India’s second Independence

Author: Jagdish. N Seth
Professor of Marketing, Goizueta Business School, Emory University
While India’s political freedom is 60 years old, its economic freedom is only 16 years old. It took birth in 1991, when the government abandoned the planned economy model manifested in what was labeled as the “license Raj” in favor of free market economy. What has been achieved in such a short span of 16 years is impressive.

First, it has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world (8-9% annually with low to moderate inflation) compared to the Hindu rate of growth (2% or less) since its second independence.

re than U.S. $300 bn in reserves through export growth especially in services sectors such as IT and ITES as well as by attracting all types of investments (stock market, private equity, and foreign direct investment) into India. This is destined to cross U.S. $500 bn within the next two to three years.

Third, India’s stock market has performed extremely well creating significant wealth for all types of investors including main street citizens through mutual funds, foreign institutional investors (FII), and especially for entrepreneurs and promoters.

Fourth, it has also produced several large new enterprises such as Reliance, Infosys, and Bharti and re-energized traditional business houses like Tata, Birla, and even many public sector units (PSUs) including ONGC, Maruti, SBI, and LIC. The combined market caps of these enterprises since 1991 is nothing short of spectacular. Finally, India’s economy has been increasingly and steadily getting globally integrated both economically and politically.

Impact of second Independence
So what has been the impact of this spectacular transformation of India’s economy? First and foremost, it has created a new Image of India: India’s image worldwide has dramatically changed from a country of roaming cows and snake charmers to one of an emerging superpower with talented people in all walks of life from contemporary literature and art, to science, engineering, business, and finance. Second, it has also generated a new self confidence and “can do” attitude among its educated class and entrepreneurs. In fact, nothing seems to be impossible if you are an Indian or in India. Third, it has produced altogether new entrepreneurs such as Mittal, DLF, Reliance, Bharti, Dr. Reddy’s, Ranbaxy, Infosys, and many more.

Finally, it has also created a new middle class; I call it the call center couples: both husband and wife are college educated, both have to work, and neither wants their parents to live with them because they like and enjoy their privacy and freedom. The call center couples do not like the traditional merchant or the neighborhood provision store owner who home delivers daily groceries and toiletries with a monthly account settlement. Instead, they want to shop at a modern organized retailer such as Big Bazaar and Metro, which offer branded, quality products (both domestic and imported) with fixed prices and check out at cash registers that accept credit cards for payment.

India in 2035
Where will India be in 2035? Here are some predictions based on accelerated projections of past impressive record. First, some of the largest global enterprises will be of Indian origin especially in basic industries such as copper, steel, aluminum, and other industrial materials. India Inc will transform into a truly global enterprise not through exports but through large global acquisitions of world class companies with strong technical, manufacturing, or branding assets. Recent acquisitions by Mittal, Hindalco, Tata (across many of its companies), Wipro, Marico, Crompton & Greaves, Ranbaxy, Dr. Reddy’s Labs, and many others will be replicated by Reliance Industries, ONGC, private sector banks such as ICICI Bank, as well as by many public sector units.

Second, India will become the second (and in some instances the first) largest consumer market for many products and services surpassing the United States, Japan, and Germany. This will include mobile phones, consumer electronics, appliances, garments, motorcycles, scooters, beverages, prepared foods, and agricultural products such as fruits, vegetables, and grains as well as dairy products including milk, cheese, and butter. As the second largest market in the world, it will attract global enterprises from around the world to manufacture and market locally. This will also be true of global IT industry including IBM, Accenture, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and Intel.

Third, India will partner with strange bedfellows in search of industrial, agricultural, energy, and talent resources around the world. Think of its investment and business partnering with Bolivia, Venezuela, Iran, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Egypt, and several resource rich African countries. In other words, India’s global alignment will be less on ideology (like the non-alignment movement) and more on markets and resources, including human resources.

Finally, India will gain significant geopolitical clout by 2035. It will become part of G8 along with China; it will be given a permanent seat at the UN Security Council, and will be asked to provide leadership level talent to world bodies such as the ILO, WHO, World Bank, and IMF.

