India – A superpower of knowledge and innovation that the world needs today

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Dr Pawan Munjal
Dr Pawan Munjal

The nation is on the road to unprecedented economic growth, backed by well-thought out policies that are geared towards technology and energy transition, global offshoring and digitalisation

By Dr Pawan Munjal

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Published: Fri 10 Mar 2023, 10:37 AM

"Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Victor Hugo’s inspirational quote reverberates in my mind when I think of modern India’s bright prospects in today’s disparate world.

The lone ‘bright spot’ in the world economy, accounting for 15 per cent of the global growth in 2023 and the globally respected voice of wisdom and diplomacy, today India is consolidating its position in the minds of decision-makers and people at large, under the stewardship of the charismatic and globally popular Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Emerging from the pandemic stronger, more resilient and agile, India proved that stable and visionary leadership is the necessary ingredient to overcome a crisis. Post the pandemic, not just financially and politically, India also reaffirmed its emergence as a global superpower by supplying vital medicines and vaccines to countries around the world. In fact, India took the developed nations by complete surprise by developing not one, but two Corona virus vaccines, carried out the world’s fastest and largest vaccination programme in a record time, and exported 40 crore vaccine doses to 100 countries around the world. India was truly a major relief provider at the time of global despair.

Since the decisive mandate of 2014, India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, has witnessed an exponential enhancement in its economic resilience, intellectual capital and infrastructure spending, powered by a visionary political leadership that is catalysing the ‘India growth story’ through its path-breaking policy reforms and regulatory measures. Since 2014, India has witnessed numerous developments that reflect the country’s current image of a strong nation with independent standing.

The dependable global growth engine: Organisations such as IMF and the World Bank are pinning hopes on Prime Minister Modi’s India as the world stares at a recession and a prolonged period of uncertainty. Like much of the world, India was hit hard by the pandemic, yet it used the opportunity smartly to digitise most of the economy, expanded financial inclusion, focused on infrastructure spending, and strengthened institutional reforms. As per the World Bank, India is set to remain the fastest-growing major economy driven by robust domestic demand, lesser exposure to international trade flows and strong macroeconomic fundamentals.

Stability, continuity, and willpower: Since 2014, India has elected governments with a clear majority under Prime Minister Modi, mandated with undertaking structural and institutional reforms. The benefits are here to be seen; since 2014-15, India has received nearly $450 billion in FDI. India’s robust financial system with a stable central bank and a well-regulated stock market, coupled with several reforms implemented by the Modi government — such as the goods and services tax (GST) and the insolvency and bankruptcy code (IBC) — have streamlined the economy, increased transparency and attracted foreign investment.

Global peacemaker and unifying agent: Under Prime Minister Modi’s statesmanship, India’s foreign policy has become a subject of admiration by the top global leaders. In fact, India’s external relations have never been as strong as they are today.

Our country is also a major contributor towards development and peace initiatives across the globe. Supporting neighbours, being the voice of the global south initiative and propagating initiatives like the international solar alliance, India is demonstrating its ability to become a compassionate world leader. Even as pressure continues to mount, the Modi government has maintained that the only viable way out of conflict is through ‘dialogue and diplomacy’ and kept its own needs above partisan ideas.

At the centre of the carbon transition juggernaut: With the same ease and poise, India has taken a leadership role in other pressing issues as well. Kudos to Prime Minister Modi for uniting the nation behind the idea of collective ownership of the transformation in our energy systems. India is rapidly building scale in solar and wind energy while ensuring faster implementation.

Rallying with the government, corporate India has also joined hands towards the cause of the planet. For instance, our company, Hero MotoCorp, has set stringent targets for carbon neutrality, water positivity, product recyclability and reducing tail-pipe emissions through a transition to alternatives such as electric vehicles. Our production facilities are aptly called ‘garden factories’ for their sustainable and eco-friendly manufacturing practices. India’s commitment that it will achieve net zero emissions by 2070, can spark the development of new businesses and generate billions of dollars in economic value.

Tipped to be among the Big 3 by 2030: It is now quite certain that India is on its way to becoming the world’s third-largest economy by 2027, surpassing Japan and Germany. This will be a landmark achievement for the country. From investing in technology and energy transition, to spotting emerging megatrends like global off-shoring and digitalisation, India is channeling its resources in a way that will fuel unprecedented economic growth, doubling the national GDP to surpass $7.5 trillion by 2031.

As a proud Indian and the chairman of the world’s largest motorcycle company headquartered in India, I am elated to see India’s growth and emergence as a global superpower in less than a decade, and the current government under Prime Minister Modi has been intrinsic in realising this aspiration of our 1.4 billion people.

India is the proverbial land that has mesmerised poets and mystified prophets for centuries. I believe that as an economic global superpower, India will be a picture of harmony and assurance. To paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr: “To other countries, I may go as a tourist. But to India, I come as a pilgrim.”

In the modern context, one should come to India as a devotee to its hallowed opportunities.

— Dr Pawan Munjal is chairman and CEO at Hero MotoCorp. The article is an expression of his personal views.

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