India has been the flavour of the year internationally in 2005 and that looks likely to continue in 2006. The past year has seen very favourable write-ups in many international publications. Outsourcing to Indian companies continues to grow rapidly – in software and other areas. Many companies are expanding their presence in India. Indian companies themselves are looking to grow globally. The Indian stock market performed spectacularly…Yet, there are some areas of concern. Infrastructure – both physical and digital – continues to be a big bottleneck. The political tug-of-war between the Congress and the Communists continues to hold up key reforms. Rural areas still lag behind despite the myriad schemes and ‘investments’ being announced. Energy prices are rising and there doesn’t seem to be enough focus on alternatives…There is visible change all around. But there is also frustration that things now should be moving a lot faster”
Much of the last part still holds true. I hope that the next government has a sense of purpose and urgency as it goes about ensuring that the India story doesn’t fade away. As I wrote:
India needs a few decades of sustained development to make up for all the lost time. We have the world’s youngest population. If we are not to disappoint and lose this generation, we need to work on building the India of tomorrow. We may not be easily able to change our politicians and policies, but I firmly believe that we can use our innovation and entrepreneurial abilities to bring about change. We have to do this not between two generation, but between two elections. The India Rising story needs to not become a chapter but a book.