Today is 1st of January 2012.
2011 was not a great year for the world in general and India in particular.
2011 had many challenges and issues – both economic and political – which could not be resolved satisfactorily in the Indian context.
A list of such issues would be depressing to read, having experienced most of these issues while living in India, so I am not rehashing the same. I have given my views on the state of the Indian economy in several blog posts that I have penned over the past 6 months or so.
What is important now is how we handle the future.
The country needs firm leadership and guidance. It cannot go for short-term fixes, whether it is election year or not. People have long memories and will surely punish the government/party in power if they determine that it was just useless to repeat their poor experiences – and this statement applies to any government or party in a democracy. With all its unbearable pitfalls, democracy still remains the most acceptable form of government in India and is not going to go away anytime soon. We will have to suffer its slow decision-making and its myriad inefficiencies, as any alternative looks to be too dangerous for such a large country.
Coming back to the issue of handling the future with firm hands, it is very critical to have a positive view of the future – whether you are in India or in the U.S.A. The future can be defined, not only by scientists and technopreneurs but by economists and enlightened politicians. The future has many innovations and attractive business propositions waiting to be discovered and tapped.
We are just at the very edge of a major technological revolution which would bring enormous economic gains to society. And, who is better equipped than India ? Having missed many of the past revolutions and technologies, puts India in a driver’s seat when it comes to leveraging latest technologies without having to carry any past baggage !
Take the example of solar power. India could have implemented huge solar power plants in the past, like what Germany has accomplished with over 20 GW of installed solar power. But India did not, as the economics of solar power was not helpful to a developing country, with costs more than five times that of coal-based thermal power. Now the costs have come down to less than three times, and the technology has become more manageable and cost-effective. India is now plunging ahead with big plans into solar power, and in the next five to ten years, would have one of the world’s largest grid-connected solar power generation capacity, with solar power costing not more than 1.5 times that of the thermal power generated by coal.
Examples abound in similar fashion. India will soon have the latest and best technologies in all areas of human endeavour. And, best of all, it would have the scientific and engineering manpower to take advantage and make use of all these innovations. Eventually, India will emerge as the innovator of many new technologies, driven by its domestic needs and demand.
On more mundane matters, YES, the inflation will go down to low single digits, the bank interest rates will follow suit, the SENSEX would go up by some 25%, which means 20,000 (!) points, etc., etc.,
What is very important is to stay committed and positive and not be let down by one’s own government. No party in power can bring down the growth potential of India, and if it tried anything stupid, will be dismissed forthwith by people power at the elections. This has been proved time and again. So, let us ignore the lack of interest in India by global investors – that will be truly temporary.
Focus on what you have to do and accomplish. The New Year will bring a slew of surprises and achievements for the Indian economy. We have to truly believe in ourselves and India’s potential, notwithstanding the current problems.
Have a Great New Year !
1st January 2012