Why it’s important to understand India and its economy


Nov. 25 2014, Updated 11:42 a.m. ET

India in facts and figures

India has been an intriguing nation throughout its long history. From conquerors and emperors to soul searchers and saints, the nation attracted the interests many different people. The country catered to everyone’s needs.

Apart from a rich history and a mixture of cultures over the centuries, India has an economic story to tell. As a country, it’s evolution is very interesting. In this series, we’ll introduce you to India. We’ll look at the country as a whole. We’ll also look at the economy and how it functions. We’ll provide a complete overview of India.

India is seventh largest country by area. As a country, it has the second largest population. It offers unique opportunities because of its varied culture and population.

India’s retail sector attracted interest from large retailers—like Walmart (WMT) and Tesco (TESO)—because of its young and large urban population. Walmart has been present in India since May 2009 through Walmart India—its wholly-owned subsidiary. It operates in nine states.

At the end of August, there were 924.32 million mobile phone subscribers. India is one of the largest telephone markets in the world.

In the service industry, it emerged as an outsourcing hub. India’s population has many young, educated, and technically-qualified individuals. Their talents cost less than similar individuals in other countries.

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India’s economic system

India’s economy evolved from being a “mixed” system after its independence in 1947. It has been undergoing liberalization-intensive policies since 1991. The policies are ongoing.

Currently, India is more integrated with the world economy. According to World Bank data, it’s the tenth largest economy in the world—in terms of the purchasing price. The country’s financial system is stable and well regulated. Central bank and capital market regulators keep a watchful eye on all of the financial activities.

Among the exchange-traded funds (or ETFs) that are focused on India, the WisdomTree India Earnings Fund (EPI), the iShares MSCI India ETF (INDA), and the iShares S&P India Nifty 50 Index Fund (INDY) are the three largest.

In order to understand India better, it’s important to understand its demographics. We’ll discuss India’s demographics in the next part of this series.

Read the Market Realist series “What India can added to your long-term investment portfolio” to learn more about investing in India.


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