Eye on Asia

India: A profile

This article provides an overview of India for those keen on exploring the possibility of living and working there. The information presented is gathered from open sources and is not exhaustive or meant to supplement or substitute legal and professional advice.


Key facts

Source: https://pixabay.com/en/india-

Official name: Republic of India;¹

Land area: 3,287,263 sq km2

Population (2017 estimate): 1.34 billion²

Head of State: President Ram Nath Kovind³

Head of Government: Prime Minister Narendra Modi⁴

Languages: India’s constitution recognizes 22 different languages.⁵ Hindi is the official language, spoken by 30 percent of the population, while English is used for official purposes and for business. Individual states may have their own official languages and several states have legislated their own languages.⁶

Currency: Rupee (INR)⁷

Capital:  New Delhi⁸

Nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP): US$2.262 trillion (2016); US$2.515 trillion (2017 estimates)⁹

GDP Per Capita – US$ at purchasing power parity: US$6,578 (2016); US$7,066 (2017)¹⁰

 

Introduction

India is made up of 29 states and seven Union Territories. The country’s boundaries extend from the Himalayan mountain ranges to the tropical rainforests in the south. It is bounded by the Bay of Bengal to the east, the Arabian Sea to the west, and the Indian Ocean to the south. It shares a border with Pakistan and Afghanistan at the northwest. China, Bhutan and Nepal at the north; Myanmar at the east; and Bangladesh at the east of the state of West Bengal. Sri Lanka is separated from India by the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.¹¹

 

Demographic profile

India’s population is relatively young, with those aged 49 and below accounting for more than 70 percent of the population.¹² In 2011, India’s population sex ratio was 940 females for every 1000 males.¹³

 

Economic profile

India’s GDP growth slowed from eight percent in FY 2015/16 to 7.1 percent in FY 2016/17, ¹⁴ In FY 2017/18, growth is estimated at 6.75 percent.¹⁵ However, the economy is expected to maintain steady growth at seven percent. By FY 2020, growth is projected at 7.4 percent.¹⁶ According to Morgan Stanley, India’s GDP could reach US$6 trillion by 2027 if it could successfully digitise its economy. It would also pave the way for the country’s equity market to be one of the five largest in the world.¹⁷

 

Consumer market

India has a large consumer market that offers abundant opportunities. It is set to become the world’s fifth largest consumer market worth around US$1.5 trillion by 2025. According to the Boston Consulting Group, India’s consumption expenditures is “expected to rise by a factor of three to reach US$4 trillion by 2025”. India’s nominal year-over-year expenditure growth of 12 percent is more than double the anticipated global rate of five percent and will make India the third-largest consumer market by 2025.” This growth is largely driven by rising affluence, with the number of those joining the elite and affluent segments of society expected to increase from eight percent in 2016 to 16 percent in 2025.¹⁸

Of the 1.3 billion people in India, one-third of them are in the 15 to 34 age group. It means there are more than 400 million young people, many of whom are tech-savvy. Moreover, there are more Internet users among them than in the United States.¹⁹

Online spending between 2014 to 2016 increased seven-fold to between US$80 million and US$90 million. The Boston Consulting Group anticipates the number of people spending online to hit 300 million to 350 million by 2025²⁰ thus providing huge opportunities in the realm of technology and e-commerce.²¹ Furthermore, the government hopes to grow India’s digital economy to US$1 trillion by 2022, but India’s tech firms are even more bullish by predicting that it has the potential to grow to US$4 trillion by 2022.²²

 

India’s Smart Cities Mission

India’s Smart Cities Mission was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 June 2015. It seeks to modernise 98 existing Indian cities and their satellite towns. Some of the first 20 announced include Pune (Maharashtra), Jaipur (Rajasthan), Surat (Gujarat), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Solapur (Maharashtra), New Delhi Municipal Corporation, Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), Udaipur (Rajasthan) and Chennai (Tamil Nadu).²³

India is open to help from international partners, including private participation, to achieve this mission. It offers an investment window of S$1.2 billion and opportunities for the introduction of integrated infrastructure solutions.²⁴ There are projects worth S$16 billion planned in 33 Indian cities thus far, with opportunities open to Singapore companies”²⁵

 

India-Singapore economic relations

In 2005, the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) was signed.²⁶ This agreement covers tariff reduction/elimination for 82 percent of Singapore’s domestic exports.²⁷

Bilateral trade between Singapore and India has been growing. Between 2000 and 2010, India saw an average year-on-year growth of 35.28 percent in services exports to Singapore. Exports to India grew from S$4.4 billion in 2012 to S$4.9 billion in 2016, while imports rose from S$3.1 billion in 2012 to S$5.3 billion in 2016.²⁸ India was Singapore’s ninth-largest investment partner in 2016, with Singapore’s investments in India amounting to US$27.7 billion (S$36.3 billion).²⁹

 

References

¹Country report: India. (2018), Economist Intelligence Unit. p. 20.  Retrieved March 10, 2018 from NLB eResources.

²Country report: India. (2018), Economist Intelligence Unit. p. 18.  Retrieved March 10, 2018 from NLB eResources.

³Country report: India. (2018), Economist Intelligence Unit. p. 21.  Retrieved March 10, 2018 from NLB eResources.

