Field Notes: An Overview of India

Ashish, Director of the International Advisory Council, addressed the delegation and gave a great talk on India and the issues that Americans can face in doing business in the country.  The International Advisory Council provides consulting services to organizations wishing to work in India and is the official representative of the Washington State Department of Commerce in India.  They have offices in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, and Delhi.  More information on the IAC can be found here.

  • India has the seventh largest land mass in the world;
  • Second largest population (behind China);
  • Family size averages 4-5;
  • Literacy rate is 74%, but this may not be directly comparable to the US definition;
  • GDP US$2.1 trillion;
  • GDP growth forecast 3.3%
  • There are 29 states and seven union territories;
  • An income of US20,000 provides a comfortable living in India;
  • Since 1991, the economy has been liberalized and moved to a capitalist system;
  • 65% of the population is under 35 (youngest in the world);
  • India intends to make large investments in cleantech in the coming years;
  • Solar capacity is 1,044 MW today; 0.5% of total power generation capacity;
  • English is not spoken everywhere by everyone;
  • Delays are normal;
  • Intellectual property rights are protected under law, but need local assistance;
  • Lots of movement in the work force–over five years,  a workforce will turnover;
  • Competition can be tough;
  • Long-term relationships in business are important;
  • Cricket is a religion in India;
  • Asian values often apply;
  • There is a lot of pride in Bollywood;
  • Most Indians seem to believe Prime Minister Modi is on the right track; but the rate of change is not as fast as the campaign suggested;
  • The federal government is working hard to become much more pro-business;
  • India is world’s largest democracy;
  • Prior to 1991, India had a Soviet style command economy; today it is a free economy

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