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  GoodNewsIndia names it, ‘the Surge’.

Okay, remember you heard it first here: the phenomenon of Brand India powered by her effervescent people and its buoyant economy is such a talk of the world today, that it needs a name. GoodNewsIndia is hereby christening it, ‘the Surge’.

In just over a month after GNI wrote a major story on the Surge, there is evidence of an India fever becoming a worldwide epidemic. Aishwarya Rai has appeared on the Time magazine cover, McKinsey is talking of a trillion dollar Indian economy ahead, the Economist has ranked IIM-A the 45th, in its survey of best management schools in the world, Boeing has announced the setting up of an engineering design centre in India, Infosys has declared that it expects 25% of its employees to be non-Indians and, --of direct interest to us here-- ‘India Today’ has just [Dec 1,2003] run a cover story on the Surge called ‘Global Champs”.

The article cites Anand Mahindra as saying that Indians are now “experiencing what it is to have the potential of being world-beaters. This psyche is now driving outrageous ambition.” That ambition is making Indian entrepreneurs spread their activities across the world, buying companies, opening factories and becoming visible.

While listing the obvious causes for the Surge --quality consciousness, knowledge pool, domestic reforms, scaling up of operations etc-- India Today’s Shankar Iyer points to a tiny unobvious reason: “Itself the largest borrower, the government realised the price of costly money. Between 1997 and 2003 it ... forced prime lending rates down by over 500 basis points.” It then followed it up by massive investments in healthcare, railways and roads. As a result, even as other economies are spluttering, India is clocking 6% growth.

India’s legendary knowledge pool is brimming with an annual inflow of, “5.28 lakh engineers, 2.5 lakh doctors, 39 lakh humanities graduates, 17 lakh science graduates, 15 lakh commerce and management graduates, one lakh graduates in education and 2.5 lakh law graduates.” Results can’t be far behind. For example in the pharma industry Iyer says Indians “were known for their ability to deconstruct any patented drug within months...Today the very same skill sets are being used to derive new drugs, delivery systems and processes.”

There’s this delightful vignette in the article: it claims that France’s Michelin held back investing in China until the A V Birla group would commit itself to investing there too, to supply an essential input, carbon black.

That sort of earned reputation has resulted in the following: “there are 16 companies whose exports net over Rs.1,000 crore, 15 companies who export goods worth over Rs.500 crore and 150 companies who earn over Rs.100 crore in foreign exchange.” And finally the export number for Reliance alone: over Rs.10,000 crore or $2 billion!

A few more Reliances and the Surge will be a tidal wave.

India Today