Indeed, some economic experts and advisors believe that India will catch up with China and will start to outdistance both the U.S. and China like a good marathon runner by 2035. Celebrating the second Independence may be equally important.
Previous  article
Next article
Write your comment now

Email    Password: 
Don't have SiliconIndia account? Sign up    Forgot your password? Reset
Reader's comments(3)
1: From: Mrs. Mary David

This mail may be a surprise to you because you did not give me the permission to do so and neither do you know me but before I tell you about myself I want you to please forgive me for sending this mail without your permission. I am writing this letter in confidence believing that if it is the will of God for you to help me and my family, God almighty will bless and reward you abundantly. I need an honest and trust worthy person like you to entrust this huge transfer project unto.

My name is Mrs. Mary David, The Branch Manager of a Financial Institution. I am a Ghanaian married with 3 kids. I am writing to solicit your assistance in the transfer of US$7,500,000.00 Dollars. This fund is the excess of what my branch in which I am the manager made as profit last year (i.e. 2010 financial year). I have already submitted an annual report for that year to my head office in Accra-Ghana as I have watched with keen interest as they will never know of this excess. I have since, placed this amount of US$7,500,000.00 Dollars on an Escrow Coded account without a beneficiary (Anonymous) to avoid trace.

As an officer of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money thus I am impelled to request for your assistance to receive this money into your bank account on my behalf. I agree that 40% of this money will be for you as a foreign partner, in respect to the provision of a foreign account, and 60% would be for me. I do need to stress that there are practically no risk involved in this. It's going to be a bank-to-bank transfer. All I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund so that the fund can be transferred to your account.

If you accept this offer, I will appreciate your timely response to me. This is why and only reason why I contacted you, I am willing to go into partnership investment with you owing to your wealth of experience, So please if you are interested to assist on this venture kindly contact me back for a brief discussion on how to proceed.

All correspondence must be via my private E-mail ( for obvious security reasons.

Best regards,
Mrs. Mary David.
Posted by: mary lovely david - Monday 26th, September 2011
My Name is Tata I was impressed when i saw your profile at and will like you to email me back to my inbox so that i can send you my picture for you to know who i am.i belive we can establishe a long lasting relation ship with you.In addition,i will like you to reply me through my private e mail box (
This is because i dont know the possibilities of
remainning in forum for a long time.
Thanks,waiting to hear from you soonest.
Posted by: tata tatababy os - Friday 30th, October 2009
3: What about remidial measures & stratigies in controlling zooming/astronimical prices of essential commodities/real estate.Pridict yr time frame as yr stated above goals can only b achieved by middle class population who r presently striving hard for their survivals inspite of their being pssessing BELIEF,ENHANCEMENT IN THEIR ATTITUDE,STRIVING FOR GOALS WITH THEIR PROJECTED TARGET MOON ie BEST.Irequest yr highliting yr VALUABLE BRIGHT THOUGHTS AS i am among that group.
Posted by: Shyam Motiram Chandanani - Monday 08th, September 2008
More articles
by Kaushal Mehta - Founder & CEO, Motif Inc..
The retail industry is witnessing an increased migration of customers from traditional brick and mortar retail to E-commerce (online retail)...more>>
by Samir Shah - CEO, Zephyr .
You probably do because you are on the phone with them! For all of you working in some technical management capacity here in Silicon Valley,...more>>
by Raj Karamchedu - Chief Operating Officer, Legend Silicon .
These days are a mixed bag for me. Of late I have been considering "doing something bigger and better," in my life, perhaps seriously though...more>>
by Madhavi Vuppalapati - CEO of Prithvi Information Solutions .
IT Services Rise of Tier II companies The Indian IT outsourcing industry is going through very exciting phase in its business life...more>>
by Bhaskar Bakthavatsalu- Country Manager, India and SAARC of Check Point Software Technologies.
Data loss occurs every day through corporate email. In fact, given the sheer number of emails an organization sends every day, data loss inc...more>>