590 million will live in cities in India in 2030, more than the entire population of the United States; 270 million will be the net increase in the working age population; 70 % of net new employment will be generated in the cities; 68 cities will have populations in excess of 1 million, up from 42 today ( Europe has 35 today). The stats projected are truly staggering. For those who us who live in India’s cities, the future can be seen as being both exciting and frightening! India’s urban awakening is often written about Continue reading
When I underwent heart surgery some months ago at Bangalore’s Fortis Hospital at Bannerghatta Road, I found that the chap in the private room next to mine was from the US. Walking down the corridor a few days later on my way to recovery, I bumped into a person from Kuwait and another from Nigeria. These were perhaps a small sample of the many thousands who come to India every year for healthcare, particularly surgical procedures which would cost them, if you will pardon the poor pun, a hand and a foot in their countries. In addition of course to the competence of the doctors and nursing staff here in India.
Even calling them ultra-luxury might actually be a misnomer. The apartments that Prestige Developers is putting up in liquor baron Dr. Vijay Mallya’s property in the heart of Bangalore will cost you a cool $ 4 million . Yes, you heard right. The figure is 4 million USD. Are there people around who can afford such apartments, you might ask. Sure, there are. Otherwise, Dr. Mallya wouldn’t be knocking down his ancestral bungalow to have such a complex built in its place.
I was recently informed by Jeff Behrendt of INForum.in that they have published their list of ” 15 Must Read Indian Blogs About Investing & Business “.
Like every other country in these exciting and demanding times, India too is changing and changing fast. But with economic prosperity comes the danger of burn out or working yourself to illness or worse still- death. A recent report from the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry in India ( ASSOCHAM) says work related ailments like heart disease, strokes and diabetes will cost India as much as $ 160 billion between 2009 and 2015.
As disposable income increases, so do desires. The well to do youth of India could leapfrog from the thrill of “my first motor-bike ” today to that of “my first car” tomorrow.
Tata Motors is working towards introducing a sedan car for Rs 100,000 or Rs.1 lakh ( as the figure is popularly called in India), the equivalent of $ 2500. The story of the potential market for such a car is described in Time by Simon Robinson.
If Tata were to lure away even 10% of the 6.5 million Indians who buy motorbikes every year, it will have expanded India’s car market by more than half. Competitors aren’t willing to cede that kind of market share without a fight. Carlos Ghosn, head of Renault-Nissan, recently announced that his company was looking at building a $3,000 car in India. Fiat, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Maruti (the Indian division of Japanese manufacturer Suzuki), Toyota and Volkswagen are all developing low-cost cars, though none of them have promised anything quite as cheap as $3,000.
Apart from the potentially huge market in India itself, Tata Motors plans to export its economical car to other countries in Southeast Asia and Africa. With its affordability being a key advantage, the Chairman of the Tata Group, Ratan Tata hopes to eventually sell as many as 1 million such cars worldwide each year. Countries like Brazil and Russia could also be possible markets. The project is expected to succeed because of the relatively low manufacturing costs in India- engineering costs alone being estimated to be half that of Europe or the US.
On the flip side, there may be a high environmental price to pay as poor nations convert from two wheels to four. John Rogers, a consultant for the Asian Development Bank, estimates that the number of cars in India will increase from 6.2 million in 2005 to 41.6 million by 2025.
The new car will offer a viable option for many in India who currently manage- albeit with difficulty- to take their entire family out on their two wheelers!
A recent issue of Business Today tells us that Indians are the most upbeat about life in the Asia region. Research from AXA Asia Life shows that 82 % of the “mass affluent” ( the top 25-35 % of the population) in India have neither started planning for, nor taken care of their retirement needs. AXA Asia is part of the giant AXA Group.
It appears that for Indians the first priority was career, followed by health, family and retirement in that order.
As many as 85 % of Indians surveyed were satisfied with their lives – the highest for any country in the region. The Philippines was next with 72 % followed by Indonesia at 47 %.
Another insight was that although 76 % of Indians were concerned about the rising costs in childrens’ education only 1 % had invested in education plans.
However, the survey size was not very big. It covered 2400 people aged between 25 and 50 years in 8 markets in Asia.