the next decade can definitely mark the beginning of the Indian Century," said Vanitha Narayanan, Managing Director, IBM India.

Executives rated ecosystems at the top of the list of factors to drive economic growth [55% of respondents], while 52% plan to start the ecosystem journey by collaborating with organisations from other industries. More than half of the executives surveyed pinpointed India's engagement in new global economic ecosystems as a means to sustainably place India in the ranks of the global economic elite.

Emphasising the importance of innovation, 57% of executives said it helps them stay ahead of customer expectations, while 41% used it to reduce cost. This is a clear indication that India is well positioned to transform its role in the world, moving from a provider of low cost technical services to a strategic leader with niche skills, IBM noted.

The study states that for India to realise its developmental goals startups, corporates, educators and government have to come together in pursuit of economic collaboration and advancement. India will need to look at itself as a knowledge economy - built on skills, innovation and technology, to indeed make the 21st century, an Indian century.


Read the study