Ease of Doing Business Rank: 63
The Republic of India is located in Southern Asia. Pakistan lies to the west, China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north, and Burma to the west. It sits on a peninsula surrounded by the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal.
India does not have a national language, but has 22 official languages. Hindi is the official government language, but only spoken by about 40% of the population.
India is a former British colony and English is the most widely spoken language used in higher education, media, and corporate business
The 2019 population estimate for India is 1.37 billion. It is the second most populous country in the world after China. The largest city is Mumbai, followed by Delhi. India has more than 50 cities with a population over 1 million.
The top industries in India are agriculture, forestry & fishing, industry, mining & quarrying, manufacturing, electricity, gas, water supply & other utility services, construction, services, trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting, financial, real estate & professional services, and public administration, defense and other services.
India ranks highly for post-secondary education in emerging nations. According to the Times Higher Education Emerging Economies University Rankings India ranked 25 institutions in the top 200.
However, it ranks 94th globally according to the Legatum Prosperity Index.
The most common business entities in India are Sole Proprietor, One Person Company, Partnership, Private Limited Company, or Public Limited Company. Foreign business typically chooses a Private Limited Company.
India offers special economic zones (SEZs) which provide incentives and tax breaks in the manufacturing of new goods, the provisioning of services, and other activities including processing, assembling, trading, repairing and reconditioning.
The country also offers multi-sector special economic zones for the manufacturing, trading and warehousing of multiple products. Specific sectors may also benefit from these zones, depending on the policies within the region.
India also has free trade and warehousing zones (FTWZs) which the country deems foreign territory. They’re intended to function as international trading hubs complete with storage and high-quality transportation.
Alternative SEZs enjoy tax benefits and reductions in rent and utility bills. They cater to the information technology, bio-technology, non-conventional energy, handicraft, gem, and jewelry sectors.
India has many businesses centers due to the number of major cities in the country. These include Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, Bangalore, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Kochi, Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, New Delhi, Trivandrum, Visakhapatnam, and others.
Mumbai is India’s financial center with all major banks within the city.
India has countless historical sites and tourist attractions, many of them world famous. The iconic Taj Mahal in Agra is a stunning example of a Mughal mausoleum built entirely from white marble.
The Qutub Minar in Delhi is a minaret of 240 feet and one of the 37 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the country. Delhi’s Red Fort is a magnificent example of Mughal architecture adorned in red sandstone.
India also features many breathtaking temples including the Virupaksha, Konark, and Khajuraho temples. Spectacular examples of British architecture such as the Mysore Palace are also found throughout the country.
Beneath the surface, India reigns supreme too. The stunning Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Maharashtra feature ancient Indian art and sculpture. Many other cave systems exist in other regions.
India is also a country of topographic diversity and natural wonders. Areas of interest include salt flats, sand dunes, forests, world-class beaches, and 1208 islands, many teeming with wildlife.
India is also home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world. India’s entire history is punctuated by constant integration since it is in the center of Asia, and at a crossroads of the cultures between China and Europe, and Asia and Africa.
Its history began with the birth of the Indus Valley Civilization and the arrival of the Aryans who entered India through the Khyber Pass. Historians describe these two phases as the pre-Vedic and Vedic periods. Hinduism first arose in the Vedic period.
By the fifth century, large parts of India were united under Ashoka, an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty. He converted to Buddhism and spread Buddhism to other parts of Asia.
During the 8th century, Islam came to India and spread across the Indian subcontinent over a period of 500 years. Turks and Afghans invaded India in the 10th and 11th centuries and established sultanates in Delhi.
The Delhi Sultanate ruled large parts of the Indian subcontinent between 1206 AD and 1526 AD. In the early 16th century, descendants of Genghis Khan swept across the Khyber Pass and established the Mughal Empire. This empire lasted for 200 years. In the south, the Wodeyars founded The Kingdom of Mysore in 1400 AD.
The Sikhs eventually ruled much of the northwest India and the Sikh Empire encompassed areas of Punjab, present-day Kashmir, and parts of Pakistan. For a short period, the Durrani Empire ruled some parts of northwestern India.
In the 1600s, the British East India Company began trading in India, primarily centered in Bengal. By the 1700s, the British had defeated the French, Bengalis, and Mughals. In 1757, Britain established their first governor in Bengal.
Eventually, the East India Company conquered the entire subcontinent of India. However, Indians rebelled and the British government seized control of the company. By 1858, India was part of the British Empire and Queen Victoria the Empress of India. India remained under British rule for ninety years, but not voluntarily.
Many residents resisted British rule and struggled for independence. Eventually Indians gained independence and became a free country with the title Republic of India in 1947.
Today, India has a developing mixed economy and is ruled by a democratic parliament.
According to the 2011 census, 79.8% of the population of India practices Hinduism, 14.2% adheres to Islam, 2.3% adheres to Christianity, and 1.7% adheres to Sikhism.
Indian society and the Indian census do not differentiate citizens by ethnicities. The population is categorized in terms of the 1,652 mother tongues spoken and subdivided into numerous sub-groups, castes, and tribes.
Indo-Aryans are the predominant ethno-linguistic group in all areas of India, except the south where Dravidians dominate.
US News ranks India 27th in their Open for Business Rankings for 2019.
According to Forbes’ 2019 Best Countries for Business, India ranks 63rd globally due to its “inefficient power generation and distribution system, ineffective enforcement of intellectual property rights, decades-long civil litigation dockets, inadequate transport and agricultural infrastructure, limited non-agricultural employment opportunities, high spending and poorly targeted subsidies, and inadequate availability of quality basic and higher education.”
The 2019 Index of Economic Freedom rates India 129th globally and states, “Corruption, underdeveloped infrastructure, a restrictive and burdensome regulatory environment, and poor financial and budget management continue to undermine overall development.”