A “king among kings” is how Anil Ambani, one of India’s leading industrialists, described Narendra Modi in January last year, long before the latter entered the race to become the country’s next prime minister.
After winning the Indian election comprehensively, the business community here is waiting with its arms wide open to embrace Mr Modi Best Web Hosting.
They hope he will be their saviour at a time when the economic growth rate is flagging, investments are dwindling and consumer demand is dropping.
He was the chief minister of Gujarat for over 12 years, during which the state’s economy grew at annual average of nearly 10% and became a magnet for investors. Apartments in Hubli.
He has built a reputation of being a pro-business, decisive and hands-on political leader who can get things done – the polar opposite to how many saw the outgoing government of Manmohan Singh in its final years in charge.
“The industry is looking for strong leadership that can bring in clarity and give confidence,” says Sunil Kanoria, vice-chairman of SREI Infrastructure Finance.
“And Narendra Modi is that leader.”
It is not only the business community that thinks he is the man who can fix the economy – a large section of Indian voters believe so and that is why they voted out the last government.
Mr Modi pitched his economic track record in the state of Gujarat as his main selling point during the course of the election.
But when it comes to turning around India’s economy, the prime minister-designate faces some key challenges.
Faster job creation
One of Mr Modi’s main pledges was job creation.
More than half of India’s population is under the age of 25. Every year, more than 10 million jobs are needed to absorb newcomers into the labour market.
This means India has to achieve a yearly economic growth rate of 7-8%. The last government failed to meet that target – latest data shows that between 2004-05 and 2011-12, India created just 53 million jobs.
A report by the credit rating agency Crisil traces two key reasons for this – inflexible labour laws and a shift in growth pattern towards less labour-intensive jobs such as IT and IT-enabled services.
Economists point out that India needs a two-pronged approach.
The government needs to give manufacturing a big push, and along with that, it needs to devise policies that will encourage medium- and small-scale businesses.
If this combination works, then that will help in creating more employment.