Business Today

Time to grow up and learn

The message in your cover package Crunch Time (BT, November 2) comes out loud and clear. Though financial booms and busts have played themselves out time and again, investors refuse to learn the right lessons and keep looking for alternatives. Their greed takes them to new markets and businesses from which they hope to augment their returns.

     Print Edition: November 16, 2008

Time to grow up and learn
The message in your cover package Crunch Time (BT, November 2) comes out loud and clear. Though financial booms and busts have played themselves out time and again, investors refuse to learn the right lessons and keep looking for alternatives. Their greed takes them to new markets and businesses from which they hope to augment their returns. When investment opportunities dry up and markets falter, they take a hit but start looking for fresh pastures to put their money into.
                                                                                         —Roshan Kumar Agrawal, through e-mail

Hitting the skids
Hitting the brakes? (BT, november 2) was a timely, if rude, reminder that the present is not the best of times for job seekers in India. We need not look far and wide to discover that employment has run into rough weather after having hit a purple patch for five years on the trot. Even forward-looking sectors like IT, real estate and infrastructure are going slow on fresh hiring, while reports concerning lay-offs and retrenchment in several industries are becoming disturbingly commonplace. Today, even bellwether companies are not above lay-offs, benching employees and shedding temps. Recently, a blue chip IT company issued pink slips to hundreds of its employees. The same story is being repeated elsewhere as companies focus more on boosting productivity than bulge their payrolls.
                                                                                                      —Ashok Jayaram, through e-mail

A cushion to job loss
The BT-Teamlease survey Hitting the Brakes? (BT, November 2) is an eye-opener for many of us who are under the impression that the global recession will not hit India directly. The slowdown in hiring and a slump in business sentiment are now a hard reality staring us in the face. Notwithstanding the assertions of the Centre that India is insulated from the onslaught of the financial crisis, key growth sectors like IT, retail, FMCG and financial services are likely to be hit hard. However, the silver lining is that we may still come out of this crisis relatively unscathed if the government acts decisively to restore people’s faith in the banking system and reduces lending rates further to prop up demand. This will help boost liquidity and create jobs.
                                                                                                                                           —B. Rajasekaran, through e-mail

Business-savvy state
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has shown again what it takes to draw in business (Modi Hosts India Inc; BT November 2). Unlike other state leaders, Modi is unabashedly pro-business and has played the part of a business facilitator to perfection. Just look at how fast and decisively he acted to rope in Tata’s Nano project to Gujarat. On their part, Gujaratis themselves have left no stone unturned in turning Gujarat into a favourite business destination. The biggest testimony to Gujarat’s entrepreneurial spirit is that Ahmedabad was ranked #1 in Business Today’s survey of Best Cities to Do Business in 2007. Also, Gujaratis are known for their sharp business acumen and entrepreneurial drive, and have proved themselves successful all over the world.
                                                                                                                                         —Mahesh Kapasi, through e-mail

Big on media ventures
UTV production (BT, November 2) presented an interesting account of how UTV has evolved into a premier media company in recent times. The media space has been growing fast and the entry of big players like Reliance’s Big TV and Viacom surely attests to the lure of this booming sector. But new entrants, even with deep pockets, will have to slug it out to become successful. Like UTV, new entrants to the media business will have to unleash their marketing prowess to the hilt and explore opportunities for smart alliances to gain international exposure.
                                                                                                                                             —Shailesh Mathur, through e-mail

Correction

In the story The Chinese Invasion (BT, October 19), the photograph of R.S Sharma, Chairman & MD, ONGC, was erroneously carried alongside a quote attributed to NTPC Chairman & MD, R.S Sharma. The error is regretted.

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