India Infrastructure: Weak Link Slows Expansion

According to reports in, “Indian ports won’t be able to handle the world’s biggest cargo ships when they start sailing because facilities in this country aren’t capable of handling the vessels or the volume of containers they carry”.

Despite India’s world-leading population, none of its 20 ports appear on the list of the world’s largest. “Interior infrastructure such as connecting roads, railway lines and storage space at ports and at warehouses are also inadequate”.

Though the country’s population growth signals world-leading consumer demand, manufacturers and service providers should take note that India’s economic expansion will come at a much higher cost, and take longer. Of course, conditions apply to India’s export strategies, too.

Super ports such as Singapore, Dubai and even Colombo in Sri Lanka will stand to gain even more business, as trans-shipment points for India-bound goods and commodities.

Read more here.

India’s Current Infrastructure Slows Growth

Global exporters eye India covetously: its 1 billion-strong population signals broad growth for consumer goods and services. And, it continues to attract professional services outsourcing. The country is a magnet. But all that is contingent on a balanced, multi-modal plan that transports the populace freely throughout the nation, and that moves raw materials and manufactured goods along the supply chain.

Someday the GQ Highway will rise above the traffic jams of Bangalore (Photo by Ed Kashi for National Geographic).

McKinsey & Co. conducted a study for the government of India, in which it reports that losses due to inefficiency in logistics infrastructure nationwide could triple to $140 billion annually in the next one decade (up from $45 billion in 2007), if increased usage of rail and optimal utilization of waterways is not achieved.

Though Kinsey based its conclusions upon a detailed analysis of a flow of three main commodities — coal, auto components and agricultural goods – of equal importance is efficient movement of India’s citizenry via mass transit. Not surprisingly, McKinsey emphasizes increased usage of rail and waterways in India, vs. burdening the road network.

India, with its billion-plus population and high-density living, needs scalable, clean transport infrastructure to realize its role as future power in world commerce. Therefore, I see the country as top choice for export expansion for providers of goods and services that improve how people move and live: engineering, construction, architecture, and all related goods and services.

Read more at McKinsey Quarterly.
Also, an informative feature article on the nation’s Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) Highway plan in National Geographic.

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