Floodgates are about to open at India’s social media creator ecosystem as unbelievable talent is turning their skills at dancing, singing, acting, gaming, motivational talk, even education, into lucrative economic opportunities.

Ashish Chanchlani (comedy/entertainment), Ajey Nagar aka CarryMinati (roasting, comedy videos) and Bhuvan Bam (entertainment) are just a few of the 50 million creators in the country who are leveraging millions of followers on various social media platforms to rake in up to ₹15 crore annually.

Three dramatic shifts are driving this: Growing popularity of homegrown video platforms Josh, Moj, Chingari and ShareChat alongside global platforms such as YouTube and Instagram Reels; massive adoption of mobile-based entertainment in non-metros; and emergence of fascinating new business models for creators ranging from ad monetisation to live commerce, influencer marketing to shoppable commerce, personal merchandise, virtual gifting, and even NFTs. Read Asmita Dey’s cover story on the birth of a new industry out of nowhere.

While one industry is taking shape, another one aims to gain scale. Seventy years since Independence, India still imported edible oils worth ₹80,000 crore in 2021. With demand rising rapidly, the country makes a serious bid to arrest imports and price shocks. This time it appears to have the backing of the farmers as much as the industry. Joe C. Mathew digs into the quest for self-sufficiency in edible oils, and the chances of success.

Meanwhile, as the world economy heads into recession, what lies ahead for the Indian economy? Economists rule out the possibility of a recession or stagflation but do not rule out a general slowdown. With two-thirds of our GDP being contributed by the domestic economy, Ashutosh Kumar explains how India may still be cushioned by some of the positives: rising capacity utilisation; Centre’s capex push; deleveraged corporate balance sheets; improvement in investment activity; demand pick-up; growing bank credit and PLI-led exports.

Our special package this issue is Fortune India’s iconic ‘Most Powerful Women in Business 2022’. Gender parity in workforce has been a stated goal for India Inc. Yet, the reality is that women’s participation in Indian workforce dipped over 30% in 2021. In the lead story, Ajita Shashidhar writes on corporate India’s serious push to take the diversity agenda beyond their own workplace into the larger ecosystem of vendors, suppliers and distributors.

Also in the package, three feisty women entrepreneurs have rightly anticipated the changing trends in alcohol consumption among women to create enterprises that are changing the rules of the ₹3.6-lakh crore Indian alcoholic beverages market: Third Eye Distillery’s Sakshi Saigal makes Stranger & Sons gin; NAO Spirits’ Aparajita Ninan created Hapusa and Greater Than, both hand-crafted gins; and Adventurist Spirits’ Devika Bhagat sells ‘Tamras’ — a gin concoction of Indian botanicals. Read about their exploits.

Do not miss our exclusive interview with Vini Mahajan, secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, capturing the government’s race against time to implement ‘Jal Jeevan Mission: Har Ghar Jal’ — the ₹3.6-lakh crore project that is so vital to BJP’s re-election in 2024.

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