Thursday, May 22, 2014

Why Is The Indian Economy Still Promising?

“What !”   “Did I read the heading wrong?”
Actually no, you didn't. A lot has been said in the past few years about India and its economy. In fact, ours was the most talked about economy in the past decade. We were raring to go, speeding away in terms of growth rate, giving complex to even the biggest economies of the world; we were the most promising nation in the world teasing our 'Dragon' neighbors. But lately, India has slowed down. As a matter of fact we are snailing now.
So has India lost its sheen? Is the growth saga complete, done, finished and a thing of the past now! No, not at all. India is still one of the most promising economies of the world.
To understand better , we must delve deeper into India's status right now, it's demographics, market potential and future prospects.
Prima facie it might look like India and China, the two most talked about countries of the world and  rightly touted as the world leaders in the next generation, are among the fastest growing economies of the world. Unfortunately, that's not true. Neither India nor China figure in the list of world's top ten fastest growing economies. In fact, India ranks around 35th (2012)  in terms of economic growth rate globally with a country like Mongolia topping the list. So why is it that investors worldwide still show their confidence in India? It is important to note here that it's the base effect that's important. India is a huge economy of close to 2 tn $ annual GDP. That being said, it is really humongous addition to the economy if a nation grows at 8-9 % annually on a base value of 1.5 to 2 tn $. Nigeria is a minuscule economy so while they outpace India and China in terms of growth rate (in % terms), the absolute addition to the economy is still very small. This is the prime reason why India was considered a forerunner in the race of nations-to-be. But have we lost that edge now? No, ours is a relatively huge economy and hence a growth rate of 5% might not be good enough but it's not too bad either. India is still running the race and is going fairly good if not great.
Second is the India's self-sufficiency. We have a huge population (Thanks to male nymphomaniacs like Lalu ji) which makes India a huge market in itself. Unlike China, we are not an export driven economy relying heavily on export bills to boost the economic growth. We have a huge market within our country that makes it possible for Indian production to be consumed within India itself. This was one prime reason that India remained largely unimpacted by the 2008 recession. China, on the contrary, is highly dependent on its exports especially with US. Major chunk of Chinese exports are 'dumped' into US. This Chinese love affair with US goes to such an extent that if one fine day US economy nears death, China will have no choice but to succumb to death along with like a true loyal lover. Some might also argue here that exports form an important aspect of any country's economy because it helps boost your forex and balances your import bills thus slashing CAD. Yes, it is important but as they say there is no full-proof theory when it comes to macro-economy. There always has to be a fair balance between various parameters. No one theory can completely define a country's economics. India should definitely aim to increase its exports, but at the same time it should be checked that these exports do not come at the cost of the domestic market Also, the economy should not get over-reliant on exports only.
Third is the huge unexplored potential of the Indian markets lying at the 'Bottom of the Pyramid' (BOP). This is one sector that has almost been left out of the development process. When this market starts to pick up India's market size would almost double. Again, this would make India more self-sufficient which is desirable. This is one reason why foreign behemoths still look forward to invest money in India and will continue to do so in the coming few years. India has immense potential to grow in future which makes it a great business destination (lest we talk about the rigamaroles of Indian red tapism!).
Fourth and probably the most important is our huge labor force which apparently includes me and you. We are about 120 bn people with close to half of them being at the peak of their careers. The next 20 years are the golden age for India because we will have the biggest working force in the world. We Indians, by nature, are hard-working and street-smart which further adds on to this. India's mettle has been acknowledged by economists and business houses across the world.
Hopefully, the IT outsourcing boom was just one of many more such booms to come. The world knows the power of India today. India is raring to go, wild yet calm, strong yet feeble. So India is still one of the most promising economies of the world with a potential to transform the world in the years to come.

Pseudonym : h!v

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

4 Things That India Expects From The Modi Government (MoGo)

BJP has come to power this elections after a gap of nearly 10 years. Surely, anti-incumbency was one factor that played a vital role in their victory, but it can't be denied that the people of the country have a lot of hopes with this Modi Government. Let's do an exercise, let's analyze the top four things that the citizens of India expect from the new government.
Here we go!

