I always find travelling to India a little traumatic … despite having been there more than half a dozen times, it is always a bit of a shock to the system. The smells, the humidity (I usually go to Chennai in the South) and the sheer number of people! Walking out of the airport several hundred pairs of eyes fixed on me, wondering who the white man is.
The media doesn’t focus on India much, they appear more obsessed with China which has tended to grow a little bit faster. However I personally prefer India for several reasons:
1. The laws are based on the British system which is one of the most mature and advanced in the world, offering protection for citizens as well as companies.
2. It is the world’s biggest Democracy
3. In about 5 years it will have more people than China (no population controls/incentives in India)
4. English is rapidly becoming the national language
5. I’ve never met a lazy Indian
6. Good, old-fashioned family values and culture – they all want to provide for their family, save if possible, improve their quality of life and live happily
Some people say that by 2030, India’s economy will be bigger than that of China and I believe them. Wealth is spread far more broadly in India than China … and for some reason India’s billionaires make China’s look like paupers. As mentioned above, Indian’s work hard and save everything they can. Even quite wealthy Indians will share their home with most of their family and live modestly, pooling their money to acquire land, gold, silver, etc..
When last in India I was told that even a working class man earning $250 per month will have several $1000’s in Gold, Silver, jewellery, etc. (India is the world’s biggest Gold consumer already). This wealth will have been accumulated over several generations, handed down and added to whenever there is the opportunity. Middle class families also put their spare money into land if they can, or other types of real estate. Even today, few speculate on the stock market and few get themselves into significant debt.
India is far richer than we think, as their affluence grows so will their ability and desire to consume. I have a feeling that the average Indian is already far wealthier than the average Chinese citizen – perhaps I can find some data to support that.
The future is very bright indeed in India, I recommend investing accordingly.