The last 12 months have been incredibly harsh on national economies worldwide, significantly impacting real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates in just about every country. For India, the yearly GDP growth rate, by comparison to each year prior, has been slipping since 2016, but the growth rate has remained in positive figures.
As would be assumed, 2020 will mark a distinctly negative GDP growth rate, which is expected to be around -10 percent on 2019’s +4.18 percent. So, attentions turn not just to recover, but to also improve on the tumbling rate from before. This task falls on all of the states of India, with Karnataka having the opportunity to position itself at the forefront of many industries.
Not only can core industries make an essential pivot in their practices, but neglected and even new industries are ripe for development in the southwestern state. A great deal of focus has been on the Wistron iPhone facility and Toyota Kirloskar Motors plant, which could if they settle, pave the way for a greater assembly sector in the state. However, other areas can be evolved to pump up the GDP growth rate in 2021.
Leaning into eco-friendly textiles
Textiles are among Karnataka’s leading industries, with efforts made in 2019 to further the state’s standing in the sector. As a part of the New Textile & Garment Policy 2019-2024, the cabinet called for more investment to make the state the national leader in the sector, having already stood as the 20 percent contributor to the national production of garments.
However, as the world continues to change and public demand for eco-friendly, long-lasting garments increases, a greater focus has to be placed on green and renewable initiatives. India has laid down the gauntlet by being a part of the Paris Agreement. Still, individual businesses should seek to surpass the environmental practices trying to be reached by the national government.
The fashion industry has been labeled among the worst contributors to climate change and environmental harm, but there is a better way. Rajshekhar Virupaxappa is a master of weaving and dying fabrics but found that his fast-first set-up of using polyester and chemicals was both bad for his health and the environment. After shifting his Karnataka-based operations to natural materials and sustainable practices, his health improved, and so did his business.
Being such a huge part of the Indian economy is one thing, but the textiles industry here also ranks among the biggest in the world. Not only is India one of the single largest consumers of apparel, but it’s also among the largest exporters, ranked just behind Bangladesh, Vietnam, and China, and so should seek to lead by example while also supplying products that the global consumer base increasingly wants to see.
Regulating the online gaming scene
A lot has been made of the Indian gaming market in recent years, primarily due to the power of its hundreds of millions of smartphone users. However, the nation’s ban on the absurdly popular PUBG is what grabbed the world’s attention. Set to return in the form of PUBG Mobile India, it was taken from the market due to its affiliation with a Chinese company. Now, however, all forms of these online games may be banned.
The state of Karnataka is seriously considering banning online games due to the rapid adoption and massive popularity of several titles. As these mobile games also offer ways for players to pay-in, despite being free to download, foreign app developers stand to benefit from popular game apps. Such a move has already been put in the works in Tamil Nadu.
On the flip side, the state could seek to follow in the footsteps of another new nation to a form of digital gaming, the United States, which has benefitted from regulation and taxation. Regulating the scene, instead of turning a blind eye to Americans finding other means of playing the games, has allowed states to make sure that licensed providers offer games and that the state can make money from the operators. In a July 2020 report from the CDC, it was found that Pennsylvania gained $23 million (â¹1.687 billion) in online gambling taxes, and New Jersey reeled-in $14.8 million (â¹1.085 billion).
There are also further openings for businesses in such a regulated space. Across the US, states are starting to regulate online gambling, which has enabled the forging of Legal Betting, an informative site, which details all aspects of the new state-of-play to gamers, from the bonuses to live dealer games, and the range of classic games, like craps and video poker, that are readily available. It's a helpful tool for those looking to play casino games but also operates as a business through affiliations and promotions.
As it stands, mobile app game developers only pay taxes where they’re based, for the most part. The popularity of mobile games is unquestioned, so a state like Karnataka would do well to regulate its own scene, either cultivating developers and local games or taxing those offering their products here. PUBG Mobile reportedly generated $41.2 million (â¹3.022 billion) in India alone. With more and more people getting smartphones each month, regulating the whole scene could be very beneficial, with the funds put into community projects and spaces opening for new businesses to help players adapt.
Garment production is already a colossal industry in Karnataka, and gaming can become an even more prominent and lucrative one for the state, but it’ll depend on key pivots to modernize the sectors.
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