India has been classified as a BRIC nation, a term coined by Goldman Sachs. This term puts India at a similar industrialization pace as China, Brazil and Russia. However, India has many hurdles to jump over before it can convince this writer that the relatively rosy economic predictions concerning India will occur.
While this writer was in India, four cities were visited. These are Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore. As a result, do not be surprised if this series mentions these cities a few times more than others.
India has crumbling infrastructure, massive corruption, and badly seeks some sort of unity. For example, Chennai speaks more Tamil while Mumbai speaks Hindi. If one utters a word of Hindi in Chennai the locals might not even respond even if they know the language, they just prefer and expect fellow Indians to know Tamil. This cannot continue for the country to achieve the growth prophesied. Additionally, infrastructure of cities is in dire shape. While in Bangalore, one often has to hop over open sewer drains while they walk along the sidewalks. Lastly, corruption in the country is not just witnessed in the political system, but also in other areas such as the IPL. India’s cricket league had a major scandal involving match fixing.
Lastly, should one wish to see true capitalism in force, India is the place to go. The country needs more social security nets, which admittedly is very difficult to administer with such a large population.
Although many negatives have been mentioned, India has far more positives that reveals why investment banks such as Goldman Sachs see such potential. Citizens of India are hardworking individuals, and fairly accepting of new ideas. With strong family systems in place to train the next generation, India should ignore some Western ideals which are constantly portrayed by Indian media.
A friend of this writer once stated “India can best be described as the place where you need to look both ways before crossing a one way street”. The statement is quite true, as readers will see as the India Series begins.