THE ROLE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN INDIA’S
FUTURE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The progress of Indian economic development from 1947 to the present provides further evidence that individuals do respond to incentives in their pursuit of self-survival and accumulation of wealth. Further, the nature of this response depends on the economic climate, particularly the role of the government. India’s economy struggled as long as it was based in a system of government regulation with little interaction with economic forces outside the country. The economic reforms of the early 1990s set the stage for substantial improvements in the Indian economy. As was stated earlier, India’s economy grew at an average of 6.3 per cent from 1992-1993 to 2000-2001 (Acharya, 2001). Further, its rate of inflation and fiscal deficit both decreased substantially (Bhalla, 2000). Improved exchange rate management led to improved financing of the current account deficit and higher foreign exchange reserves. Finally, India’s GDP and per capita income both increased substantially from 1990-1991 to 1998-1999.
India can do more, however, to further advance its economic development. Indeed, one of the more recent microeconomic approaches to economic growth is the promotion of entrepreneurial activities. Entrepreneurial efforts have been found to generate a wide range of economic benefits, including new businesses, new jobs, innovative products and services, and increased wealth for future community investment (Kayne, 1999). The following narrative explains in considerable depth how entrepreneurial activities have succeeded in several countries and how it can now be used to further India’s economic development
Following an extensive study of entrepreneurship in 21 countries, Reynolds, Hay, Bygrave, Camp and Autio (2000) concluded that successful entrepreneurial activity is strongly associated with economic growth. Their research was subsumed under the “Global Entrepreneurship Monitor” (GEM), a joint research initiative conducted by Babson College and London Business School and supported by the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Their findings, based on surveys of the adult population of each country, in-depth interviews of experts on entrepreneurship in each country, and the use of standardized national data, supported their conceptual model depicting the role of the entrepreneurial process in a country’s economic development (see figure 2).
DIGRAM TO BE DRAWN
The GEM Conceptual Model suggests that the social-cultural-political context within a country must foster certain “General National Framework Conditions,” which can generate not only the opportunities for entrepreneurship but also the capacity for entrepreneurship – in particular, the skills and motivation necessary to succeed. Together, the entrepreneurship opportunities, on the one hand, and the skills and motivation, on the other, lead to business dynamics that yield creative destruction, a process in which new firms are created and older, less efficient firms are destroyed. The overall result for a country is economic growth. Of the eight “General National Framework Conditions” listed in figure 2, the three that Reynolds, et al. (2000) highlighted as especially important are the availability of financing for new entrepreneurs, the need for government policies which are supportive of entrepreneurial efforts, and the opportunities for education and training in entrepreneurship.
Given India’s economic progress in recent years, the country may now be ready for the implementation of microeconomic policies that will foster entrepreneurial activities. Fortunately, in addition to the macroeconomic reforms mentioned earlier, India has taken other steps to lay the foundation for the type of economic growth that can be fostered only by entrepreneurial activities and appropriate economic policies that reflect individual rights and responsibilities. For example, in recent years India has...
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