‘India Inc is an item number in a Bollywood film; the backbone of our economy is small biz’
In his book 'India Uninc.', IIMB's Professor R Vaidyanathan argues that the non-corporate sector constitutes nearly 45-50 per cent of GDP and therefore must be supported with less harassment from corrupt regulators and more access to credit
Did you know that both BCCI and Bollywood, magnificent Indian obsessions, belong to the unorganized sector? India Uninc., the book on India's large and productive informal sector by Professor Vaidyanathan, launched on Tuesday (Feb 04) evening at the IIMB auditorium not only redefines the Indian economic structure; it also puts the spotlight on the nation's 'unincorporated' sector and the problems dogging it.
Released by a galaxy of eminent persons, including
Mr. Rangachary, former chairman, IRDA; Mr. Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education Services, and Mr. Murali, Managing Director, Sriram Properties, the book delves into the non-corporate sector, explains how the many proprietorship and partnership firms, small manufacturing units, kirana stores, single entrepreneurs and household enterprises are the true future of the economy in the long term.
Published by Tata Westland, the book urges a wider view of the national economy, with Professor Vaidyanathan stating that the needs of small entrepreneurs should prevail over crony capitalism.
"Erudite yet accessible, and offering a wealth of information on an uncharted territory, India Uninc. is a must-read for anybody who aspires to understand the Indian economy -as well as India itself," declared Mr Rangachary.
Describing the birth of the book, Professor Vaidyanathan, revealed that 'terminology terrorism' had triggered in him a need to coin a new word - Uninc. He said, "I do not call the informal sector 'unorganized' as the word has a negative connotation. They are certainly better organized than some MNCs, believe me!"
He drew attention to the fact that this 'Uninc' that India must be proud and supportive of actually contributes 45-50- per cent of the GDP and therefore needs access to credit. "Instead what they find themselves dealing with is corrupt regulation," he added.
Highlighting the uniqueness of the Indian economy, he explained how the engine growth for India lies in the unincorporated sector, an idea seconded by Mr. Mohandas Pai, who suggested that the unincorporated sector be incentivized for growth and job creation.
Mr. Murali, who described Professor Vaidyanathan as his mentor, hoped that policies framed by government would show a real connect with real society.
Earlier in the evening, Professor Devanath Tirupati, Director Incharge, IIMB, welcomed the gathering of scholars, business heads and students to the book launch, describing Professor Vaidyanathan as a researcher whose work finds resonance with the common man. And true to character, Professor Vaidyanathan kept his audience engrossed with his wit and wisdom. "I was worried that the vegetable vendor, down the road where I live and who works from 7 am to 10 pm is described as unorganized but the Government is described as organized, and that's when I decided to research the subject," he said only in half jest as his audience erupted into wild applause.
He also laid bare the lopsided viewpoints of policy-makers and 'experts', and urged a broader vision of the country's economy.