Speaking at a panel discussion on ‘Fissures, Faultlines and Future – In Search of an Equilibrium’, they observed that the next few decades were India’s to take the lead as the economic driver of the world.
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“I am more encouraged about not just the potential of India but the reality of India. It is amazing what you have accomplished. India has everything to play for, but the biggest mistake would be to become complacent,” said Bill Winters, chief executive officer, Standard Chartered Bank, noting that India had the potential to grow at a faster pace than the current rate of 6-6.5%.
The Indian economy is likely to grow 7.3% in FY24, IMF in its latest outlook noted that growth is likely to steady around 6.5% for the next two fiscal years. They also noted that India was in an advantageous position in a world disrupted by technologies like AI owing to strong and inclusive national digital infrastructure.
“India is a data economy. A lot of data is in the hands of the users. It will, therefore, be able to leverage AI better than everyone else. India wants to be a creator economy; it’s very entrepreneurial,” said Ravi Kumar S, CEO, Cognizant.
Jenny Johnson, president and CEO, Franklin Templeton, lauded the government’s efforts in ensuring coordinated economic policy, highlighting it as a significant aspect of growth. “Last decade was China’s rather than India, because of unorganised economic policy.
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India has got the greatest opportunity, and you are starting to see genuine economic optimism because of coordinated economic policy, like the IFSC GIFT city,” Johnson highlighted. “I think that if you think about each country as a kitchen, there is no better-stocked kitchen than India for the opportunity because of the fundamental tailwinds behind it,” Johnson added.Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman of Danube Group, talked about the growing clout of Indians worldwide.
“Indians are the highest contributors to the real estate market in Dubai, with 40% of it being commanded by people of Indian origin,” Sajan said, pointing to the Indian government’s efforts to bolster ties with the UAE.
The two countries signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement in 2022, spurring a 16% increase in bilateral trade in FY23. India and the UAE plan to double their non-petroleum trade to $100 billion by 2030.
Sajan said the robust relations are also driving UAE investment in India.
They noted that there was a need for the country to institute more reforms to become an international player.
“Capital markets are not developed, the rupee is not internationalised and is not the currency of trade; these are necessary components for India to become a truly global financial player. And there is a huge opportunity for India over the next decade or two,” Winters said, noting that growth needed to accelerate for India to reach comparable per capita income levels with other economies with similar potential and resources.
India’s per capita income is expected to reach $2,850 in 2024, compared with $13,160 for China and $58,170 for advanced economies.