India may overtake Japan and Germany to become the world’s third-largest economy well before 2030 and, thereafter the second largest economy by 2050, says Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani Group, while addressing the shareholders, in the conglomerate’s annual report 2022-23.

“While economic cycles are getting increasingly hard to forecast, there is little doubt that, India, already the world’s 5th largest economy, will become the world’s 3rd largest economy well before 2030 and, thereafter, the world’s 2nd largest economy by 2050,” he says.

He further says, “For any economy to lay the foundation of growth, a stable government is critical, and we have seen this impact with the implementation of several structural reforms that are critical for strong, sustainable, and balanced growth. This stability coupled with India’s young demographics and continued expansion of internal demand is a potent combination.”

The billionaire says that India’s demographic dividend is expected to drive consumption and accelerate the growth of a tax paying society at record pace over the next three decades. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) projects that India’s median age will be just 38 years even in 2050. “Over this period, India’s population is expected to grow by approximately 15% to 1.6 billion, but the per capita income will accelerate by over 700% to about $16,000. On a purchasing power parity basis, this per capita metric will be 3 to 4 times higher.”

Adani says that the growth of this consuming middle class is expected to insulate the economy to quite some extent from global recessions as India’s growth is primarily driven by domestic demand. This, in turn, should drive a logical surge in private and government expenditures as well as attract more and more foreign direct investments, he adds.

Citing the statistics of India’s growth story, he says that it took 58 years post independence to reach the $1 trillion GDP mark, 12 years to get to the next trillion, and just 5 years for the $3 trillion. “I anticipate that within the next decade, India will start adding a trillion dollars to its GDP every 18 months – thereby putting us well on track to be a 25 to 30 trillion-dollar economy by 2050. This will potentially drive India’s total market capitalisation to over 40 trillion dollars, which is approximately a 10X expansion from current levels.”

On global economic conditions, Adani says that there can be no denying that the world is continuing to be hit by multiple shocks, be it the climate emergency, geopolitical disequilibrium, supply chain and energy volatility, or persistent inflation. “What makes the situation a permacrisis is the fact that we have never had a time wherein all these events were happening simultaneously and without a clear solution in sight.”

“Add to this the opportunities and challenges because of the technological revolution, especially the breathtaking advances in artificial intelligence, and what we have is a massive potential reset in the existing global operating models,” he says.

On Hindenburg report that impacted the group’s business this year, Adani says, “The report was a combination of targeted misinformation and outdated, discredited allegations aimed at damaging our reputation and generating profits through a deliberate drive-down of our stock prices.”

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