The New Rockefellers of India

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A recent CNN article discusses how India’s Modi government, is working closely with billionaires and business tycoons like Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani, to build the 21st-century global economic powerhouse.

The two billionaires businessmen, Gautam Adani, the founder of the Adani group, and Mukesh Ambani owns Reliance Industries, are said to be enjoying power and influence similar to other countries during their rapid industrialization.

They are phenomenal … entrepreneurs, who have been able to sustain steady growth and development in a vibrant yet sometimes chaotic political and business environment that exists in India. […] India cannot grow rich before it becomes old on the back of a few big firms like Adani or Ambani. India should make more firms.

– Rohit Lamba, an economist at Pennsylvania State University (source: CNN)

Rohit Lamba, coauthors with Raghuram C. Rajan, a new book, Breaking the Mold: India’s Untraveled Path to Prosperity (available on Amazon).

India’s economic transformation, led by Ambani and Adani, is said to bears striking resemblances to historical transformations witnessed in Western countries in the 19th century and in the 2000s in China. Ambani and Adani said to represent India’s contemporary economic giants, much like the rise of industrial magnates like John D. Rockefeller during America’s Gilded Age. Reliance Industries and the Adani Group are reshaping India’s economic fabric amid rapid industrialization and technological advancements.

The present economic progress of India is also compared to the much more recent rise of China in the 2000s. Like China’s emergence as a global manufacturing powerhouse, India represents itself as a viable alternative for those seeking growth opportunities. Both nations experiencing rapid growth, characterized by significant income accumulation at the highest levels of society and the rise of powerful conglomerates.

These historical parallels offer valuable insights into India’s economic trajectory and potential. As India strides forward, it harnesses lessons from Rockefeller’s era and China’s development to inform strategies for sustainable growth, innovation, and inclusive prosperity. Ambani and Adani’s endeavors exemplify India’s dynamic entrepreneurial spirit and its ability to adapt to global economic shifts.

As India navigates its path towards economic dominance, it faces challenges reminiscent of those encountered by Rockefeller and China. Persistent unemployment and inequality underscore the imperative for inclusive growth strategies. Controversies surrounding political ties highlight the risks associated with unchecked influence and the importance of transparent governance.

Yet, amidst these challenges, India’s resilience and determination shine through. Ambani and Adani’s ventures into clean energy signify India’s commitment to sustainability and global leadership. Leveraging its rich history and embracing lessons from global economic giants, India stands poised to carve its place as a formidable force in the 21st-century global economy.