⁴Country report: India. (2018), Economist Intelligence Unit. p. 21.  Retrieved March 10, 2018 from NLB eResources.

⁵Profile. (2017, August 17). India.gov.in: National Portal of India. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from https://www.india.gov.in/india-glance/profile

⁶Country report: India. (2018), Economist Intelligence Unit. p. 19.  Retrieved March 10, 2018 from NLB eResources.

⁷India: A snapshot. (2018). India Brand Equity Foundation. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from https://www.ibef.org/economy/indiasnapshot/about-india-at-a-glance

⁸Country report: India. (2018), Economist Intelligence Unit. p. 19.  Retrieved March 10, 2018 from NLB eResources.

⁹Country report: India. (2018), Economist Intelligence Unit. p. 12.  Retrieved March 10, 2018, from NLB eResources.

¹⁰Country report: India. (2018), Economist Intelligence Unit. p. 12.  Retrieved March 10, 2018, from NLB eResources.

¹¹Profile. (2017, August 17). India.gov.in: National Portal of India. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from https://www.india.gov.in/india-glance/profile

¹²Country report: India. (2018), Economist Intelligence Unit. p. 2.  Retrieved March 10, 2018, from NLB eResources.

¹³Sex ratio in India. (2015). Census 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2018 from https://www.census2011.co.in/sexratio.php

¹⁴India’s Financial Year (FY) starts on 1 April and ends on 31 March the next year. Source: Country report: India. (2018), Economist Intelligence Unit. p. 19.  Retrieved March 10, 2018, from NLB eResources.

¹⁵Facts about the Indian economy. (2018, February). India Brand Equity Foundation. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from https://www.ibef.org/economy/indiasnapshot/facts-about-indian-economy

¹⁶The World Bank in India: Overview. (2017, October 11). The World Bank. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from www.worldbank.org/en/country/india/overview

¹⁷Cheang, M., & Jegarajah, S. (2017, November 17). There could be a multitrillion-dollar opportunity waiting in India, Morgan Stanley says. CNBC. Retrieved March 15, 2018, from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/17/digitization-could-present-india-with-investment-opportunity-worth-trillions-morgan-stanley-says.html

¹⁸Singhi, A., Jain, N., & Sanghi, K. (2017, March 20). The new Indian: The many facets of a changing consumer. Boston Consulting Group. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from https://www.bcg.com/publications/2017/marketing-sales-globalization-new-indian-changing-consumer.aspx

¹⁹India will be a $6 trillion economy in 10 years: Morgan Stanley report. Hindustan Times. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-will-be-a-6-trillion-economy-in-10-years-morgan-stanley-report/story-evOJGAhNOVvqZrmqn8sSfM.html

²⁰Singhi, A., Jain, N., & Sanghi, K. (2017, March 20). The new Indian: The many facets of a changing consumer. Boston Consulting Group. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from https://www.bcg.com/publications/2017/marketing-sales-globalization-new-indian-changing-consumer.aspx

²¹Consumerism in India: Time to shop. (2015, December 14). International Enterprise Singapore. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from https://ie.enterprisesg.gov.sg/IE-Blog/ISEC-2015/Consumerism-in-India

²²Gooptu, D. (2017, June 19). India’s digital economy can reach $4 trillion in 4 years. Enterprise Innovation. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from https://www.enterpriseinnovation.net/article/indias-digital-economy-can-reach-4-trillion-4-years-641214749

²³Govt. announces list of first 20 smart cities under “smart cities mission”. (2016, October 1). The Hindu. Retrieved March 15, 2018, from http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Govt.-announces-list-of-first-20-smart-cities-under-Smart-Cities-Mission/article14027175.ece

²⁴Smart and livable cities: India. (2016, July 29). International Enterprise Singapore. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from https://ie.enterprisesg.gov.sg/Venture-Overseas/Browse-By-Sector/Environment-Infrastructure-Solutions/Smart-and-Liveable-Cities/Profiled-Markets/India

²⁵Sun, T. (2016, July 27). Knocking on India’s smart cities door. The Business Times. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from https://ie.enterprisesg.gov.sg/Media-Centre/News/2016/7/Knocking-on-India-s-Smart-Cities-door

²⁶Free trade agreements. (2016, November 2). IE Singapore. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from https://ie.enterprisesg.gov.sg/venture-overseas/browse-by-market/asia-pacific/india/free-trade-agreements?sa=1

²⁷India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. (CECA). (2017, November 13). IE Singapore. Retrieved 10 March 2018, from https://ie.enterprisesg.gov.sg/Trade-From-Singapore/International-Agreements/free-trade-agreements/CECA

²⁸Singapore’s International Trade. (2018, February 14). Department of Statistics, Singapore. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from https://www.singstat.gov.sg/statistics/visualising-data/infographics/singapore-international-trade

²⁹Chan, J.H. (2018, January 30). Growing ASEAN-India ties: Economic opportunities for Singapore in India. ISAS Brief No. 550. Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. Retrieved March 10, 2018, from https://www.isas.nus.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/ISAS-Briefs-No.-550-Growing-ASEAN-India-Ties.pdf