Small businesses, service sector to power India’s growth: Nandan Nilekani

India’s development in the near future will not be powered by conventional wisdom. Unlike the recent past when it was believed that economic growth can be fueled only by manufacturing, exports and job creation, now it would come from new avenues. Former chairman of Unique Identification  Authority of India andInfosys co-founder, Nandan Nilekani, says the new wave of growth will come from domestic consumption, services and a large number of small businesses. “The conventional thought was that exports of goods, manufacturing and large number of jobs generated by big industries drive economic growth as they have done for South Korea and China. However, in India economic growth will come from domestic consumption, services and a large number of small businesses generating employment,” The Hindu quoted Nilekani as saying during a lecture ‘An Alternative View of future’ at Madras School of Economics yesterday.
Nilekani believes that the conventional model cannot be “feasible the present global context” as globalisation is under attack across the world and domestic businesses are demanding insulation from overseas competition. Nilekani also said that the “verifiable data” obtained by Aadhaar Card will fuel India’s development. He said that the manufacturing-led export is being challenged by the current technology-driven, “capital intensive” practice. It may be difficult for India to adopt the new model. However, with the presence of a large youth population, India’s service sector offers a huge opportunity for growth. India can generate more jobs in outsourcing, he said.
Earlier in June, Nilekani had said India cannot copy the models of development adopted by countries like China. “When China, Korea, and Japan started out, they had no established competition, and had universal literacy. India will have to chalk out its own growth strategy driven by digitization, connectivity, cash-less/paper-less economy, and start-up innovation ecosystem,” he had said in an article published on


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