RBI Governor Unveils India's Journey towards Global Prominence

Embark on a journey through India's rise. RBI Governor's insights on startups, demographics, and more. Discover the six pillars driving its global economic ascent.

Swati Dayal
24 Aug 2023

“It is now India’s time to make a mark in the emerging global economic landscape.” Shaktikanta Das, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), said this in his pivotal address at the 29th Lalit Doshi Memorial Lecture highlighting India's transformation from a cautious observer to an optimistic player on the global economic stage. 

Promising Thrust Areas for India's Next 25 Years

The governor outlined six fundamental sectors that could serve as the cornerstone for India's economic advancement in the coming decades: agriculture, manufacturing, services, demography, technology, and start-ups. These areas, each building on existing strengths, possess the potential to elevate India's growth trajectory and enhance the populace's overall welfare.

Innovation and Start-ups: Unleashing Technological Potential

Governor Das underlined the pivotal role of innovation and start-ups in driving long-term economic expansion. The recent feat of a start-up, OpenAI, achieving breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence (AI), attests to the capability of small enterprises in fostering technology-driven prosperity. Notably, numerous Indian start-ups are already making significant strides in domains such as financial inclusion, accessible healthcare, quality education, and higher income opportunities.

Innovation is a key driver of long-term economic growth. The recent breakthrough in Artificial Intelligence (AI), not by a BigTech company but by a start-up, i.e., OpenAI, speaks volumes about the power of start-ups in ushering in technology driven economic prosperity. The startup investment outlook in India remains positive. It is encouraging that many start-ups are focused on small and medium businesses, financial inclusion, access to affordable healthcare, better education and higher earnings as their core value proposition.

The time is now ripe for targeted development of start-ups in high-tech domains such as quantum computing, small modular reactors (SMR), AI-based defence equipment, biotechnology, rare earths extraction, battery technology, oceanography and space exploration. The start-up ecosystem that encompasses these sectors needs to be promoted to hasten the progress of the country," the RBI Governor said.

Technology: Seizing the Digital Advantage

The central bank chief’s speech acknowledged the current technological revolution and urged India to position itself as a digital-economic powerhouse. The pandemic underscored the significance of technological advancements in enabling remote work, virtual education, and contactless transactions. Governor Das urged Indian businesses to embrace frontier technologies like AI, Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data, empowered by a youthful workforce and robust digital infrastructure. This decade is hailed as India's 'Digital Decade,' with projections aiming at a USD 1 trillion consumer internet economy by 2030.

Demography: India's Human Capital Advantage

With India constituting a substantial proportion of the global working-age population, the demographic dividend holds immense promise. The nation's median age is projected to be around 30 by 2030, further enhancing its significance as a source of human capital and a thriving consumer market. Governor Das highlighted the importance of maximizing this advantage by investing in education, skill development, and healthcare. The ongoing shift in migration patterns towards high-skilled employment positions is poised to bolster India's economic prospects through remittances and cross-border benefits.

Services: Driving Growth Through Diversification

India's rapid economic growth owes much to its flourishing services sector, which has consistently contributed over 60% to the GDP since 2014-15. The nation's prominence as a global services exporter, particularly in IT and business process outsourcing, has propelled it to the 7th position worldwide. The governor highlighted the potential of industries such as tourism, education, telecommunications, and healthcare to generate substantial employment. The advent of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has further spurred services like road transport and construction.

He said the need of the hour is to make concerted efforts in the areas outlined in his speech today and also a few other areas to lay the foundations of this new powerhouse - India - which is destined to grow in size, confidence and inclusiveness.

India's Future: A Confluence of Growth Opportunities

RBI Governor Das's speech illuminated India's transformative potential across diverse sectors. By capitalizing on its demographic dividend, embracing innovation and technology, nurturing start-ups, and diversifying the services industry, India is poised to ascend as a global economic powerhouse in the coming years. As the world looks to India's promising growth narrative, the nation's sustained efforts in these domains will undoubtedly shape its sustainable future on the global stage.