Kotak Mahindra MD and CEO Uday Kotak and Nobel laureate Eugene F Fama emphasised how the world has changed after the COVID-19 pandemic, and traditional businesses like aviation have lost their mojo.
Professor Eugene F Fama said that he would not want to be part of the aviation business in a situation such as this. Aviation industry that has been battered in the wake of the pandemic is one of the most severely-impacted sectors. Talking to Kotak at NSE's Dr R H Patil Memorial Dialogue 2020 on Tuesday, Professor Fama said that businesses are learning that they do not need to travel as much as they were travelling in pre-COVID times.
"I don't want to be in the airline business. I think you can now see that businesses are figuring out that they don't have to travel as much as they were travelling. You see three days, two days of travelling and then you go for 20 meetings somewhere -- this just doesn't make sense. Now we can do this on Zoom, like right now. We can talk to people thousands of miles away quite nicely. We don't have to get on a plane. So, I am not sure I want to be in the airline business," he said.
"Absolutely! Geography is history," agreed Uday Kotak.
Kotak and Professor Fama were discussing the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the markets. When Kotak asked if there would be any fundamental structural changes in the behaviour of the markets in the post-COVID world, Professor Fama said he does not have any reason to believe so. "It could happen. I mean markets are always changing to some extent. And this is a big event too but no, basically finance is one of the industries that kept going right throughout. It just really didn't stop or even slow down," said Professor Fama.
The Kotak Mahindra CEO asked the Nobel Laureate if investors were to put in money, should they go with growth or value, keeping in mind the COVID-19 environment. "I think he should go with the market. I think you have to, you start with the market as your core, you know," he said.