Khabar asked Global Atlanta Editor Trevor Williams to write an assessment of India's economic prospects. Read it here.
Trevor Williams in a village outside Jaipur
Trevor Williams in a village outside Jaipur in 2012

As China copes with the “new normal” of growth at or below 7 percent, India has regained the swagger that comes with being the fastest-growing large economy in the world. 

That could have positive implications for Georgia: More confidence among some of India’s massive conglomerates could mean more investment in the Southeast U.S.  More buying power among India’s middle class should equal a better export market for the state’s producers, from agricultural products to auto parts. 

But the Indian growth story faces a conundrum: the 7.5 percent projected this year by the IMF is fast, but there’s no reason it hasn’t accelerated more quickly. With a business-minded government and low oil prices, India has gotten some space to breathe, but the heavy lifting of key reforms on land, taxes and foreign investment still remains to be done. 

In one of the many luxuries of working for Global Atlanta, I traveled to India on a whirlwind trip in 2012 to explore the country’s myriad ties with Georgia. After eight days, I came back with some colorful photos and expanded perceptions of the country’s promise. That made its struggles in the ensuing years all the more difficult to understand, especially as I interacted with a successful diaspora and wrote about hundreds of millions of dollars worth of acquisitions conducted by Indian companies here in Atlanta.

Recently, Khabar, the Southeast’s largest Indian-American magazine, asked me to reflect on that trip and use my ongoing reporting through Global Atlanta to provide a frank assessment of where India’s going.

Not one to trust my own inadequate expertise, I peppered the resulting story with fresh interviews and did my best to give a snapshot of a country so diverse and unwieldy that it defies easy definitions.

Even with 3,500 words to work with, conclusions weren’t easy to come by, so I settled for exploring the seeming contradictions of a country that is undoubtedly having its moment, but one tinged with a looming fear that forces inside and out will crash the party. 

Readers of Global Atlanta will notice some familiar voices and will likely be particularly interested in the appraisal of the India-China manufacturing rivalry. Here’s how it starts:  

I arrived in Jaipur without any expectations. I’d scarcely heard of the Rajasthan capital, but the sights that awaited me were even more striking than bustling Mumbai, where I’d landed in 2012 on my first and only reporting trip to India.

Jaipur’s sandstone architecture and the array of breathtaking palaces set the stage for the allure of the city. Elephants with brightly painted heads labored uphill to deliver tourists to the splendid and (for me) otherworldly Amer Fort. Jewelers and cobblers sold their wares beneath pink and orange colonnades. Snake charmers with entrancing tunes proved that the iconic old India is still well and alive. A gilded wedding took over my hotel that first evening in this colorful city.

While endearing and exotic, these were just the opening acts, the preliminary pointers to the deeper experiences that sealed my impressions of India’s promise: interactions with the people….Read more on Khabar’s website.

In the coming weeks, Atlanta will host a few forums where India’s economic prospects will be discussed including a discussion with Consul General Nagesh Singh at Imagine India in 10 Years on Feb. 9 and a roundtable with Indian Ambassador Arun Kumar Singh on U.S.-India relations on Feb. 24, both hosted by the World Affairs Council of Atlanta.

Kennesaw State University’s India, China, America Institute will host its first “Chindia” conference looking at China and India’s impacts on the world in March.

Click here to read Global Atlanta’s India report featuring stories on Jaipur Rugs, the ornately carved stones of Lilburn’s Hindu temple, Coke’s efforts to outfit village schools with toilets and much more.

Visit to read more India stories and see more events.