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“Moving up in Mumbai” is a well written article by Eric Bellman in the Wall Street Journal. Speaking of three young men in Mumbai and their aspirations to get ahead in new opportunities created by a growing economy, the article captures insight into their lives and thoughts.

Writes Bellman “Until recently, much of the new wealth in India went to college-educated computer programmers, consultants and call-center workers. While they have made the country’s technology industry a new pillar of global commerce, the total number employed by the software industry is still only about two million — less than 0.2% of India’s 1.1 billion population. At the other end of the spectrum, India still has more than 200 million people who live below the poverty line, mostly farmers.

Between the two are tens of millions of Indians, mostly city dwellers in their 20s and 30s, who are taking their first steps into the salaried class by selling goods and services to the increasingly free-spending upper crust. They represent a kind of swing vote in how far India can spread the fruits of its rapid expansion. Annual economic growth has averaged more than 8.5% for the past four years, but much of the benefits have accrued to the old industrial families and the tech-savvy few.”

Over the next 3 years, the booming retail sector is expected to create 2.5 million new jobs in India.

“People are not despondent anymore,” says N.S. Sastry, former director of the National Sample Survey Organization, the government office that tracks employment trends. “They see better employment opportunities, better earning capacities and opportunities to improve their skills.”