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GBS: India is the leading market, not emerging, says Bob Moritz, Global Chairman of PwC

With 1.7 billion people and a $10 trillion economy that generates 10% of global GDP, India has the potential to become the world’s focus in the next decade, according to Bob Moritz, worldwide chairman of PwC.

“You should not be thinking about India as the emerging market; India is the leading market,” Moritz said at the Economic Times Global Business Summit, adding that India is already an economic powerhouse, achieving one of the highest growth rates in the past few decades.

According to a recent PwC study of 4,400 chief executive officers worldwide, Indian CEOs perceived positives in the economy while CEOs from the rest of the globe saw negatives.

According to Moritz, India is anticipated to develop at the quickest rate this year. “And if it is able to sustain that, it actually does capture this next decade,” he said.

Despite signals of an economic downturn, persistently high inflation, the fallout from the Ukrainian conflict, and rising interest rates, the prognosis for India has never been brighter, according to Moritz.

India’s population is likely to surpass that of China shortly, and the country is forecast to have the highest working-age population by 2030. If those individuals can find work, India will benefit from a massive demographic dividend, offering “one of the largest economic prospects,” according to the PwC CEO.

“Speedy economic growth is commensurate with millions of people entering the labour force and, as a result, enabling their own consumption at a higher level, thereby enabling economic growth… and  continuing the cycle for economic development,” he said.

Moritz stressed the need to “guarantee that women be a significant engine for that future progress.” Just 20% of women in the United States are now employed. He believes that the number should be greatly increased.

According to the PwC CEO, India has the capacity to lead the world in combating climate change and transitioning to a low-carbon economy. “The transition from a high-carbon to a low-carbon economy is going to include a rewiring of the global economy in new and different ways that we’ve never thought of before.” “India is leading the way in this transition,” he said.

The country can also play a major role in global technological innovation, notably in the social sector, because of its “young, digitally literate populace,” he says.

Moritz also emphasised the need to maintain the country’s focus on infrastructure development and ease of doing business in order to attract international and private investment.

“The recent capex push is driving a self-reliant India initiative and helping achieve a number of sustainable goals,” Moritz said. “The only way this happens, though, is through a greater focus on public-private partnerships to get the needed capital.”

In an apparent reference to geopolitical tensions, particularly after the US recently shot down an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon, the PwC CEO stated that with so much going on, India now has a far larger potential in terms of global supply chain diversification.

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