[VIDEO] Driving India’s Growth
When the U.S.-India Business Council honored FedEx with a Global Leadership Award June 23 in Washington, the audience got to hear from two dynamic innovators – Fred Smith and Chanda Kochhar, CEO of ICICI Bank, India’s largest private-sector bank.
FedEx and ICICI were cited for their business leadership and commitment to the people of India through their social responsibility and sustainability programs.
During the roundtable discussion, Smith and Kochhar made compelling points about doing business in India.
“One of the most unique things about India is the spirit of entrepreneurship. Culture ends up being the driving force of so many things in human affairs,” Smith said. “Inside India there is just this cauldron of entrepreneurial activity. At the end of the day, innovation creates wealth.”
This dynamism helped India transition from an insular economy to a global one that currently ranks as one of the largest economies in the world. Of course, when doing business in India, one has to consider the vast population of 1.2 billion and various affordability levels. Said Ms. Kochhar, “You learn how to manage scale and how to manage affordable innovation.”
With a median age of only 26 years, India is a young country that will become a major consumer and a contributor to the global workforce in the decades ahead. Kochhar noted the diversity of her customer base – a range from the wealthiest in the world to those with an average bank balance of only two dollars!
As a result, Indian market is segmented from the highly sophisticated to extremely value conscious. In my experience, I have seen firsthand how FedEx has helped connect small businesses in India to the global marketplace, vastly expanding one’s standard of living.
Five years ago, two-way trade with India was about $25 billion, and in 2010 the figure was over $72 billion. For all the reasons above, FedEx continues to invest in India and looks forward to promising future. We believe in the Indian market.
Watch a video of Fred Smith accepting the award and participating in a panel discussion at the U.S.-India Business Council: