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India Hoping To Boost ‘Pink Economy’ After Gay Sex Legalised

Indian businesses — and multinationals operating here — have an opportunity to profit from the ruling, which allows businesses and government to tap into the so-called ‘Pink Economy’.

MUMBAI – India’s private sector is hoping to enter a new era of inclusiveness, after a landmark Supreme Court ruling decriminalised homosexuality in a move that’s expected to provide a significant boost to the South Asian nation’s $2.6 trillion economy.

Many multinational businesses in India and elsewhere already recognise the links between inclusion of gay employees and better business outcomes and have taken steps to end discrimination in staff benefits in order to maintain a competitive workforce. The court’s decision to overthrow the country’s notorious anti-gay law is expected to encourage others to do the same.

‘It will have a massive economic impact,’ says Keshav Suri, an Indian hotelier who joined other activists and social groups challenging a 158-year-old colonial law that criminalised same-sex relationships in the world’s second-most populous country.

Suri, whose family owns the luxury Lalit hotel chain that recently expanded to London, said last week’s ruling allows Indian and multinational companies to openly court India’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer consumers, as well as market India internationally as a destination that’s now more gay friendly. ‘Why are we hampering the tourism sector in this country?’ he said from his 465-room New Delhi hotel.

Indian businesses — and multinationals operating here — have an opportunity to profit from the ruling, which allows businesses and government to tap into the so-called ‘Pink Economy’. The city of Mumbai will also benefit as it competes with other Asian financial hubs for talent, particularly following a July court ruling in Hong Kong that grants visas to spouses of gay expatriate workers, putting pressure on other centers to introduce inclusive policies.

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