As India embarks on its journey from India@75 to India@100, it stands at a critical crossroad where it must prioritize enhancing its competitiveness and establishing itself as a global leader. The world has taken notice of India’s remarkable economic performance and GDP growth, as well as its resilience in the face of global challenges. This is reflected in the significant progress India has made in the Global Competitiveness Index, with a notable climb from the 43rd to the 37th rank.
However, if India is to secure its position among the world’s leaders, it must continue its trajectory of growth. The country possesses several factors that work in its favour, such as its demographic dividend, cost efficiency in the labour market, robust financial structures, positive business sentiment, and advancements in infrastructure and technology. By leveraging these strengths, India can further enhance its global competitiveness and improve its ranking. To achieve this, India needs to place emphasis on crucial factors that are vital to enhancing competitiveness.
Enhancing the Ease of Doing Business
Foremost, India must prioritize improving the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) and reducing the cost of doing business. To realize the ambitions of India@100 requires substantial investments across various sectors. Global players in different industries view India as an attractive destination for business expansion and intend to establish their operations here. India must capitalize on this favourable global sentiment by creating an enabling environment. Streamlining bureaucratic processes, enhancing regulatory frameworks, and reducing transaction costs will attract more investments and foster a thriving business ecosystem.
Developing World-Class Infrastructure
Infrastructure development is a key driver of competitiveness and ease of doing business in India. By enhancing physical infrastructure, digitizing systems, and upgrading technology, India can lay a strong foundation for sustained economic growth. Initiatives like dedicated freight corridors, regional air connectivity, and the National Logistics Policy (NLP) contribute to this goal. The PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan and NLP aim to reduce logistics costs, increase price competitiveness, and streamline digital services through the Unified Logistics Interface Platform (ULIP). These actions will enhance India’s competitiveness in domestic and international markets.
Embracing Sustainable Practices
Sustainability and innovation serve as the essential pillars in India’s journey to achieve global competitiveness. To build a sustainable future, India must prioritise decarbonisation efforts, promote energy efficiency, and embrace clean and green practices. Considering the burgeoning demand for energy, these steps are inevitable that will help satisfy people’s need sustainably. Additionally, switching to clean and green transport options, investing in renewable energy sources, and adopting sustainable manufacturing processes will not only mitigate environmental challenges but also enhance India’s global competitiveness.
Leveraging Abundant Human Capital
India needs to harness its unique human capital talent by focusing on continuous upskilling and inclusivity. Today, the country is the most populous nation in the world and this can be turned into an advantage by skilling the people and preparing them for job market. By investing in digital literacy and upskilling programs, India can bridge the gap between job requirements and employee skillsets, ensuring that the workforce remains competitive in the global market. With such steps, it will be able to meet the domestic as well as global manpower demand.
The Role of the Private Sector and Global Partnerships
The private sector holds immense potential in shaping India’s competitiveness agenda. By leading the way in adopting sustainable practices, investing in research and development, and creating value through responsible business operations, the private sector can drive India’s global competitiveness. Furthermore, forging trusted partnerships with global leaders for raw materials and accessing the global market is vital for India’s manufacturing growth.
To achieve its “Make in India” objectives, India must attract global players to establish operations within its borders and provide adequate support to startups. Collaborating with nations worldwide will contribute to these goals while strengthening India’s position as a reliable and preferred global business destination. Such partnerships will foster an ecosystem that encourages collaboration, innovation, and overall economic growth.
CII has a critical role to play in this endeavour. Through its collaborative approach and advocacy for reforms, CII continues its journey to creating an enabling environment that propels India towards achieving its vision of being the best in class globally. It is playing a crucial role in facilitating collaboration between the government, private sector, and civil society.
The Path Ahead
The journey towards India@100 demands dedication, collaboration, and an unwavering pursuit of excellence. By embracing necessary policy changes and implementing a meticulously designed blueprint, India can position itself as a global leader, contributing to sustainable economic growth, societal well-being, and enhanced competitiveness on the world stage. India can achieve its growth objectives while supporting international development endeavours.