The emergence of non-communicable diseases (NCD) in South Asia and other low- and middle-income countries presents a growing and costly public health challenge. The surreptitious and rapid escalation of these chronic conditions will soon surpass attempts to quantify and appropriately respond to these overwhelming health threats. Given the elevated risk of cardio-metabolic diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease) and projected morbidity and mortality burdens in the Asian Indian population group, the lack of representative data to support national response strategies will likely result in crippling health and socioeconomic losses. We describe how systematic research may help to reconcile India's data deficits and may be applied towards prioritizing resource allocation and addressing shortfalls in disease prevention and control efforts. Expanding the scope of and contextualizing NCD health research in India may also have tremendous benefits for resource allocation and planning in other developing countries.