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Will the Indian Economy’s Growth Benefit the Younger Generation?

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Navigating a landscape of resilience and growth, India's economic journey unfolds with optimism and caution. Fueled by robust fundamentals, a burgeoning demographic dividend, and strategic initiatives, India stands as a beacon of hope amid global economic uncertainties. However, challenges such as inflation and global slowdown warrant strategic solutions for sustained prosperity.

I'm a young woman working my first job, and I'm excited about the promise of India's economic growth. Especially with our economists predicting good economic progress in the next few decades. I'm wondering how this will affect me in the long run. Will it mean better job opportunities and higher salaries? Will I be able to afford a better lifestyle for myself and my family?
– Sweta Baria (Gujarat)

Your question is one that many young people in India are asking today. You are right to be excited about the country's economic prospects. India is projected to be one of the fastest-growing economies in the world in the coming decades. This will create a lot of new opportunities for young people like you.

All this means more and better job opportunities, higher salaries, and more opportunities for entrepreneurship. That will mean a better lifestyle for you and your family as we gain ground. Read on to know how all this is possible. 

India's economic journey has been a tale of resilience, adaptability, and steadfast growth. Despite facing global headwinds and domestic challenges, the nation has emerged as a beacon of hope in an otherwise tumultuous economic climate

India's economic growth is projected to remain robust at around 7%, outpacing most major economies.                 

1. India's Economic Standing

The nation's robust GDP growth, projected to remain around 7%, outpaces most major economies, fueled by a burgeoning domestic market, a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, and a growing middle class. As per the IMF's World Economic Outlook update in October, India's economy is projected to achieve a growth rate of 6.3% in 2023.

India's demographic dividend, a large and young workforce, positions it well to capitalize on global tech opportunities and the growing demand for skilled labor.

The global economic slowdown could impact India's export-oriented sectors and dampen overall growth prospects.                

2. Addressing Economic Concerns

Despite the overall optimism surrounding India's economic outlook, there are also concerns that warrant attention and proactive measures from the government.

Economic Concerns



  • Inflation, while moderating, remains elevated, posing a challenge for household budgets and potentially stifling consumer spending. The RBI has been increasing interest rates to reduce inflation, but this could also dampen economic growth.
  • The inflation rate in India stood at 4.87% in October, although it was down from 5.02% in September 2023. Analysts and global macro models at Trading Economics anticipate that the inflation rate in India will likely be 4.60% by the conclusion of the current quarter.
  • The government must strike a delicate balance between controlling inflation and maintaining economic momentum. This may involve measures such as targeted subsidies, rationalizing taxes on essential goods, and improving supply chains to reduce food prices.


Global Economic Slowdown

  • Global economic growth is experiencing a significant slowdown, with the latest analysis from the World Bank Group projecting worldwide economic output to reach only 1.7% in 2023.
  • The globaleconomic slowdown, triggered by factors such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict and supply chain disruptions, could impact India's export-oriented sectors and dampen overall growth prospects
  • The government needs to be prepared for potential headwinds by diversifying export markets, promoting domestic manufacturing, and enhancing trade resilience.


Unlocking Manufacturing Potential

  • By 2030, India has the potential to become a key global manufacturing hub, capable of exporting goods valued at $1 trillion (target set by the government).
  • Unleashing India's manufacturing potential is crucial for long-term economic growth and diversification. The government's initiatives, such as the PLI scheme and the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign, are steps in the right direction. 
  • However, more needs to be done to attract investments, improve infrastructure, and address regulatory hurdles in the manufacturing sector.


Skill Development and Labor Market Reforms

  • India's per capita income for effective consumers is anticipated to rise by 24.9% from 2005 to 2035, as per a report published by the Asian Development Bank.
  • India's demographic dividend can only be fully realized with a focus on skill development and labor market reforms
  • The government needs to invest in vocational training, enhance industry-academia linkages, and promote labor flexibility to make sure that the workforce is equipped with the skills required for the evolving job market.


