The Business of India

The Bombay Stock Exchange pictureThe Indian independence in 1947 after the long rule of the British was when the country broke the shackles of a major economic slump. With economic reforms such as private investment and public sector companies’ participation in areas of tele-communication, power generation and banking, small and large-scale industries received a tremendous boost to set the pace of the Indian economy. The result being that India is the second fastest growing economy in the world after China and now trades with over 200 countries to which it exports some 7,500 commodities.

Agriculture is the primary sector of the Indian economy led by the state of Punjab, the largest producer of wheat and rice. The agricultural output sums up to 65% from food and grains alone. That makes it the second largest producer of rice and paddy. Karnataka stands out for coffee production while for tea, the states of Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are the main exporters. The entire sector provides employment to 65% of the labour market.

The textile industry manufactures and exports jute, wool, silk and cotton that add up to one third of the export earnings. The state and central governments work together for the promotion and growth of these private sector companies.

International companies seek the services of the software industry in India because of its expertise and cheap labour. And the software industry accounts to the country’s major export earnings. The IT sector grew by 50% in 2000-01, increasing the employment opportunities and increasing the prospects of jobs to greater heights. The IT capital of India is Bangalore and has put India on the forefront in software business. Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune are also making quick inroads into IT.

The United States is the biggest trading partner of India and thus turning the software industry as a major foreign exchange earner. Multinational firms including Microsoft, IBM and DELL all invest in India.

The two IT giants of India, Wipro and Infosys, both provide IT services internationally and are the pillars of the sector in India. The trend of outsourcing work from other countries saw a boom in India; it also introduced the call centers where the American companies trained an Indian workforce to communicate with its clients from around the world.

India is also the world’s largest manufacturer of two-wheelers. Bajaj and Hero Honda are the top manufacturers of two-wheelers in the country. The growth of automobile industry is 16-18% annually. India’s Tata Motors recently acquired Ford’s British brands Jaguar and Land Rover and the company has also launched the world’s cheapest car called the ‘Nano’. Maruthi Udhyog is the largest car manufacturing company of India.

The Telecom sector remains vast with Indian giants Airtel, BSNL, Vodafone, Reliance, MTNL and IDEA as the leading service providers. The mobile sector uses CDMA and GSM technology and the subscribers are increasing by large numbers each and every year, and competition remains fierce among the service providers.

Tata Steel acquired the Anglo-Dutch company Corus and is now the fifth largest steel maker of the world. With the growing demand of steel for automobiles, infrastructure, real estate will put the steel sector on a fast track. And with the GDP growth rate that touched 9.5% in 2007, India definitely promises a success story that will not be bogged down by the global recession and will surely bounce back to its robust growth trend.