Recreating a tiger: making Indian infrastructure work

By Kenneth Akintewe, Senior Investment Manager, Asian Fixed Income, Aberdeen Asset Management

India is renowned for its assortment of wonderful wildlife. The national animal is the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger but the country is also known for its eponymous elephant. The two animals are apt metaphors for the state of the country’s economy and politics over the past 30 years.

India has often shown its tiger-like qualities, for example when it liberalised the economy in 1991 and, more recently, following the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. At these times, the government proved it could enact widescale structural reforms to boost growth. In between, there have been periods of political inaction, corruption and economic stagnation, which have given the country the reputation of a lumbering elephant and perennial underachiever.

Modi’s triumph in last May’s election signalled that the country’s vast populace wanted a new start for India. Over a year on, Modi’s government has made a surprising amount of progress, passing 47 bills into law.

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