ONEYEAROFMODI Ashishkumar Chauhan BETTING ON A CLL INDIA

Standard

 

HE ELECTION WHICH BROUGHT Prime Minister Narendra Modi to power year ago was fought in the backdrop of high inflation, unemployment, fiscal and trade deficits as well as allegations of corruption and anger against the administrative and political elites.

Almost all these issues were structural in nature, and hence, were not expect­ed to be solved within a short period of 12 months. Viewed from this angle, the B JP government’s singular achievement has been to bring down the inflation rate from 11.16 per cent in November 2013 to 4.87 per cent in April this year.

True, many experts have attributed the reduction in the inflation rate to external forces such as the fall in prices of crude oil, agricultural commodi-

 

ties and gold worldwide. However, in the past, despite a favourable external scenario, the country had witnessed high inflation.

The government was successful in containing fiscal deficit substantially, despite the huge reduction in revenue on account of the cut in ‘ad valorem’ duty on petroleum products. If one thinks that low and stable inflation rate is a pre-condition for a stable and growing society, then In­dia is coming closer to that objective today. Fiscal, revenue and trade deficits were managed with the highest-ever foreign exchange reserves of $352 billion.

The government is also taking several steps to augment infrastructure. In all his foreign trips, Modi has focused primarily on attracting foreign investment for the manufacturing sector. It is also to the credit of the government that norms for investments in defence, insur­ance and several other sectors have been relaxed to make India more attractive for foreign companies. The defence production strategy, which makes military procurement conditional upon making the equipment in India, will not only create a large number of jobs but also make the country a hub for hi-tech defence manufacturing in the future.

The single-window framework and project management portal is creat­ing an enabling environment for the Prime Minister’s Office to track prog­ress of important projects on a real­time basis. Projects worth more than Rs 6,00,000 crore — in both private and public sectors — are being moni­tored. Mechanisms have been devised to coordinate with states and cities to expedite projects with periodic re­views taking place and hindrances to project implemen­tation removed in real time.

The concept of‘Team India’ — consisting of Prime Min­ister, other ministers and chief ministers of various states — has also been well received. Giving a larger percentage of taxes and other revenues to states are well-intentioned and allows for a more flexible approach to implementation on the ground.

Although initiated by the previous government, the new government has built on the direct transfer scheme based on the unique identification number platform and launched a massive drive to open more than 150 million bank ac­counts with the express aim of bringing a large number of unbanked people into the financial mainstream.

Creating social security schemes such as the accident cover linked to bank accounts, providing micro loans to account holders, launching a pension scheme with
more than 80 million registered users and giving them life insurance have been achievements unparalleled in India’s history. But these were not highlighted much in the ‘middle-class media’. Giving small loans to entrepreneurs through the Mudra (Micro Units Development and Refi­nance Agency) bank is a brilliant initiative. The Swacch Bharat initiative has also been well received and created awareness about much-needed cleanliness in India.

India is the largest consumer of gold, and gold imports account for nearly a third of the current account deficit. The gold monitisation scheme, which was announced in the Union Budget for 2015-16, will help meet India’s gold demand substantially, and will also improve its current account balance.

The prime minister’s vision to create 100 smart cities, with modern infrastructure to support the large-scale urbanisation without compromising the quality of life, is a necessity, if India wants to become a global leader in the next 20 years. The International Finance Centre (IFC) in Gujarat is one such welcome initiative. The setting up of IFC was part of Modi’s vision, which was supported by the Bombay Stock Exchange (the first stock exchange in the world to sign a memorandum of understanding with Gujarat International Finance Tec-City).

Moreover, infrastructure needs to be created for ports, airports, roads, factories, power, mining, etc. This will not only kick-off employment generation instantaneously, but will also create conditions for job creation in the medium to long term, which will help India in achieving its goal of Make in India.

The first year of the Modi government has seen tremen­dous energy and initiatives. Some of them have yielded results and others will do so over a period of time. If the prime minister continues with the same zeal for the next four years of his first term, I am sure India will progress much further and fulfil our dreams of a clean, equal and poverty-free India. ED

The author is managing director and chief executive officer of BSE

 

Research Radar BRANDS SPIKE UP IPL FEVER

Standard

This IPL (Indian Premier League) season saw Indian brands making their way through the noise into the minds of the cricket fans with their disruptive and innovative marketing strategies. Here is an overview to the top three brands for IPL’s Season 8 until Mayl, 2015 

of sub-regions. “It took
15-20 years for digital to
take off in some markets.
But markets today don’t

have to wait. A lot of the
power shifts are already
taking place bringing
decentralisation back.
This will help PHD in
Asia because the focus
now is to sell the strate-
gic part across markets.
Clients who are now ask-
ing agencies to challenge
thinking, which will then
automatically result into
creativity, are looking for
these solutions,” points
out Tsui.

In 2014, PHD APAC’s
focus was to build the
brand. This year it is look-
ing to build new business.
“We are building on our
momentum in sectors
such as luxury, FMCG,
pharma and hitting these
categories harder. We
are new in most of the
mass markets. We have
spent time building in
Australia, New Zealand,
China, Hong Kong. This
year will be all about
Southeast Asia and India,
which are the big op-
portunities. Across the
region, we will also focus
on partnerships, working
closer with creative sister
agencies and bringing-
in a lot more integrated
approach. Where we
have affiliates, we are
aggressively looking to
put a stronger foothold,”
explains Tsui. 33 

AROYALTOUCH

HUAWEI’S smartphone brand Honor launched its first television commercial for Honor 4X in India. The campaign, concep­tualised by L£K Saatchi £ Saatchi, features players from the India Premier League (IPL) team of Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The target consumers of Honor are the digital natives, people who spend more than one third of theirtime online shopping, studying or simply staying connected.

“Our recently launched brand Honor resonates the philosophy of’For the Brave’, for the ones who dare to dream and follow their passion, much like the team and play­ers of Royal Challengers Bangalore. With

this ad campaign, we wantto reach outto theyouth of Indiawho areourrealambas- sadors,”saysAllen Wang, president of Consumer Business Group atHuaweilndia and Honor.

The partnership between Huawei and Royal Challeng­ers Bangalore is a continuation oflast year’s collabora­tion that resulted in creating mass aware­ness for Huawei and achieving excellent sales for Huawei’s devices’ business. This partnership testifies Huawei’s commitment towards India and market localisation.

Russell Adams, vice-president for Com­mercial, Operations and Cricket Academy of Royal Challengers Bangalore, says, “We are excited about our renewed partnership with Huawei forthe next three years.” 33