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Why India is the Next Rising Superpower, and 4 Tips for CEOs Prospecting the Market

An incisive book by Straits Times associate editor Ravi Velloor assesses the country's meteoric rise.

For years, India has been spoken of in the same breath as China, in terms of its prowess in becoming the world’s next economic power. While China has indeed showed off its might, the same could not be said of India – until now.

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in 2014, hopes are high that the motherland will rise above its troubles, as Modi’s reforms start taking shape.

In his new book, India Rising: Fresh Hope, New Fears, The Straits Times’ (ST) associate editor Ravi Velloor takes an inside look at the decade of Congress Party rule under former prime minister Manmohan Singh (2004-2014), culminating in the rise of Modi. The book also assesses the possibility of India becoming the world’s fifth largest economic power by 2020.

Kerala-born Velloor, who is now Singaporean and helms the “Speaking of Asia” column in ST, says: “India is a shifting kaleidoscope. No other nation in the world has such a complex structure. The noise, bustle, energy, competition and the clash of ambitions – it is drama in motion.”

India Rising

 India Rising: Fresh Hope, New Fears is available at all major bookstores, as well as www.stpressbooks.com.sg.

(Header image: A popular tourist destination known for its majestic forts, Rajasthan is attracting more investors as laws are being changed to make it more business-friendly.)

WHAT EVERY BUSINESSMAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE EMERGING POWER

#01: SPREAD A PAN-INDIAN MESSAGE FOR MARKETING PURPOSES.

Rather than pull the nation apart, India’s diversity has contributed to a mosaic – an Indian-ness – that holds together. There is a massive movement of people across the country. Investors, particularly those making consumer goods, can approach India as a single market for advertising campaigns because a common message resonates with Indians.

#02: MORE STATES ARE BECOMING INVESTMENT-FRIENDLY.

States that are already popular with investors include Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. But look beyond these and consider Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party is tweaking laws to make them more attractive for businesses.

#03: STARS ARE ALIGNED.

A trinity of good regulators at the central bank, at the stocks and at the telecom has finally converged at a time when a business-friendly prime minister is in power.

#04: INDIA IS IN A STRATEGIC SWEET SPOT.

Every significant nation in the world wishes India well. It has good ties with high-technology nations, including the US, Japan, South Korea, Germany and Israel. Chinese Internet companies are teaming up with Indian firms to take on US companies like Amazon in India. The key thing now is to not drop the ball.

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