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Takeaways From My Trip To India

Takeaways From My Trip To India by Gaurav Sinha, Asset Allocation Strategist, The WisdomTree Blog

While there are plenty of macro indicators that we can track for economic growth of a country, nothing compares to on-the-ground observations. I recently completed a weeklong trip to India and wanted to share my observations.

Infrastructural/Connectivity Development

Infrastructure is a key area of concern for India, and it was interesting to see recent progress.

  • At first glance, Delhi’s international arrival terminal T3 looks like any modern airport. Walking to baggage claim, travelers navigate through numerous moving sidewalks, fancy lounges and plenty of battery-operated vehicles. For a moment, it appeared I’d boarded a flight to somewhere in the West, but I was reassured that I’d made it to India when I saw giant silver statues of mudra hand poses at the immigration counter.
  • Delhi also now has a state-of-the-art subway system that runs smoothly; trains are tracked at every station, and they have superb connectivity to entire National Capital Region (i.e., Delhi and its neighboring cities/suburbs).
  • Like New York (or any big city here), Delhi’s subway system connects the airport to the railway station, and you could even check in your luggage right at the railway station for a flight onward from the airport.
  • Gurgaon, a satellite town of Delhi with a big presence by more than 250 Fortune 500 companies, even has an interoffice subway connected to the Delhi subway that runs from building to building. Reduced commute time hopefully goes toward enhanced productivity.
  • Even airports of smaller cities (in my experience, Allahabad, Varanasi and Indore) are now much better run. Merely a couple of years ago, these were tiny, and what previously was a two-room building is now a big complex.
  • Four-lane lane roads are everywhere, with stretches of even six lanes cutting right through the city. Serpentine “flyovers” (overpasses) are ubiquitous, with subway lines running in the background. A few years ago, I didn’t see even half of these flyovers, and the speed at which they were built is amazing.

Living in the U.S., I am used to fixed standards, but you realize change and, more amazingly, pace of change only when you go to a country like India. Delhi and Mumbai are now much better connected, helping in trade facilitation and easy movement of people and goods—a strong indication of India’s developmental push and potential.

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