Did liberalization hurt Indian companies? A recent paper by Goldberg et. al. suggests that may not be the case. The authors argument is simple. One quarter of India’s manufacturing output growth during the 1990s stemmed from products that were not manufactured prior to the reforms. They argue that this expansion of new products was driven in large part by access of Indian firms to previously unavailable imported inputs. Access to new imported intermediates therefore played an important role in the overall growth of the Indian economy.
A recent report on the growth of Indian billionaires kind of corroborates this story!