Infrastructure Development

  • The 2023-24 Budget underscores a consistent emphasis on infrastructure development, with a 33% increase in the capital investment outlay for infrastructure to ₹10 lakh crore (US$ 122 billion). This accounts for 3.3% of GDP, nearly three times the outlay in 2019-20.
  • Robust infrastructure is essential for supporting economic growth and facilitating efficient movement of goods and services. The government's focus on infrastructure development, including roads, railways, and ports, is commendable. 
  • However, the pace of infrastructure development needs to be accelerated to meet the growing demands of the economy.

3. Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: A Breeding Ground for Innovation

The government has taken proactive measures to curb inflation and maintain fiscal discipline.                

India's vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem is a testament to the nation's spirit of innovation and its potential to become a global hub for groundbreaking ideas. A confluence of factors has contributed to the flourishing of this ecosystem, making India a breeding ground for innovation and a driving force behind economic growth. In fact, to cite just one example, India holds the position of being the world's second-largest smartphone market for annual shipments and sales, contributing to nearly 12% of the global market, as indicated by IDC data.

Boosting Entrepreneurial Ecosystem


Supportive Government Policies

  • The Indian government has played a pivotal role in fostering the entrepreneurial ecosystem through supportive policies and initiatives. Schemes such as Startup India and Standup India provide financial assistance, mentorship, and infrastructural support to aspiring entrepreneurs, encouraging them to take the plunge into the world of startups.
  • The Startup India initiative, launched in 2016, has so far recognized 114,458 startups, granting tax benefits for over five years, including incentives, exemptions, and reduced-interest loans.


Thriving Startup Scene

  • India's startup scene is characterized by its diversity, with startups emerging across various sectors, including technology, healthcare, education, and e-commerce. This diversity reflects the broad range of challenges and opportunities that India presents, attracting entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to address these issues.
  • The fact that the average age of startup founders in India is 32 highlights the youthful spirit and entrepreneurial mindset prevalent in the country's startup ecosystem.
  • As of October 3, 2023, India boasts 111 unicorns with a combined valuation of $349.67 billion. Among them, 45 were founded in 2021, totaling $102.30 billion, and 22 in 2022, totaling $29.20 billion, as per the Invest India website.


Funding Landscape

The funding landscape for Indian startups has witnessed significant growth in recent years, with venture capital firms, individual angel investors, and private equity players pouring investments into promising ventures. This access to capital has fueled the growth of startups and allowed them to scale their operations and expand their reach.


Talent Pool and Human Capital

India's young and tech-savvy population provides a rich talent pool for startups. The nation's educational institutions are increasingly producing graduates with the skills and expertise required for the startup ecosystem, including technical knowledge, problem-solving abilities, and entrepreneurial spirit.


Collaboration and Knowledge Exchange

The Indian startup ecosystem is characterized by a strong spirit of collaboration and knowledge exchange. Incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces provide platforms for startups to network, share ideas, and learn from each other's experiences. This collaborative environment fosters innovation and promotes cross-pollination of ideas.


Success Stories and Global Recognition

India has produced several notable startup success stories, such as Ola, Flipkart, and Paytm, which have not only transformed the nation's landscape but have also gained global recognition. These encouraging success stories have inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs and have further fueled the growth of the ecosystem.


Challenges and Future Outlook

Despite its remarkable growth, the Indian startup ecosystem still faces challenges, such as access to funding beyond the initial stages, regulatory hurdles, and the need for more experienced mentors and advisors. However, the government's continued support, the growing talent pool, and the increasing appetite for risk among investors indicate that the Indian startup ecosystem is poised for even greater growth and innovation in the years to come.

