A simple matter of perspective
A western footwear company once sent two of its people to a remote area in a developing country. Their job was to check the possibilities of business expansion. Soon the company received two reports. One said: “Very few people wear footwear and hence no scope for expansion”.
The other said: “Footwear not available for all and hence great opportunity to grow business.” A simple difference in perspective can make a huge difference. Talking in the Indian context, inadequate supply of good infrastructure continues to be a huge opportunity here. According to the latest report on infrastructure finance in India by global rating agency Fitch, the demand for infrastructure in India will far exceed availability for the foreseeable future. Well, the wise will continue to see the opportunity.
Recently, there have been serious concerns about not getting enough investments. The despicable terrorist attacks on Mumbai have added to the apprehensions. But wisdom will prevail.
Substantial measures are being undertaken to tackle the slowdown and there are indications that the economy will certainly show recovery in 2009. Many segments within the industry have also started sending positive signals – something you will feel in this issue.
The Government of India too has said that it will continue to encourage infrastructure development in every possible way. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman, Planning Commission has recently reiterated the government’s support.
It is likely that at the Commission’s recommendation, the government may grant additional budgetary support to the sector. We are hopeful. Also, the government would do great service to the sector if it can trim down various clearances required for projects.
There have also been talks about creating separate funds for both infrastructure as well as the real estate sector. The sooner, the better.
Enough has already been said about the resilient character of the country’s financial capital. The administration must stop falling back on this resilience and take some concrete security measures. Lives are at stake here. The industry, particularly the real estate sector will face a further downturn as an immediate impact of these recent attacks. The government must act and if necessary the industry must ensure that the government acts. After all, our industry has backward and forward linkages with more than 250 important other industries and the impact is cascaded throughout the economy.
Your response to the first issue has been very heartening. Please continue to write in. I reiterate, this is your magazine.