India’s emergence as a financial powerhouse is not news, as the nation’s annual GDP growth has long made developing countries envious. But with this growth, India’s need for financial literacy has also ballooned.
A new study of over 25,000 people worldwide released by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine and Visa showed that India ranked near the bottom of the 28 nations surveyed in financial literacy. Interestingly, Indian parents seem oblivious to this deficiency, with a majority in the Financial Literacy Barometer saying that their teenagers and young adults understand money management basics and are adequately prepared to manage their own money. This alarming disconnect only reinforces the need to enhance the financial education levels in India.
The good news is that Indian leaders from the government, NGO and financial services sectors agree. At the inaugural Visa – Financial Times Financial Literacy Forum held earlier this month in Mumbai, Uttam Nayak, Group Country Manager, India and South Asia, Visa Inc. welcomed participants and outlined Visa’s commitment to advancing financial education in India and globally.
The thought-leaders gathered at the Forum to hear Deputy Governor K.C. Chakrabarty of the Reserve Bank of India deliver a stem-winder of a speech on the importance of bringing personal finance education to the country.
Dr. Chakrabarty laid out his belief that after financial literacy comes financial inclusion, financial protection and then financial stability. And tackling the parental issue head-on, the Governor affirmed his belief that financial literacy must start with children.
We strongly agree with Dr. Chakrabarty that children must be taught early and often about personal finance. Nowhere is that need greater than in India, where the Barometer found parents talk to their children just 10 times a year about money, far below the global average of 19 times.
Watch an overview of the Mumbai Forum below.
Posted by: Jason Alderman, Visa Corporate Relations on June 13, 2012 at 9:37 am