Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, has stated that hope and aspiration in India is leading to social mobility and prosperity and these are the engines that are driving India’s growth today. Speaking at a Breakfast Session on “Surviving the Meltdown and Brand India”, at Davos today, Shri Nath said that Brand India will be sustained by millions of “new” consumers seamlessly and further added that India neither needs to export a large part of its economy to balance domestic demand and supply, nor does it need to import large amounts of capital to balance domestic demand and supply.
During the interaction, the Minister said that Brand India will be sustained by India’s IT sector and history shows us that in a downturn, exports tend to slow, as is happening now, since companies and buyers across the world cut down purchase of merchandise. “However, international trade in the service sector slows at a much slower pace, because it involves business processes. According to NASSCOM the nation's IT sector managed to grow some 20% in 2008”, he added.
“The rise of India's aspiring middle class — a group that lives well above the poverty line, but hasn't yet attained true membership in modern consumer society — is hardly a new story. But what's surprising is the resilience of this cohort and the extent to which it has counterbalanced the global credit crisis and the slump in the global export economy of which India is a key player”, the Minister said.
Shri Kamal Nath also informed the participants that Brand India will be sustained by a disciplined private sector and over the years, Indian businessmen and consumers have paid a high cost to expand or borrow. Investment plans have traditionally been set with a high rate of return in mind and not as stepping stones to gaining market share — which is a mindset that implied free capital fosters.