The India we are watching today is a big market, with roads full of stylish cars, shopping malls with innumerable global brands and boundless opportunities. Was this India really on similar lines before 72 years?
It was the year of 1947 when India recently got freedom from the British government. Prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was inspired by the development of Soviet countries so he implemented socialist economy in India. The phrase “Nehruvian Socialist rate of growth” is used to refer to the low annual growth rate of the economy of India before 1991. The steel, coal, telecommunication, radio, petroleum and all heavy industries were in a public sector owned by the government of India. That era also called as Licence Permit Raj.
“It used to take us about 12 to 24 months and about 50 visits to Delhi to get license to import computer worth $1500.”
– Narayan Murthy on License Raj
The idea of government restricted foreign companies entry in the Indian Market but that notion also handcuffed Indian entrepreneurs. Also, enterprises like Mahindra & Mahindra, Hindustan Motors, Tata, Dabur, Godrej, who were growing in the market, were tied down. Government had control over every aspect of each company which restricted the growth of business and hence Indian economy.
“Never talk to me about profit, Jeh, it is a dirty word.”
- Nehru, India’s Fabian Socialism-inspired first prime minister to industrialist J.R.D. Tata, when Tata suggested state-owned companies should be profitable.
The correct time of Indian entrepreneurship started growing after the liberalisation of 1991. Finance Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, opened the doors of India for foreign investments and reduced the regulations on businesses which helped Indian Economy to speed up in a way like it never did before.
Some giant companies we see in India are considered as a children of liberalisation. Let’s take thel example of Infosys. In the first decade of its existence, from 1981 to 1991, Infosys grew to less than $5 million. In the 20 years since liberalization began, the company has grown to become a $6 billion-plus entity, and one that is well established in the global arena.
“We got government off the backs of people of India, particularly off the back of India’s Entrepreneurs. We introduced more competition to release the innovative spirits which were always there in India. The economy turned around much sooner and much more deeply than I had anticipated.”
– Dr. Manmohan Singh after economic liberalisation
There are various entrepreneurs who has key role in building this economy. J.R.D Tata, Sunil Mittal, Dhirubhai Ambani, J.C.Mahindra, Narayan Murthy, Jamnalal Bajaj, Shiv Nadar, Kiran Shaw, Ardeshir Godrej, Mohammad Premaji and many more industrialists helped India to set up a global rank. The same spirit also continues with Indian entrepreneurs of new generation like Sachin Bansal, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Deepinder Goyal, Bhavish Aggarwal and the list goes on.
The growth of Entrepreneurship in India continued year by year. Prime minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi had announced the campaign ‘Startup India’ on 15th August 2015 at the Red Fort, exactly 3 years before. Currently, India is standing at 68th position in Global Entrepreneurship Index. The scenario of Indian Entrepreneurship is not so good but there is a silver lining which makes Indian entrepreneurs stand firm again.
Looking at India, unemployment is really a great issue for our youth. According to the statistics of Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), 31 million youngsters are jobless. Even the 60℅ engineers are unemployed in India as per AICTE. Jobs in MNCs and settlement is always priority for the graduates of our nation. Is this the most optimistic road for Financial Independance in India?
Entrepreneurs are important in any economy because they create employment, generate new ideas and implement new techniques in management functions. Entrepreneurs will increasingly contribute to India’s GDP and also have a greater impact on socio-economic fabric of the nation. We heartily salute these nation builders on this independence day.
It’s been an honour for Entrepreneurship Cell VJTI to announce theme of this year as ‘A Nation of Entrepreneurs’. We will put forth many great influencers of this great nation in front of you along the year. E-Cell VJTI is really glad to be a part of building a great nation of entrepreneurs.
Happy Independence Day!
– Lalit Jadhav