Emerging Sectors - India
Written by Gautam Patil for Gaebler Ventures
While the world may recognize India for its IT and biotechnology capabilities, there are other sectors of interest to small to medium entrepreneurs which have made impressive strides in the last few years. Here's a look at a few of them.
India has many fast-emerging sectors that present ample opportunity for entrepreneurs.
We've highlighted a few areas that we think are worth investigating if you are trying to seek out entrepreneurial opportunities in India.
India and Medical Tourism
India's reputation as a global health care destination is growing steadily thanks to rapid advances in medical research and huge private sector investments in infrastructure. It has leveraged its advantage of enthralling landscapes and rich cultural heritage and its health care infrastructure to emerge as a leading medical tourism destination.
Current earnings are about $820 million but these are estimated to reach $1.8 by 2012. Many corporate health care chains have already started developing facilities to cater exclusively to these patients. The presence of an efficient and trust worthy agency to link the patients and the institutions can help tap the full potential of medical tourism.
India Education and Training
India enjoys favorable demographics - with over 55% of its population less than 25 years old - and also provides a significant cost advantage to corporations looking for highly skilled labor. However, the educational infrastructure of the past hasn't been able to cope with this demand. Lack of investments has resulted in lower availability of seats and training equipment. In addition, statistics reveal that only a fraction of students graduating every year are actually deemed 'employable' by the industry.
But all this is about to change as private capital flows into the education and training sector. Many listed companies have already shown great returns and are going steady due to strong fundamentals. Finishing schools, IT training centers, vocational training centers and even institutes of higher education are being set up to ensure a steady supply of quality work force. The only pre requisite is quality.
Indian Food Industry
India is the world's largest producer of food after China. With increasing impetus by the government on research, it is estimated that India's food production is likely to double in the next decade. This opens up huge opportunities in food processing areas like canning, packaging, frozen food and thermo processing. It is currently a US$ 70 billion industry and has registered a growth of 13.7% over the last four years with the target set at 20% by 2015.
The government is currently setting up 30 'mega food parks' in 5 states which will exclusively cater to the food processing industry and also provides many sops and incentives. Despite being one of the largest producers of food, only 1.3% of food gets processed in India while nearly 80% is processed in the developed world.
In this context, there are massive opportunities for export oriented food processing industries for medium scale entrepreneurs. Similarly, food chain and restaurant business are also interesting opportunities. The success rate is quite high if restaurants lay enough emphasis on quality and sensitivity to local tastes. Favorable factors like lower average age, higher levels of disposable income and increasing working couples have contributed to the success of these ventures.
Gautam Patil is a recent MBA graduate from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. In addition to serving as a contributing writer for Gaebler.com, he will join the consulting firm Oliver Wyman at their London office.
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