Late on Thursday afternoon last week, I had a very interesting conversation with Chris Devonshire-Ellis during which we talked about China, India and the impact their rise is going to have on the global economy.
Chris heads Dezan Shira and Associates and after spending 20 years in China has now turned his eyes to India (I credit him with great timing!).
After a recent visit, he wrote this article for the Shanghai Daily which captured the “electricity in the air” feeling that Mumbai (and to a large extent, the rest of India) has these days: “”Mumbai has that sizzling Shanghai state of mind” – amidst all the heat and dust.
Excerpts (emphasis mine):
“…while people complain about the traffic in Shanghai, in Mumbai it takes three hours just to get from one side of the city to the other. Taking a taxi to see someone is a half-day journey.
But amid all the traffic chaos, Mumbai has that Shanghai feeling.
…The talk on the streets, from fashionable Bombistas wearing Prada and with Nokias glued to their ears, are of investments being made in Shanghai and Dubai.
The stock market too, is booming. Mumbai is Asia’s oldest stock exchange, and has a market capitalization of US$900 billion. Shanghai by comparison is US$1.56 trillion, and Shenzhen US$246 billion.
Those figures reflect the GDP position, with China’s US$2.7 trillion being about three times the size of India’s US$904 billion.
It means that India is about six-seven years behind China in terms of development, and those of you who were here then will recall the can-do spirit of late 90s Shanghai.
That is how Mumbai feels now – change is coming – fast, and the good times are back.
One, two and even three-billion-dollar investments are being secured, just as they were in Shanghai.
BMW, Nokia, General Motors – all major players are investing in the new India. Direct flights between Shanghai and Mumbai are now full on a thrice-daily basis, and the Beijing-Delhi route is even busier.
The brands are recognizable too – LV, Cartier, Paul & Shark, Burberry, Hermes, all present and correct, and with a middle class of some 350 million people, the Indians are buying.
…Sometimes Mumbai feels so different, and sometimes so much the same.
Both cities were moribund for so long, and both have awakened. Shanghai with its tradition of jazz and “qipaos” and Mumbai with its love of big bands and saris.
The two cities match each other, and for sure the sea routes between these two Asian giants are busy as trade reignites between these sisters of destiny…”
…and here are some great slides by Chris on India and China that contrast and compare the two countries.
Great stuff Chris…I will be watching for more.