Marching into April, inflation, happiness, migration…
India’s economy is expected to expand by about 6.5% over the next 2-3 years. In fact, it is intrinsically better positioned than the economies of many other countries. This is mainly due to the resilience and reliance on domestic drivers, unlike the global economy. India would not slow down; it would maintain the pace of growth. We remain optimistic whatever the odds, and it is time to look back and look forward. In this context, MMA organized a discussion on the theme “India’s Pathways to Success: Winning in the Next Decade,” where thought-leaders shared their insights.
Click to watch the video recording of the event.
Labour & migration
Internal migration is an overwhelming reality that underscores India’s developmental landscape. While migration opens up new vistas of work for millions of people on the move, it also pushes people into unequal and highly exploitative work regimes. Skilled migrant workers are less vulnerable to exploitation, but their departure deprives some developing states of the valuable labour needed for their development. International Labour Organization (ILO) standards on migrant labour provide adequate protection to this vulnerable category of workers. There are many questions around inter-state migration/migrants. These pertain to the changing demography, social structure, and also outward remittances of migrant workers to their parent states. This has socio-economic and political electoral consequences for both the donor and recipient states, especially the latter, particularly in the context of prevailing and evolving political dynamics and their influence on society.
In this context, MMA organized a discussion on the theme “Inter-State Migration: Demography and Economy.” The article on the discussion is published as cover story in this issue with an embedded video. Check it out.
Silicon Valley Bank
The shutdown and takeover of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) by US regulators has raised a number of questions on how it would impact Indian start-ups and what does it mean for Indian banks. SVB played an important role as partner for the global startup economy. It is clear that SVB did not suffer loan defaults but was hit by bond losers that many US banks are vulnerable to, and SVB is more of a lender than an investor. According to a research firm, Tracxn, SVB invested in about 21 Indian startups. At this stage, SVB’s failure has not assumed such proportions, even if a few startups suffered. However, the serious concern is that many VC’s deposited millions in SVB, which could lead them to further slowdown their funding initiatives.
The impact on Indian banks is not significant since they have little exposure to SVB. The good news is that Indian banks are tightly regulated and they are unlikely to face a similar fate. RBI’s stress test found that Indian banks would be able to withstand severe stress and that banks are at their best shape. That said, the sector is not without its challenges, including some of the clients left for higher returns in other investments avenues.
India’s retail inflation eased 6.44% in February from 6.52% in January.
This is however hardly satisfying given that it is still well above the RBIs 6% upper band. Hopefully, the inflation rate would drop in March. The US Federal reserve has raised the Federal fund rate for the 9th time in a row. Inflation will remain the Fed’s greatest priority and India’s Central Bank typically tends to mirror the Fed. Given this, it is highly likely that RBI will increase the repo rate or the interest at which it lends to banks, when it meets next April. This means that instalments on loans may go up further. Also with the interest rates in the US going up, foreign investors have better investment options available there. Its implication is that the Indian stock market will remain dull and that Rupee-Dollar exchange rate might come under further pressure.
Say cheese! Smile please!!
The latest World Happiness Report has much for India to think about. According to its ranking of countries, India is among the least happy nations—measured by social support, income, health, freedom, generosity and absence of corruption. India is ranked 125th, coming behind Nepal, Bangladesh, China and Sri Lanka. On top of the rank is Finland, crowned the happiest nation for six years in a row followed by Denmark and Iceland. These countries do well with initiatives such as a strong social safety net, but in India our policies are focused on expanding the economic pie rather than sharing it. Happiness involves more than just economic well-being; enlarging people’s financial strength would be a big step in the right direction. And for that, equitable growth is mandatory.
In this context, an event organized by MMA on “A Happier You: Strategies to Achieve Peak Joy in Work and Life Using the Science of Happiness” is interesting and insightful. Do read the article published in this issue and watch the video.
One year into the Ukraine War
The Ukraine War entered the second year. It is a humanitarian and human rights catastrophe. It has traumatized a generation of children and has accelerated food and energy crisis in most parts of the world. In the hostile atmosphere, where both Russia and Ukraine are still unrelenting, peace negotiations are the only solutions to end the war. The rest of the world has to ensure that this happens at the earliest. In this context, MMA is organizing a discussion on the theme “One year into the Ukraine War” on 17th April 2023 at MMA Management Centre. Please join us in person or watch it live.
MMA Flagship Events
The MMA Annual Convention and Women Managers Convention organized by MMA was a grand success. A galaxy of eminent speakers addressed the delegates. Both the conventions were attended by a large number of delegates—over 1500 in person and over 35,000 online. I am indeed thankful to our members and Managing Committee members for their unstinted support which enabled grand success of the MMA flagship events.
I am delighted to present to you articles on the inaugural and keynote of the Annual Convention for your reading pleasure. You can also watch the video recording of the convention. Click to view the full coverage of the Annual Convention and the Women Managers Convention.
We urge you to constantly send in your feedback—positive ones as well as criticisms, both equally are important inputs in enabling us to get better at what we do.
As always, we would be happy to hear your views, comments and suggestions.
Wish you a very Happy Tamil New Year’s Day!