Better Governance
Okay! I know this is the easiest of points to make, you always expect good governance from the elected government that we as naive, stupid but yet powerful citizens bring to power. The point is, one of the most important aspects of good governance is managing international affairs well enough. We expect Modi to make India shine in the international spectra and make true the much awaited, yet failed, objectives of ‘India Shining’. This government is expected to make its word in the world, be friendly with the super-powers and super-powers-to-be and still not succumb to their pressure and pander to their requirements. This government needs to take a strong stand in the international affairs and do away with its policy of deliberate silence (hopefully Modi speaks a lot more than Mr Singh!), only then can we think of realizing the dream of India superpower 2020. The bitter fact is India has been touted as the next big thing in the world for a bit too long without making any justice to this status internationally. At this juncture, India can at best be qualified as a regional power. For India to be an international superpower it will have to be more participative in the matters of international concern. This is the best opportunity for the BJP to bounce back into mainline Indian politics, do well and finally wipe off Congress (which is always known to come back strong).

Better Handling of issues pertaining to the cultural minorities
BJP has been under a lot of fire in the past to be a pro-Hindutva party. It's high time they did away with these orthodox idiosyncrasies. It is imperative for the BJP to restore its faith among the people of the country as a secular party whose ideologies are not motivated by caste, creed, color, religion and other such baseless crap. MoGo is expected to deal with all these issues with genuinity and fidelity without being biased to any particular section of the people. Modi's public image of being a religious hardliner needs to be over-hauled and should be rebuild on terms of pure secularism. Only if the BJP government is able to make these minority groups feel involved in the development process, Mr Modi can afford an image makeover and can wash-off the sins of 2002 that haunt him till date.

Complete check on terrorism
Cross-border militancy has always been one of the most important issues for India ever since her independence in 1947. Modi with his audacious and tit-for-tat attitude is expected to curb Indian of this menace that has been a roadblock for the country's peace perennially for years now. But whether or not Modi's hard stand be fruitful is yet to be witnessed. Nevertheless, one thing is clear, BJP has been quite clear in its agendas put forward during its campaign and has taken no restraint in portraying Congress's poor governance and mild international stand as one of the reasons for cross-border terrorism. BJP, now in power, would have to do something great to cure India of this disease that has plagued our country for eternity. Considering, MoGo is unable to do so there will be a lot of criticism and thrash talking by the opponents. MoGo just cannot afford it, for they are in a very tight spot. Only results can rescue them and prove it to the opponents that this Modi win was not just a fluke.


Now this has, by far, been BJP's USP this poll season and now that they are at the helm, they will have to do justice to it. MoGo will have a lot of pressure owing to the super-high expectations the people have from Mr. Modi. Modi has left no stone unturned to convey that he believes in development politics. But the question that comes to the fore is whether or not the Gujarat model prove to be a panacea for the nation. His theory of 'one-size-fits-all' can be under strain when implemented at the pan India level. There is no doubt to the fact that Modi has been the protagonist of the Gujarat story but there is a lot of difference between a state and a country, for the sheer magnitude of money, opportunities, people and risks involved make it a really tough task to pull off with the same ease with which it was done in Gujarat. This is a golden phase for India - we have all the ingredients that it takes to fast forward the economic growth. This is the time when India has the highest percentage of Working Age Population (WAP) in the world and this number is only to increase in the next 10 years. The ratio of WAP to dependents is highest which is just perfect. The government at this point of time should try its level best to accrue as much demographic dividend as possible and not let this opportunity slide away. If we are able to channelize our youth into productive work by creating more jobs, better self-employment opportunities and better education, there is no stopping India then.

If MoGo takes care of all of these things with precision, there are definitely good days ('ache din') to come for both India and the BJP. If not, then unfortunately in spite of having everything we would still be counted amongst the backward nations of the world.
Pseudonym : h!v

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sachin's Farewell Speech At Wankhede

It just can't get better than this. This guy is perfect at everything. No wonder he is called 'GOD'
This is the heart moving speech that the great man delivered at the Wankhede on 16th Nov, 2013 when he decided to call it a day after 24 years of devoted service not only to Cricket but also to the Nation. Enjoy it!!!
This one's a masterpiece by the Little Master himself.

Pseudonym : h!v

Saturday, October 12, 2013

'SACH' an 'IN'ings

 I'll start with a confession - I'm nostalgic, for all my memories of cricket, right from childhood till today, are attached to this man - SACHIN RAMESH TENDULKAR.
Sachin's class is unmatched in modern cricket. No wonder he is counted along side some of the biggest names in this sport. To be considered a one amongst all time greats like Sir Don Bradman, Sir Vivian Ricards and Sunil Gavaskar so early in one's career would have been a whole doze of satisfaction for many. But this approx 5'5" boy from Mumbai was different. Sachin went on to pile incommensurate amount of runs in all formats of the game - from First Class to ODIs to the testing Test Matches; he rose up victorious with his head held high all the time. Sachin's career has been closely scrutinized and followed by cricket watchdogs and fans not only in India but across the world.

