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Who Rocks India?

Is it really rocking ?
Last week two journalists asked me what seemed like two unrelated questions. One, from a leading business channel queried “Where do you think the next billion customers will come from” And a few days later came the second poser “Can India really sustain its BRIC promise”. Both questions were dealt with independently over two separate interviews .
In retrospect however, they seemed strangely connected at the hip.
Firstly, the next billion customers may not come from India, but, India will create the next billion customers: But who will create them? TATA’s ever widening global footprint? The burgeoning ambitions of Mr. Sunil Mittal? These are undeniably proud achievements. But also few and far between. So where is the sustainable story for Goldman Sachs analysts?
Consider this: A commerce ministry report of 2008 declared that of the FDI going out of the country in the previous year, 41% came from the SME sector (in services). In the more capital hungry manufacturing sector this number was still an astonishing 26%.
In 2005, a basmati exporter called LT overseas (better known as the owners of brand DAAWAT) acquired an American firm via an LBO! Last year Aurobindo Pharma bought a US manufacturing unit, in Dayton for USD 25 million close on the heels of another acquisition of Milpharm in UK. The story of India’s uncelebrated value creators continues unabated, but mostly below the big headlines. The stepchildren of Dr Manmohan Singh’s original magnum opus are breaking new barriers.
And what about the BRIC promise of disruptive growth? The IBEF newsletter says that we will grow at 9% this quarter. Don’t tell the big boys this: Nokia’s market share fell 11.8% over last year, Infy recast its growth target to 13%(down from the heady 30s) and the mighty HUL lost volumes and market share in the first half of a recovery year. But here’s the curious thing: in the handsets business, the small boys (Spice, Micromax and Maxx) grew substantially over last year. In FMCG the Calcutta based Emami announced a 29% growth in sales and a 79% surge in earnings. Cavinkare and Jyoti labs are not lagging.
According to an Assocham report the SME sector contributed 40% of all job creation post recession, after having lost 25% of their employee base to redundancy. This sector employs 59.7 million and produces over 8000 distinct products, contributing over 40% to India’s export value.
Little wonder that today the biggest names in banking, Information technology, manufacturing, design and structuring products and services specifically aimed at this segment. Note the advertising campaigns from State Bank of India, Microsoft, Google and Dell speaking directly and exclusively to the Entrepreneur.
India’s growth is in steady and safe hands; not subject to any big gambles or tricky levers!


sachin kamat said...

i couldn't agree more.

there are just so many of them and so little about them is in public domain

and their growing success is based on some very sharp thinking

the regional wafer manufacturer who gives double the quantity at the same price of national players as he believes he is creating an inventory with the consumer

the next electronics major part of whose amazing value comes from a all female workforce even though the factory is located in one of the most traditional parts of the country

the tea marketer who has ensured that the time lag from the time the product leaves the factory till the time the consumer makes his cuppa is less than a week

lots to learn from each one of them