India's ambivalence towards wealth creation

There is an attitude of ambivalence in India towards the country's impressive economic growth that some feel could retard the country's impressive performance since the economic reforms of the 1990s.

by Far Eastern Economic Review
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

Many Indians still harbour doubts about the benefits of the materialistic society. This kind of debate is natural in any country where certain economic and political conditions have created a fast rise in wealth, which in its initial stages is unevenly distributed.

Interestingly, it is not the highly visible consumers seen in shopping malls who are driving the country's growth. Rather the internal consumption - which is an extremely important driver of India's economic success - is coming from the country's lower-classes in rural and urban areas who are finding they have more money to spend on goods beyond the necessities.

The spending growth, however, is not slowing down savings and investments. The latter trend will help to support investment in capital, which with infrastructure improvements could lead to greater improvements and efficiencies in the country's manufacturing base. With good capital productivity and infrastructure improvements, an investment-led cycle could lead to a surge in exports of manufactured goods.

In the long run, the duality between increased consumption and non-materialistic values will probably not stall India's juggernaut of industrial progress. Rather it should be seen as a sign of a healthy, natural debate going on within a country experiencing fast change. 

A mature society embraces prosperity
By Anand G. Mahindra, vice chairm and and managing director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd
Far Eastern Economic Review, November 2006

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

How to use workplace conflict to your advantage

But beware the festering feud.

Efficient chickens, less stuff, more optimism: The real way to address climate change ...

What is dematerialisation, and why does it matter?

The 5 behaviours of charismatic leaders

How to become more inspirational (without having a personality transplant).

When should you step down as CEO?

Bob Iger's departure poses an unpopular question for bosses.

The death and resurrection of the premium customer

Top-end service is no longer at the discretion of the management.

What HS2 can teach you about project failure

And how you can prevent projects going astray.