Barack Obama, who won the 2008 presidential election as a candidate of ‘change’ was re-elected on 7th November for a second term. Ever since his re-election, the topic of ‘fiscal cliff’, immigration reforms, climate change, healthcare, et al have quickly moved to the forefront of significant issues that the President must deal with. While the re-election may mean different things to different people, in the Indian context, it means continuity of multi-faceted engagements. In terms of defense and strategic partnership, Washington may redouble its effort to woo India as a counter-balance to a more assertive and rapidly rising China. Obama’s re-election implies that his pet project ‘The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’ referred to as Obamacare will get a boost. This is positive news for Indian healthcare generic companies, which account for approximately 10 percent of the $80 billion US generic drug market. It is expected that US will continue to depend on India for export of quality generics at affordable prices, thereby creating an increased demand. Further, Obama’s plan to increase research in healthcare has the potential for Indian R&D and CRAMS (Contract Research and Manufacturing Services) companies to partner with US biotech and pharmaceutical companies.
In the run up to the election, there were several mentions of anti-outsourcing in reference to American jobs being moved out. It is this rhetoric of the campaign days that has a few IT veterans fear that Obama’s re-election could mean less business for Indian IT outsourcing firms. Nevertheless, other CEOs and the lobby group of Indian IT companies have maintained a diplomatic note, while making specific reference to the shortage of STEM professionals in the US and seeking support for expanding the visa program. NASSCOM in its statement says, that with the global economy still under stress, it is more important than ever that India and the US find ways to partner together to find solutions to balance the current situation.The business communities too are optimistic. According to Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), the recent wave of reforms in India, particularly in the multi-brand retail, should encourage US corporations to accelerate their investment into Asia’s third largest economy. As Obama would make us believe, “the best is yet to come.”