Particularly, for me, he was and still is, no matter what, a hero. I still remember when I, as an 8 year old kid, had the honor to witness Sachin batting from the stands of Captain Roopsingh Stadium at Gwalior during India's match against the West Indies in the 1996 Wills World Cup. It was a sight truly different from watching him on the television sets. To watch Sachin batting from such a close corner, and then see him take away the Man Of the match Award, for a brilliant under-pressure 70, was a dream come true. It was during the days when India as a team of 11 odd players had just one batsman. The little master, bearing the burden of a million hopes on his shoulders, more often than not, did justice to the Indian fans. It was when the runs scored by Sachin formed a bulk of the total runs scored by India. It's an incontrovertible fact that Sachin, as a single handed force, cruised India to many unimaginable victories, including the 1998 win at Sharjah against Australia. The win was Sachin's, not the team's. So brutal was the force of the feeble-medium-built man that Steve Waugh couldn't help but comment in the next days Press-conference - " We didn't lose the match to India, we lost the match to a man called Sachin Tendulkar." And this is just one instance, out of many, when Sachin helped India to get through with God like appearances.
Given his devotion and propriety towards the game, it was saddening and bizarre to learn that soon by the early 2000's Sachin was being accused of playing for personal landmarks and not for the team. He was being berated for not having contributed with the bat when it really mattered. Perhaps, he bore the brunt of the high expectations people had from him. He was considered a God already by then; no wonder people wanted him to perform all the time - flawlessly and relentlessly.
Critics of Sachin, though a few, argue that Sachin piled runs only against easy opponents on easy batting tracks. Let me remind these captious-nagging souls that Sachin, besides holding all possible records in cricket, also holds the record of hitting the most number of centuries against Australia, the most dominant force in modern cricket. Add to it, the fact that a bulk of Sachin's 100 centuries have come against the top sides of the world like Aus, SA etc. (stats provided below)

Centuries against different nations

Test ODI
 Australia 11 9
 Sri Lanka 9 8
 South Africa 7 5
 England 7 2
 New Zealand 4 5
 West Indies 3 4
 Zimbabwe 3 4
 Pakistan 2 5
 Bangladesh 5 1
 Kenya - 4
 Namibia - 1

A rather more amusing fact is that most of Sachin's critics have always been people like reporters, statisticians, so-called 'cricket experts', or cricket players themselves who have not even played half as much cricket as Sachin has. On the contrary, all the cricket legends of the world and his contemporaries,  including another greatest of the time Brian Lara, admire Sachin as a batsman and consider him as someone blessed.
Sachin however, with his alchemy of sorts, has always turned the stones thrown at him into milestones.
During his poor patch, in the early 2000s, he was the lone target of all the polemics of the cricket experts and the media. Soon talk was rife that the master should get retired. But Sachin, yet again, in 2003 WC at South Africa, proved that even when he is not what he was during his peak years, he is still the best batsmen in the world. That Sachin can only be compared with his alter ego and no other cricketer in the world was understood by all those had been suggesting his retirement by saying that the key players of other nations were doing way better than Sachin was. Sachin turned to be the highest run scorer in that tournament. He was the sole reason why India made it to the finals, and his failure was the sole reason why India failed miserably in the finals. But the matter of fact is - Do we expect him to score all the time; shouldn't there be instances when he fails but India still wins the game? Cricket, after all, is a team game!!!

As a person, Sachin was exactly the opposite of what he was on the field while wielding a bat in his hand. He showed his aggressiveness only in his game. His bat used to do everything for him - trash talking, sledging, pressurizing (the opponent) and of course run-making. It is an achievement in itself that Sachin's two and a half decade long career has been free of any controversy whatsoever. Tendulkar, when even nearing the end of his career, played a few scintillating knocks. The 175 against Australia at Hyderabad in 2009 and the DOUBLE TON against the mighty South Africa at Gwalior in 2010 are just to list a few (Please check videos below). He also played vital knocks in the WC 2011 against Pak and Aus and helped India sail through into the finals, and later on re-create history by lifting the world cup for the second time after a hiatus of more than 25 years. It was a moment truly deserved by the master.

It's however, really sad for die-hard Sachin fans (like me) to imagine Cricket without its most talented and ardent disciple. There is a generation of people for whom cricket only meant watching Sachin Tendulkar bat, for whom cricket began with the rise of Sachin and will end with his fall. It's the end of an era...
"THE GOD" calls it a day...

Pseudonym : h!v