April 2017: A ‘New India’ to grow 3-Folds to USD $7.25 Tn (GDP) by year 2031-32

India’s GDP is estimated to cross US $2.5 Trillion by the end of 2016-17 financial year and if it grows at an 8 per cent average rate for the next 15 years, the GDP will be around USD $7.25 trillion (USD $ 24 Tn, PPP) by 2031. The Government of India Think Tank, Niti Aayog, projected the size of the Indian economy in a presentation made at its Governing Council meeting – chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended by 28 state chief ministers.

The “India 2031-32: Vision, Strategy and Action Agenda” also visualises a fully literate society with universal access to health care. It also calls for having a much larger and modern network of roads, railways, waterways and air connectivity along with modern food retail, and a clean India where citizens would have access to quality air, water, and food. They have envisaged a new India in which all citizens in 15 years will have houses with toilets, two-wheeler or cars, air conditioners and digital connectivity.

Recent policy changes made by the Indian government in the area of Electric Vehicles and Food Retail are few examples of a ‘New India’.

Electric Vehicles (EVs): The Narendra Modi-led government introduced a programme meant to switch two- and three-wheeler and buses to battery power by 2030. The plan relies upon keeping off subsidies and depending on a battery leasing strategy.

Prices may come down by 70 percent as part of the scheme which relies upon battery leasing. When leased batteries run out of charge, motorists can swap them at recharge stations, the report stated.

Under assault from dangerously high levels of pollution, our roads need a vehicular revolution on par with the one in the early 1990s that changed the way we communicate. With the advances in electric vehicle (EV) technology reaching a tipping point, there is a chance for India to leapfrog into an age of clean and efficient mobility.

India does not have any lithium deposits, with Chile, China, and Argentina heading the list of countries with the largest lithium reserves in the world. While that does present an obstacle to setting up a viable battery manufacturing plant for EVs in the country, it also means that companies must look for other options to power such vehicles. There is scope for frugal innovation which has been India’s strength in the past.

Retail: Walmart Stores sees India as a key growth market, and plans to allocate capital to these with a focus to expand business profitably.

Walmart has sold non-core assets like shopping malls in Chile and Suburbia clothing chain in Mexico. Their emphasis for capital allocation is on their core North American markets and key growth markets such as India.

We are intentionally focused on investing in markets, channels and formats that position them to win. Walmart India, a wholly owned subsidiary of US-based Walmart, is evaluating foreign direct investment guidelines for the food retail space, where India permits 100% foreign holding.

The company in the annual report said it will focus more on growing through the eCommerce route in India and go slow on expanding its offline presence in the US.