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‘Like life, the long-term journey of markets feels incredible’

Radhika Gupta, MD and CEO of Edelweiss AMC. (MINT_PRINT)Premium
Radhika Gupta, MD and CEO of Edelweiss AMC. (MINT_PRINT)

With Sensex touching the psychological mark of 50k for the first time, Mint Money’s 'Sensex Diary' lets finance professionals, investors document their lives alongside the Sensex in all its ups and downs. In the second instalment, Radhika Gupta, MD and CEO of Edelweiss Asset Management, narrates her journey.

When I moved back to India from the US in the 1990s, the Sensex had first crossed 1,000 points. It was still that time when we were carrying electronic goods and packets of orange-flavoured Tang for relatives back home. The ’90s was eventful—there was liberalization, a big scam and the “dream budget".

By the time, Sensex crossed 5,000, and the tech boom had started, India was definitely beginning to change and suddenly from being a country of snake-charmers, it became one that produced techies.

My Wall Street career started around the time markets hit 10,000 points and what a run the world, and India saw from 2004 to 2007. Many of us in the business today remember it as the golden era, the time we first recognized the potential of our own markets and the meaning of wealth creation, the period when many of us made our first mutual fund investment.

Of course, markets have a strange way of surprising us, and incidentally on the night of my 25th birthday, in 2008, Lehman Brothers was declared bankrupt, sending us into the greatest financial crisis we had seen, and my first bear market as a professional. Markets are a great teacher, and 2008 is still my biggest one. Shortly after, I decided to move back to India to start my own business, and in the first week, back home, my father-in-law suggested we meet a broker to understand more about the markets. The three of us went to Ventura Securities in May 2009, and around 10:30am, everyone started distributing chocolates on the floor—that was the day when UPA II had come to power and markets were exuberant.

Since then, the markets saw “acche din" in 2014, and more than “acche din" for my industry, since demonetization, and not so “acche din", after the credit crisis that started with IL&FS (incidentally around my 35th birthday).

But as I saw the Sensex cross the 50,000 milestone, I always remember that markets are like life—they are chaotic and volatile in the short term, but when you take time to step back, the journey feels incredible. I’m always told I have a lot of (maybe too much) hope in India, but I really believe, for markets and India, the journey is lovely, albeit sometimes dark and deep, and we have miles to go, before we sleep!

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