The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the 4th Global Exhibition on Services in Mumbai on May 15th. The event aims to highlight India’s prowess in services which is backed by the nation’s vast and diverse talent pool. The exhibition has been organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Government of Maharashtra, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Services Export Promotion Council. On the occasion, the President also launched a portal on 12 Champion Sectors in Services that represents the best of India’s servicing talent. Around 500 international delegates are participating in the exhibition from about 100 countries. The initiative is expected to promote the Indian services domain and deepen India’s engagement with the global services sector.

The 12 Champion Sectors will contribute to both India’s economy and the global economy, and will help create new jobs. These sectors have been broadly categorised under – Communications, Transport and Logistics, Health and Wellness, Infrastructure and Construction, Tourism and Hospitality, Media and Entertainment, Education, Accounting and Finance, Banking, Financial and Insurance, Legal, IT and ITES and Environment. The President said that the services sector represents a vibrant and expanding component of the global economy. Today, services dominates in terms of employment, value addition, productivity and innovation. Technological and scientific disruptions have intensified the contribution of services in industries such as agriculture, infrastructure and manufacturing.

In India, the services sector contributes 61 per cent in gross value added on the back of its youth-heavy population. With average age of 29 years, India is all set to become the world’s youngest country by 2020 and the world’s most populous country by 2024, rising from its current population strength of 1.3 billion (world’s second largest). With its young population, large talent pool and the sector’s easy adaption to the latest in technology, India has natural advantages in the sector and is set to become even more of a provider of services to the world. During the financial year 2017-18, India recorded services export worth more than US$192 billion. The nation’s services export has steadily strengthened with an increasing number of foreign companies relying on India for a variety of services support.

The early Industrial Age and the traditional manufacturing economy created jobs in factories, and encouraged entrepreneurship through ancillary units and workshops, however, today India is looking at small but exciting startups in the services space. Herein, technology has emerged as an enormous enabler and allowed local services companies to go national or even global. In India, which is the third largest centre for startups in the world, this has thrown up a generation of young entrepreneurs. Government programmes such as Startup India, Skill India and Mudra Yojana, which has provided capital to 120 million grassroots businesses, have seeded a culture of entrepreneurship, largely in services.