The Power Of I 2020

Power of imagination

Our country of 1.3 billion people has immense potential, but it needs to be unleashed. Industry experts put on their thinking caps 

India’s growth ambition has always been bigger than what seemed plausible. But that’s the thing about ambition — the bigger the better, unencumbered by ground reality. A quote attributed to Michelangelo goes, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.” In India, the only time we did better than we aimed for was when the whole world was surfing the global wave of cheap money, till 2008. Ever since, despite the abundant liquidity, it has been a rocky ride with several storms of our own making. As if that were not enough, COVID-19 may have put us behind in ways we are yet to fully comprehend.

The silver lining is in the opportunities unfolding post-COVID, which are beyond our imagination. Can they be leveraged to put India on an ambitious growth path again? Sure, it’s possible. But before that, we have some fixing to do. In this special edition, we have got together accomplished minds to suggest solutions to some of the country’s pressing problems.

The former Deputy Governor of RBI, Viral Acharya, tells us how the government could stretch its ‘fisc’ without tearing a muscle. Capital covered, we move on to labour, with chairman of TeamLease Manish Sabharwal suggesting how India can kickstart a supercycle of formal job creation. Among his suggestions is the removal of the ‘regulatory cholesterol’ that leaves enterprises groaning under the weight of thousands of Acts and filings. A sector that is particularly troubled by this is MSME. Founder of GAME, Ravi Venkatesan pulls no punches when summing up the absurdities these smaller enterprises are put through.

Becoming a manufacturing superpower has been a long-cherished aspiration and S Ramakrishna Velamuri, professor of entrepreneurship at the China Europe International Business School suggests ‘aligning politics and economics’. And, to compete globally, Indian enterprises will need to embrace digitization, according to Google Cloud India’s Karan Bajwa. Another sector we just cannot ignore is agriculture. Hence, T Jayaraman and Madhura Swaminathan from the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation call for another productivity revolution. To lead our charge, we need an education system that produces leaders who inspire. For that, CSF founder Ashish Dhawan, has drawn up a syllabus.

All this is a tall order but this edition is about believing in the Power of I.