When economists and businesspeople make predictions of which country will claim the number two slot in the global economy, Asia's rising giants--China and India, which combined account for more than one-third (37 percent) of the world's population--are usually near the top.
China rebounded from the economic downturn of the Great Recession well and currently represents the world's second-biggest economy. However, India's economy is improving, and it is a budding center for entrepreneurship.
Today, India currently has more than 48 million small businesses, double the number of the small companies here in the U.S. (23 million). According to a report by Business Today (India). Breakdowns among the top industries are as follows.
Retail (except motor vehicles): 40%
Clothing manufacturing: 8.75%
Food & Beverage: 7%
Auto (sales, maintenance, repairs): 3.6%
According to Indian government data, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) contribute nearly 8 percent of the country's GDP, 45 percent of the manufacturing output, and 40 percent of the country's total exports. Small businesses in India create 1.3 million jobs every year and provide the largest share of employment after agriculture. They play a significant role in the country's GDP.
About 15,000 small business owners have registered with eBay India to export their products globally, and these exporters now comprise a third of sellers on the platform. It is estimated that a product listed by an Indian seller is sold in the international market through eBay India every 10 seconds.
President Obama became the first U.S. President to visit India twice while in office when he flew to Delhi to attend the annual January 26th celebration of India's constitution. He has now met several times with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, one of the few world leaders with whom he seems to have a cordial relationship.
Mr. Modi is a big proponent of small business growth. He has encouraged entrepreneurs to improve the quality of their products in order to better compete in the global e-commerce marketplace.
Some businesses have experienced difficulty in raising capital, and India must loosen some of its strict regulatory practices. Access to credit the most critical growth driver for any growing company, yet most Indian entrepreneurs start out with minimal capital, which hurts their potential. The lack of easy financing stagnates growth of small companies.
However, a growing entrepreneurship culture, a supportive new proactive government, and growing availability of financing, India, the world's biggest democracy, is poised for robust economic times. Biz2Credit has seen growing interest in the small business lending sector in recent months and optimism is growing, thanks to a new, pro-business government.