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According to a very senior source in the Indian logistics industry, there are three reasons why the country will eventually eclipse China as the driver of global economic growth. 
One: the population, which is expected to be the world’s largest by 2025. More than 50% of its population is under 25, and 65% is under 35 years old. By 2020, the average age will be 29, compared with 37 for China. 
Two: it is a free-speaking democracy. “It is more difficult to achieve very fast growth in a democracy because everything has to be debated and the challenges are far greater, but in the long run when you achieve growth in democracy it is far more sustainable,” said the source. “When communism falls it will set China back.”
And three: it is a nation of entrepreneurs. While China is famed for its ability to copy from others, Indians neither need or desire it: they all, (well, that’s how it seems), each and every 1.21 billion of them, have original ideas.
Growth (and not just the marginal, few percent-type growth) seems inevitable. 87% of Indian CFOs expect to see moderate to significant economic growth over the next 12 months. 
But problems in India currently abound. Cargo backlog stories appear  almost weekly. Delays for export cargo at Delhi Airport, which have been reported for a couple of months, have still not cleared, risking both India’s garment and the air cargo industry. 
Chennai airport has had a backlog since April, and it will be another month before it clears.

The reasons behind some of the cargo delays, officially, are cited as being lack of manpower, infrastructure and security processes. 
Off the record, corruption seems to be the real reason for some of the chaos. While The Loadstar is based in the UK (where draconian libel laws make the country the envy of dodgy politicians, businessmen and celebrities the world over), the details can’t be revealed. But over-enthusiastic outsourcing by some parts of the industry, to underqualified companies, is more or less what has happened. Apparently. 
And this is going to present something of a problem to those of you keen to get in on the action, but wary of getting heavily involved in corruption. It’s one thing to get ahead of the pack, but is it worth the risks?
“Corruption absolutely does present a problem for us,” says one global air cargo company, which is keen to increase its presence in India. “We don’t do business in that way, and it has really stifled our development. We have been working on projects that were viable, and then come up against this ‘challenge’. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and I think things are changing.”
And eventually, if you can wait, it will, as India’s desire for sustainable growth starts to outweigh the short-termism of a few individuals. And when it happens, it will be (say those in the know), the new China. 

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  • Brijesh

    May 18, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Corruption is only one (main) of the cause.
    Other reasons are:
    1.There are 200+ days per year as holidays, creating back logs.
    2.Strike on every second changes in every walk of public life in India.