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The current population of India is a little over 1.2 billion. Something to be proud of, I guess. Considering the rate at which the population growth takes place in India, it will only be a matter of time before the country becomes the largest populated in the world. I doubt very much whether any other country could over-take India on the population growth front. Well, is it a curse or a blessing?JOHNPOWATH-02

Years back, the population growth in India was a cause of great concern and a major worry for administrators as any amount of intelligent calculations and planning went overboard. The huge challenge of feeding millions of poor people, which, incidentally, is a major vote bank, hung like a dark cloud over the heads of the government. This is an area the politicians can never afford to overlook and the ever growing unemployment rate rose like an accompanying threat.

When you consider the issue from this perspective, population growth is certainly a curse. However, there is a brighter other side to the same coin. India has a huge middle income population which can spend fairly good amount on consumer durables, housing, cars and such other requirements. This is a very, very huge in-house consumption indeed. We also have a very huge lower class population and they are the back bone of the country as they provide very cheap labour. They may not be very intelligent or smart but there are so many areas where such categories are very much required. In the process, there is no shortage of normal work force and at the same time they are very cheap as well.

Other than the President of America, that too only when he is White House, there is hardly any chauffeur driven cars in the US. Even the Presidents/ CEOS of very big multi-national companies have only self-driven cars. That means, during winter time, if they have to go out to meet someone on business, the President/CEO must drive to the destination, put the car in a parking lot, walk all the way to the main building and after the meeting, he will have to again walk back from the main building to the parking lot and get back to his office or , if it is a late affair, drive back to his home. What a huge waste of creative time. If he had a driver, then he could very profitably spend the driving time by being in touch with his office to give instructions and also to get an update from the office, reply to emails, speak with his clients or such relevant people. Or, he could do a good home work on topics he is supposed to discuss during his meeting for which he is going. Finally, why not, he could even sleep and wake up just before reaching the destination and so he will be relaxed and fresh for the kill during the discussions there!

It is not a luxury for a senior executive or a major league business leader to have a chauffeur driven car. However, in the US, employment of a driver is guided by a number of statutory obligations on salary and other perks and this makes it impossible to employ a driver. In other words you cannot avail of the opportunity of employing a cheap help.

To me, there is a fault in the system. However, in the Asian countries, it is a very normal thing to have a driver with low salary and perks. So, to that extent, Asians are a blessed lot. Over-population is thus a blessing as well. Does that give you the license to produce children in an unbridled way? Not at all. We have to have a very intelligent planning on this front. Well, a lesson for the Asian countries, I guess, other than the Chinese!


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