India is not only hot economically; it’s evolved into a proving ground for new products and services before they’re unleashed (or not) upon the rest of the world. These products, many of which satisfy social needs, may promote growth in the country’s economy and exchange traded funds (ETFs) through increased consumption.

Rural India is becoming a laboratory for companies to test products and services that will then be replicated in foreign markets, reports Sapna Agarwal for Livemint. Some examples include:

  • Tata Chemicals Ltd. is test marketing a low-cost water purifier, Tata Swach, which will be put to India’s markets and on to other emerging markets. [ETF Strategies to Play the BRICs.]
  • Godrej Appliances Ltd is also test marketing a batter-powered refrigerator for people who don’t have access to regular electricity.
  • Nokia Life Tools, a mobile phone that accesses agricultural, educational and entertainment content, was introduced to Indonesia and will be heading to other emerging economies this year.
  • Hindustan Unilever Ltd has developed the Pureit home water purifier system for the rural market, which will first be introduced in India’s cities and then taken overseas. [What India Needs to Keep the Momentum.]

Mark H. Pearson, managing director (supply chain management) at consulting firm Accenture Ltd., believes that “rural India is the new battleground for multinationals to win if they want to win in emerging markets like that of Russia, Brazil and Africa.” Companies are trying to tap into the so-called bottom of the pyramid that is aspiring to have an urban-influenced lifestyle. [How Consumers Are Driving Growth in India.]

Other developments taking place in India include:

  • The government plans $1 trillion in infrastructure spending over the next five years. India’s infrastructure largely lags because of its many disparate governments. Too many cooks in the kitchen has a tendency to delay progress on much-needed progress in the country. This massive infusion of cash may be what the country needs to truly get off the ground. [India ETFs: The World’s Next Superpower?]
  • India is projecting that the economy will grow in the next fiscal year by 8.5%, and by 9% the following year, the country’s prime minister stated this week.
  • Barclays recently stated that it sees enormous potential in India’s economy, and that the perception of the country globally has improved tremendously, reports Madelene Pearson for BusinessWeek.

For more information on India, visit our India category.

  • iShares S&P India Nifty 50 (NASDAQ: INDY)

  • WisdomTree India Earnings Fund (NYAR: EPI)

  • PowerShares India Portfolio (NYSEArca:  PIN)

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.