India fighting for role in global economy

The leaders of the world's top emerging economies are getting together to work out how to jointly fight their corner for a greater say on the big global issues, with looking to take a leading role.

India's outsourcing industry is back on track. A year ago, at the height of the global economic slowdown, profits dropped as clients in the West cut spending. But now, industry heavyweights, like Pramod Bhasin, President of Genpact, believe the worst is behind.

“We're looking at a growth rate of nearly 13 to 15 percent. That's nearly treble, if that doesn't bring a smile back I'm not sure what will. Don't get me wrong, we cannot be complacent, the economic environment remains terribly uncertain – double dip recession, who knows what happens?”

With the BRIC countries successfully overcoming the global financial crisis, Russia wants its quartet with Brazil, India and China to take coordinated action to protect economic stability. India says the group should play a bigger role in international financial institutions and within the G20.

The leaders of the BRIC countries are eager to reduce their dependence on the US dollar for international trade, says Jan Randolph, Head of Sovereign Risk at IHS Global Insight.

“These four nations, they are distinguished not just by being the biggest, they face the world, whose international institutions and systems were basically created by the older western powers. In that sense, they have a common interest. If they want to change the international order, whether it’s the structure of IMF or the policy of IMF, we have an interest to gather to do so.”

But it’s not all plain sailing for the four countries. In India a surge in food prices is stoking inflation worries. Poor infrastructure is also seen as a hurdle to India competing globally. So, the government has embarked on a major highways building programme – the largest in the world.

“Everything you can do to decrease the cost of delivery, the cost of your services is good for your clients and good for you. That's the first reason to be in India, but there is another reason behind which is even more important. We are facing a shortage of talent in Europe, and to have access to this infinite pool of talent in India is a real competitive advantage,” says Francois Enaud, Chariman of Steria.

India may not always be an easy place to do business, but with its large domestic market, low costs, and world-class innovation, this is one market few can ignore.