By Diya Dasgupta
The 2004 India Shining Campaign, a controversial marketing slogan popularized by the then ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – India’s current new government – may well be the boost India needed then to elevate its image today as a potential 21st century economic superpower.
The largest democracy in the world
India is the world’s largest democracy has a population of 1.26 billion, 814 million voters and over 400 mother tongues – 29 of which alone are spoken by 1 million people or more.
And with a new government that promises to restore India’s Industrial Revolution, the path is set to propel India to centre stage in the global economic arena.
India’s demographic advantage
India’s 400 million+ middle class is set to grow to over 600 million+ in years to come. It has a population larger than the combined population of both the U.S. and Europe. An unrivalled youth demographic (65% of the population is 35 years or under; half the country’s population is under 25) will be India’s demographic advantage.
The Australia-India phenomenon
This is the new India – young, dynamic, highly entrepreneurial and raring to own the playing field, and Australia is committed to being part of the India story.
In 2012–13 there was a whopping 86% increase in the overall demand for the 457 visa since 2009-10. Furthermore, there was a 138% increase of visas for Indian nationals during this period, positioning India as the largest contributor to Australia’s subclass 457 visa holders, accounting for 22% of the programme. Notably, the same year also saw the highest number of Permanent Residency conversions for Indian nationals, surpassing its counterpart, China.
At the recent Australia India Business Council NSW, 2014 Annual Australia India Address, Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivered a speech via video stating “two-way trade between the two nations now exceeds AU$15 billion a year and is growing….no one should underestimate India now, nor its potential to be a global superpower in this century”. Minister for Trade & Investment, Julie Bishop said, “Australia and India are natural partners across the board, and Australia is keen on elevating India to the position of Best Partner of Business. The very best days of Australia India business lie ahead”.
A marketer’s delight
Australia is projecting itself as a prime destination for education, business and leisure and has recently experienced a surge in the number of visitors from Asia.
2013 ABS reports state that Indian visitor numbers increased by 10% from 2012 – the largest proportion of the demographic being between ages 25-39.
Ahead of the much-anticipated 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup in February, it is expected that there will be an 8-10% rise in Indian visitors to Australia, says Tourism Australia Country Manager, India & Gulf, Nishant Kashikar.
With over half a million Australian Indians contributing to major industries such as healthcare, IT, financial services and several others, they are fast turning into a very attractive market segment for most marketers.
Additionally, the international students and 457 visa holders are contributing incomparably to the Australian economy.
Indeed, Australia’s pull in recent years has even extended to include some of Bollywood’s biggest stars and entertainers. And with an increasing number of new films being shot on Australian land, this space is definitely one to watch.
Exciting times lie ahead for the Australia India relationship, one that goes deeper and far beyond the three C’s (Commonwealth, cricket & curry) that the two nations share in common.