Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The emergence of India's tier III Cities

Interesting article that in a way shows signs of how the economic growth currently dominated at DElhi Bombay and Bangalore will eventually balance out across the country. There by taking with it other benefits too - education, infrastructure being predominant. This I see as a trend that would lead to more sustained growth. it also would prevent the huge migrations from rural areas and towns to big cities and thus act as a balancing point that would ease pressure on these cities and even put a cap on the astronomical increases in real estate prices and costs of living in the big cities - delhi bombay and bangalore.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Article on "Will India ever grow as rapidly as China? If so, how might that occur?"
Part of the Business Week Expert Roundtable 1 on Growth: China vs. India

Interesting post. What struck me as the most important point emerging from this discussion, as opined by atleast 3 speakers, is about the definition of 'growth'. Just economic growth? or a more wholesome and balanced growth. I personally feel that to have a long-term sustained development, balanced growth is what is to be achieved. Another point that struck me as important was made by Viveca Chan. She says "If India were to grow faster than China, it must increase its attractiveness to investing companies in terms of its market size and potential for luxury products. Indian consumers are more frugal and rational in spending. Chinese consumers are much more willing to pay for branded and luxury goods, a dream for marketers. This is evidenced by ubiquitous presence of luxury brands from Starbucks to Louis Vuitton in China vs. India. So if the India market is to grow faster than China, Indian consumers need to be encouraged to buy things they do not need and pay prices that have no relation to the cost of goods. After all, market growth is about the growth of brands."
Viveca has hit the nail on the head! What she says is very true. If you look at any of the Capitalistic fast growth societies you immediately notice this 'irrational' spending on brands with consumers paying prices which are in no way related to the cost of the goods themselves!! Is this the "growth" that we need? Makes me scared to think of it. A capitalist might say that wealth should be created in whatever form and then it trickles down to all classes of society. But with a population as large as India this trickling down, if at all it happens, might take centuries! Ex: China! It scares me to think of the economic disparity that such growth would create between the rich and the poor. What with the fast increasing economic power of the middle-class with youngsters earning far more than their parents did after 25-30 years of service, it might soon come to be that the so called 'middle-class' disappears! Well, this is a cynical me thinking i guess. But nevertheless I am sure many would agree that we would not want a growth for our country as elucidated by Viveca!
A slower, more wholesome growth, which is still fast, but waits long enough for rest of the society to catch-up is what is needed for us.
I am not a socialist..though my thoughts above make me sound like one. I surely believe in the Capitalist structure of society, but I vote for a balanced system of society away from the extreme capitalism that extremely high growth rates might promulgate.