U.S. Immigrants from India Boosting Economy by Investing in Indian Businesses

June 20, 2006

Source: USA Today


On June 20, 2006 USA Today reported, "When Silicon Valley entrepreneur Sabeer Bhatia was a kid growing up in Bangalore, India, in the 1980s, his native country seemed eons from evolving into an economic power. Bhatia and his parents, a banker and a government bureaucrat, waited 10 years before their house got a telephone line. Because of auto shortages, they waited two years to buy a tiny Suzuki car. They shopped at small family stores with limited goods. Today, when Bhatia flies to India, he jets over an ancient land undergoing a vast transformation. Some 100 million consumers carry cellphones. Automakers sell everything from Ford Fusions to Rolls-Royce Phantoms. And shopping malls are sprouting everywhere. 'Imagine, it used to be cause for celebration to get a phone line,' said Bhatia, a Stanford University graduate who co-founded the Hotmail e-mail service and sold it to Microsoft for $400 million in 1997. 'All of that is finally changing. People are seeing the benefits of an open economy and consumerism.' Bhatia and many thousands of Indian immigrants with strong ties to the USA and India are storming back to their ancestral homeland to cultivate business and cut deals. With 1 billion people, a rising wave of consumers and annual economic growth of 8% since 2004, India is the world's most promising economy after China."