Till a few years back rural industrialization was a pipe dream all one could think of were were small food processing units. But today, with reforms in mineral policy, mineral exploration and mining are leading this rapid rural industrialization.
Recent changes to the mineral policy, has created a tectonic shift in India’s standing in global exploration and mining space. These changes have facilitated creation of over a thousand “mineral exploration” start-ups that are exploring every corner of our geologically blessed and mineral endowed land. Since scrapping of the lease auctions and bringing in simplification of mineral rules, the government has granted all of the 700 odd mining lease applications pending for decades. As a result of the ensuing mining boom, over 50,000 direct jobs have been created in rural areas. Most of these are high paying engineer level and technician level jobs. This rural employment boom has increased income levels in the rural India. To serve the demand of this high income populace, branches of retail chains and supermarkets are rapidly opening up in third and fourth tier towns. Demand for Korean food in Anantapur (AP) and Italian food in Ratnagiri (MH) is increasing rapidly. The old style “highway dhabas” are rapidly up-scaling and diversifying their menus to cater to this new customer base. A famous Italian chef has been touring these interior villages to sample the innovative fusion cuisine being crated by the roadside “chefs”.
It is reported that the food delivery apps “Swiggy” and “Zomato” are planning to extend their services to rural areas especially in and around the mining townships. These food delivery apps are hiring and training rural youth into food hygiene and safe delivery methods. They, however, insist that the new rural employees have their own motorbikes. This new spurt in demand for vehicle finance from rural areas has forced the city based financial institutions to open branches in villages. News from sources have suggested that even some NBFCs are looking to tap this vehicle financing demand from rural India. If we recall, similar spurts in vehicle financing had occurred in the decade of 2010, when app based taxi services like “Uber” and “Ola” started off in cities.
An avid industry watcher and Australian entrepreneur Mr Charles Devenish, who has incidentally played a key role in this transformation, comments on this rapid industrialization of rural India “..I have lived through the Australian mineral boom and the Canadian mineral boom but this boom happening now in India is an order of magnitude bigger…”. Endowed with the great mineral potential and sitting right in the center of the Gondwanaland (ancient supercontinent when Africa, India and Australia were part of one continuous landmass) India has now started to reap the rich dividends of a great geology and mineral endowment. Mineral policy reforms have unlocked the immense potential of rural India and now fueling a rapid rural industrialization.
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or businesses, or actual events is purely coincidental.