It seems the IT companies will have to fight the rising rupee on their own. The government, with elections on its mind, would be unwilling to intervene and risk increasing cash in the system, leading to inflation. It took weeks before exporters had any relief from the rising rupee; the IT companies shouldn’t expect any better and, as the rupee gradually rises, the smaller companies (with their operations highly dependent on currency movement) will be hit the hardest. Already, iGate Solutions has seen a 24% decline in its share price since it came out with its results compared with Infosys’ 3% decline. It is clear the road for smaller companies will be bumpy.
Vijay Mahajan’s “Banks for everyone”, Mint, 13 July, offers a very perceptive and comprehensive set of thoughts on inclusive growth, specially through financial inclusion. There is one point with which Idisagree.
Mahajan says that “today’s banks can never, never cater to the financially excluded”. That seems a statement he might want to reconsider. It would seem appropriate if the key word here is “today’s banks”, and not “never, never”. Do you agree?
Realistically, the on-the-ground situation would have to evolve, mainly in the manner the author suggests suggest, through regulatory guidance and intervention. Guidance, specially to present players, to remodel full-service public sector players. And intervention to define and promote a new “banking architecture”, to use his phrase.
What could be the character this evolution should take? It is right that “multi-tiered banking” that creates well run privately owned banks is a must, focused on the “bottom of the pyramid”. But even SBI could evolve. It must be guided, exposed to competitive pressures in this way, and discover good business practices to exploit its assets (market reach) to build a profitable business in this sector. Why profitable? Again, borrowing from Prahalad, because there is profit there. And because there is nothing better than a genuine combination of social mission and profit-based measures of goals and success. That makes for a “built to last”model.
SBI and its public siblings need to be driven to revamp their operations. The management wisdom for this is in the public domain—a separate profit centre based business unit (a local area banking subsidiary?) whose “vision and mission” is defined by the “owners” around its social goals, but the operating management is left free to pursue financial goals in a way that achieves the social goals. The “know-how” for this is well tested and proven.
Apropos “‘Pay-per-view’ policy ...at Siddhivinayak”, Mint, 16 July, religion today is commerce, and God is for sale. Instant nirvana is what man is looking for. Exploitation by the purveyors of religion is not uncommon. I personally consider it a great tragedy that a system of pay and view has been introduced at Siddhivinayak.
A temple is one place where at least such a thing should not exist. Man is being discriminated on the basis of payment. It is a shame. So, now there are three types of visitors, the VIPs, money bags and the common man.
Discrimination, if at all, should be on grounds of health and age. Let old persons and sick persons be given preference rather than those who are powerful or those who are willing to pay for darshan.
—Shivkumar D. Israni