Friday, September 30, 2005

India - a 22d Century USA ?

(September 2005) - In just four decades, India is projected to be the most populous nation on Earth.

India's middle class alone will be 983 million strong by 2015. And, one half of India's population is still under the age of 25, a powerful dynamic. India's demographics alone may be its greatest asset.
This is a young and increasingly wealthy nation - India's net income has doubled in the last 10 years.
Everything is more affordable. In fact, India is the second largest mobile phone market on Earth. It is also home to the world's second largest two-wheeler market.

Driven by the information technology and outsourcing booms, more and more foreign companies are setting up shop in India. Five million square feet of retail space is being developed, and over $25 billion will be spent on urban housing.

A trip to a real estate agent's office in Chennai, India, was quite an eye-opener.
Unclear titles, poor building standards and ridiculous tenancy laws have historically plagued Indian real estate. That is why foreign investors have stayed away.
Today, Indians maintain better records and go to great lengths to ensure that the title on a property is clear. The government is even considering computerization of land records.
Foreign direct investment is now allowed in real estate. And the sector is truly coming of age - financial institutions have filed for permission to introduce $1 billion worth of real estate mutual funds in India.

In India, the ratio of the total value of mortgages to the GDP is only 2%, whereas it is 52% in the United States.
This means that in the United States, for every $100 we produce, we owe $52 in mortgages. Indians, however, owe just $2.

- Initial reporting by Sala Kannan - [heavily edited by me].

While I believe that America's future is particularly bright, at least through the middle of the 21st century, it does seem as though India's growth could be a decades-long sustained boom, with a much faster average rate of economic growth than the U.S. over that time.

Assuming, of course, that India can avoid a nuclear war with Pakistan or China, or a long and ruinous conventional war with China.


Blogger Hey Skipper said...


Just imagine where India might be if they hadn't trod socialism's path for the better part of 50 years.

As it happens, most of the people I work with are from India.

On average, they are a more pleasant, intelligent, and hard working group of people than you are likely to find.

October 01, 2005 11:03 AM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

Just imagine where India might be if they hadn't trod socialism's path for the better part of 50 years.


Now imagine an India with the dynamism and innovativeness of America - but with a population THREE TIMES as large.

I'll give 'em 50/50 odds of reaching that latter state of being.

In any case, it does seem as though they're almost certain to rival the U.S. in absolute terms by the end of the 21st century, and that will be good for both nations and societies.

October 01, 2005 1:05 PM  
Blogger Duck said...

It certainly promises to be one of the best countries to invest growth capital in over the next 20 years or so.

I wonder how India compares to the USA with regard to the ability of foreigners to immigrate and to become integrated into the larger society. We've only seen their ability to move outward and integrate. That will be a key factor in the sustainability of their growth and success.

October 03, 2005 10:39 AM  

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