The Power of Young India

“India has close to ideal demographics. It’s in a sweet spot,” said Robert Prior-Wandesforde, director, Asian economics research at Credit Suisse. Demographics have changed drastically since the Independence of India. In India one third of the population is under 15, more than half under 24. By 2020, India is set to become the world’s youngest country with 64% of its working population in the working age group. According to the media every third person in an Indian city is between 15 and 32.The median age of this country is 27. The scenario in many other developed countries is entirely different. For example the median age of USA, UK and Japan is 36.9, 40.5, and 44.6 respectively.

Many economists believe that this rapidly increasing population could easily add a 2% to the GDP growth rate. It is known that a youthful population provides an abundant and cheap workforce, provides a huge market for products – international as well as domestic. This is evident in India’s Telecom industry which has largely benefitted due to India’s young population. Also the country earns a lot through the taxes of the people. “A growing workforce is an advantage for both the manufacturing and services sectors in India. Not only do businesses have access to people that are young and physically fit, it means less cost pressures, particularly on the wage front, because of the availability of labor,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman of consultancy firm Technopak Advisors. The demographic situation of the country can also have its own set of disadvantages if the country lets it. The large population can put a strain on the educational as well as health services but this can be easily countered by investing wisely in high quality infrastructure. Also many have alleged that it is due to the demographic situation of the country that the youth are going jobless. The problem seems to have a solution as more youngsters are drawing towards entrepreneurship which creates jobs for themselves as well as for others.

This young population has made its presence throughout the country and the world. More than 20 Indian origin youths made a place for themselves in the Forbes magazine’s annual list of the world’s “brightest young stars” under the age of 30. Forbes described them as “prodigies reinventing the world right now”.”This is an exhilarating time to be young and ambitious. Never before has youth been such an advantage. These founders and funders, brand builders and do-gooders aren’t waiting around for a proper career bump up the establishment ladder. Their ambitions are way bigger — and perfectly suited to the dynamic, entrepreneurial, and impatient digital world they grew up in,” Forbes said.

Rushabh Doshi, 29 is a trader who works at financial firm DW Investment Management. He is an expert in high-yield and distressed debt.

Neil Mehta, 29 manages around 600 million in a company Greenoaks Capital which he founded himself. He invests in industries ranging from ecommerce to insurance.

The Forbes list also contains some names who have invested in social entrepreneurship to make the world a better place to live.

Karan Chopra is a 29 year old who cofounded GADCO, which is Ghana’s largest producer of rice. Krishna Ramkumar, 28 is the cofounder of Avanti. This company consists of a group of learning centres which is located in Mumbai, Delhi, Kanpur and Chennai. It is known to provide 750 bright, low income high school students with science and maths education. Ajaita Shah, 29 is the founder of India-based Frontier Markets. This company brings clean energy to families at the base of the pyramid. Kavita Shukla, 29, is the inventor of FreshPaper a low cost, compostable paper infused with edible organi spices that keeps produce fresh two to four times longer. She invented this while she was in high school and has also patented her invention.

Indians have also left a mark in the field of sports. Sachin Tendulkar started playing for India when he was just 16 years old. The number of records he has broken is itself a huge record. Vishwanathan Anand became India’s first Grandmaster and inspired millions of Indians. Saina Nehwal, 24 is India’s first Olympic medal winner in Badminton. She attained a career best ranking of 2 in December 2010 by Badminton World Federation. Sania Mirza played professional tennis at the age of 17. She became the highest ranked female player ever from India, with a career high ranking of 27 in singles but a wrist injury forced her to give up her singles career and focus on doubles reaching as high as 5 in doubles rankings. She also has a started a tennis academy of her own.

Young Indians have not let honours in art and literatures elude them. Twenty one year old Nikhil Chandwani is the first Indian to win the UK Writers’ Forum award. He was shortlisted for the UK Writers’ Forum award for his critically-acclaimed book of poems titled “Unsung Words” and a novel, “Inked With Love”. His first novel “I Wrote Your Name in the Sky And yours And Yours Too” was popular among the masses. He is currently working on writing scripus for a Hollywood movie, one upcoming Bollywood movie. He also works as an assistant director in Hollywood for the movie “Saffron Skies”. “I want to die knowing that I lived well, that I walked my road by my own compass and that my life was a gift to others in some way”, said Chandwani. Ranvinder Singh the author of ‘Like It Happened Yesterday’ has appeared in the Forbes 100 celebrity list. He quit his job with a multi – national company to write full time. Priyanka Chopra is one of Bollywood’s highest-paid actresses. She has won a National Film Award for Best Actress and Filmfare Awards in four categories. She is also an extremely talented singer and released her first single “In My City” in 2012. Her second single “Exotic” debuted in 2013 and became famous in countries such as the United States and Canada.

It would be a gross understatement to say that India’s future is only partially dependent on the young individuals of the country. The youth of this country contain enormous potential, which in time if fully tapped while provide the country with the much needed boost it needs to propel itself. The world has already noted it and they are expecting India to progress at an exponential rate due to this advantage. It is up to the leaders of the nation and more importantly the youth itself to see to it that they surpass these expectations.

Deepak George

Sir Padampat Singhania University, Udaipur