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Business Topographies: A Spatiotemporal Analysis of 150 years of Indian Business

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posted on 23.09.2022, 16:15 authored by Eric Vaz


One of the most growing entrepreneurial landscapes has  been without a doubt in the last decade India. India, with a  total population of almost 1.2 billion inhabitants, is a land of immense business opportunity within a highly competitive market.  Before the eighties however, India was mainly a rural country, with a large contrast of the nexus between city and periphery. With the emergence of young generation of entrepreneurs, the economy has been growing at a rate of  8-10% for the last 20 years. The share of the service sector  has increased to 60 per cent in the total GDP. The growth rate of India has increased significantly and  has  been  consistent  mainly  because  of  the  emergence  of  privat  sector  in  general  and small business entrepreneurs in particular. The private sector has not only played a seignificant role in savings but also played pivotal role in investment in the country which has been creating vast job opportunities and gigantic wealth for the country.  Thus, the  growth of the Indian economy is mainly driven by the private sector. Worldwide the landscape of business has undertaken a paradigm shift.  The developing countries have become key drivers of the trajectory of global growth. World has started looking at the growth of India and China from a business perspective, but also in a context of environmental futures. These two economies will be the   biggest economies by 2035. However, the change in the  industrial and entrepreneurial landscape of India raises some importance issues related with how is Indian business developing spatially, how its concentrated its growth is and how it is related to Indian transportation systems. Using different stages of Geographic Information Systems, we will answer these three questions by methodologies found in geostatistics, neogeography and spatial analysis.  By means of a database of over 3000 businesses in India, we will  (i) 2 transform this database to spatially-explicit content through geocoding techniques which shall allow (ii) a   geostatistical analysis through the creation of a Getis Ord   (Local G) autocorrelation of identifying hot and cold space for entire India over time. This information will be assessed  in a combination of volunteered-geographic information (VGI) where the availability of the entire road network of India shall be (iii) compiled on a spatial integrative analysis,  allowing to understand the spatial relation of the Local G business hot and cold spots in relation to infrastructures and commutes. These results bring forth a novel approach of  combined spatially-explicit methodologies and GIS,  which  for business analysis seems greatly to be missing and set  out to create a new definition missing in literature:  Business Topographies.  A combined methodology taking forth available datasets brought from VGI related to autoregressive spatial modelling approaches shall allow a  better understanding of the underlying patterns of the spatial  transformation of the business landscape over time (in our  case since 1850 for India) and the predictable consequences of future changes in spatiotemporal scenarios for business performance, taking into account commutes and Euclidean spatial proximity.