4. Demographic Dividend: A Strategic Advantage for India's Economic Growth

India's demographic dividend, characterized by a large and young workforce, presents a significant strategic advantage for the nation's economic growth. This demographic transition, where the proportion of working-age individuals is significantly higher than the proportion of dependents, offers a unique opportunity for India to capitalize on its human capital and achieve sustainable economic growth.

A burgeoning domestic market, a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, and a growing middle class are fueling India's economic growth.            

a) How does a Demographic Dividend Occur?

The demographic dividend typically occurs during a period of rapid population increase, followed by a decline in fertility rates. This leads to a surge in the working-age population relative to the dependent population, creating a window of opportunity for economic growth.

India is currently experiencing this demographic transition. The median age in India is 28.4 years, indicating a relatively young population. The working-age population of those between 15 and 64, is projected to grow from 757 million in 2020 to 1.04 billion in 2030. This increase in the working-age population will translate into a larger labor force, driving economic productivity and growth.

India's demographic dividend, a large and young workforce, positions it well to capitalize on global opportunities.                

b) Benefits of Demographic Dividend for India

The demographic dividend offers several potential benefits for India's economic growth.

Demographic Dividend's Potential Benefits


Increased Labour Supply

The growing working-age population will provide a larger pool of skilled and unskilled labour, meeting the demands of various industries and sectors. This increased labor supply will boost economic activity and contribute to higher productivity.


Entrepreneurial Spirit

A young and aspiring population is more likely to pursue entrepreneurial ventures, leading to innovation, job creation, and economic diversification. The demographic dividend can foster a vibrant startup ecosystem and drive economic dynamism.


Domestic Consumption

A larger working-age population with rising incomes will translate into increased domestic consumption. This boost in consumer spending will stimulate demand for goods and services, driving economic activity and growth.


Savings and Investments

A young working-age population tends to have a higher savings rate, providing a pool of capital for investments in infrastructure, technology, and education. This increased investment will further fuel economic growth and development.

c) Strategies to Harness the Demographic Dividend

The government is focusing on unlocking India's manufacturing potential and promoting domestic production.                

To effectively harness the demographic dividend, India needs to implement strategies that focus on certain areas.

Focus Areas to Harness Demographic Dividend


Education and Skill Development

Investing in quality education and skill development programs will ensure that the manpower is equipped with the necessary expertise to meet the requirements/demands of the evolving job market.


Employment Opportunities

Creating employment opportunities for the growing workforce is crucial. This involves promoting entrepreneurship, attracting investments, and expanding the manufacturing and service sectors.


Healthcare and Social Security

Providing affordable healthcare and social security measures will enhance the well-being of the working-age population, increasing productivity and economic participation.


Gender Equality and Female Workforce Participation

Encouraging female education, skill development, and workforce participation will further enhance the benefits of the demographic dividend.


Urban Infrastructure Development

Investing in urban infrastructure, including transportation, housing, and sanitation, will support the growing urban population and facilitate economic activity.

5. A Slow-Trundling Elephant with Viable Potential

India has been compared to a "slow-trundling elephant." While India's growth may not be as rapid as China's in the past, its steady progress and long-term potential make it a compelling investment destination and a viable alternative to China in the global economic landscape.

  • Foxconn, a supplier for Apple, has initiated the production of the iPhone 15 in India, marking a shift in manufacturing diversification away from China.
  • The United Arab Emirates exploring investments of up to $50 billion in India
  • Google has revealed plans to commence manufacturing operations in India, starting with its recently launched Pixel 8 phone
Inflation remains elevated, posing a challenge for household budgets and potentially stifling consumer spending.                

6. Conclusion: A Beacon of Hope in Tumultuous Economic Climate

India's economic outlook is characterized by a mix of optimism and caution. Strong macroeconomic fundamentals, a demographic dividend, and government initiatives provide a solid foundation for continued growth. However, inflation, the global economic slowdown, and the need to unlock manufacturing potential pose challenges. If India can navigate these challenges successfully, it is poised to become a global economic powerhouse in the years to come.