WHILE pundits were busy picking over the results of European parliamentary elections during the week, over 4,200 miles away in Delhi Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was basking in the results of a landslide General Election victory. The Indian election was the biggest exercise in democracy on earth, with a 67 per cent turnout from a 900 million electorate that included a staggering 84 million first-time voters.

For Mr Modi and his Hindu-nationalist BJP party repeating the success of their 2014 win would have been an achievement in itself. As things played out, the BJP and its allies in the National Democratic Alliance managed to increase their majority. That leaves Mr Modi in an exceptionally strong position from which to continue with his reform programme as well as providing a remarkable degree of political stability for an emerging market country that should prove a boom to investors.

Since 2014, the Modi government has enacted a number of meaningful reforms. These have included overhauling the bankruptcy code, speeding up procedures for gaining construction permits, liberalising restrictions on foreign ownership in certain sectors and the replacement of a patchwork of regional sales taxes across India’s 29 states with a new, national goods and service tax. Over the last four years, India has improved its position in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report by 65 places.

The Indian government has also rolled out the world’s biggest biometric identification system, migrated various government services online and through the Digital India initiative is connecting rural areas with high-speed internet networks. These measures will have profound long-term benefits, with hundreds of millions of new bank accounts opened in recent years, enabling benefits to be paid directly into the accounts of rural villagers, reducing bureaucracy and improving financial inclusion.

However, it has not all been plain sailing. Some measures, such as ‘demonetisation’ - a surprise decision in 2016 to withdraw large bank notes from circulation at short notice – have been hugely disruptive in the short term. Despite this, and the headwind for all emerging economies stemming from Donald Trump’s approach to trade policy, Indian GDP growth is forecast to be 7.3% this year, rising to 7.5% in 2020, making India the fastest-growing major economy in the world.

There is much for the re-elected Modi government to do, especially in terms of upgrading India’s infrastructure and in respect of new job creation, which has not kept pace with its headline economic growth rates or ambitions set out in 2014. In its recent election manifesto, the BJP pledged to fund a $1.44 trillion five-year infrastructure investment programme that promises to bring metro trains to 50 cities and double the national highway network.

Irrespective of these important reforms, the longer-term investment case for India is compelling and underpinned by its demographic profile. With over 1.35 billion citizens, who have a median age of 27, India is set to eclipse China as the largest nation on earth over the next decade. While GDP per capita is currently less than a quarter that of China, its main emerging market rival, the wealth profile of India is evolving at pace with a rapidly expanding middle class and very high levels of growth in consumer spending. Private domestic consumption in India is currently worth $1.5tn but, according to forecasts by the World Economic Forum, that is set to grow to $6tn by 2030. This would make India the third-largest consumer market (after the US and China) globally.

Despite the size of its population and economy, Indian companies currently only represent 9.1% of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index of developing country stock markets and over the longer term there is ample scope for this to grow. If you missed the boom years of Chinese growth in your portfolio, do not ignore the opportunities in India.

Jason Hollands is managing director at Tilney.