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Investors outside the Bombay Stock Exchange. Valuations are uncomfortably high; stocks have never been so expensive except maybe during the Harshad Mehta fuelled bull run in the early 1990s. (Photo: Bloomberg)
Investors outside the Bombay Stock Exchange. Valuations are uncomfortably high; stocks have never been so expensive except maybe during the Harshad Mehta fuelled bull run in the early 1990s. (Photo: Bloomberg)

The fear of flying at Mount 50K

  • Flush with liquidity, the stock markets are at a dreamlike high. But the worries are also mounting
  • Many feel the gains have come too fast. With scores of new investors entering the bull market late, and with the cream of the rally behind, further gains are not going to be easy

Just how much has the pandemic provided a leg up? India received $977 million of private equity and other strategic investments in the data centre industry since 2008. Of this, $396 million came in 2020, until September. (Photo: iStock)
Just how much has the pandemic provided a leg up? India received $977 million of private equity and other strategic investments in the data centre industry since 2008. Of this, $396 million came in 2020, until September. (Photo: iStock)

Why server stacks are the new realty play

  • Driven by a localization push, companies are rushing to set up data centres. What are the pain points?
  • India has some distance to cover before it becomes a global data centre hub. Infrastructure bottlenecks and local permissions could stymie this power-hungry industry.

Until now, the burden of this once-in-a-century crisis has been borne unequally, and mostly by the poor. (Photo: Reuters)
Until now, the burden of this once-in-a-century crisis has been borne unequally, and mostly by the poor. (Photo: Reuters)

What 2020 did to India’s inequality

  • The bottom 10% of Indians lost a fourth of their income last year. Can the Budget put a lid on widening inequality?
  • In the shadow of an upcoming Union Budget, these facts acquire more resonance. The govt should consider a covid cess on the rich in order to partly fund direct support to the poor.

Statecraft seems to have gone missing—on the covid-19 response, GST compensation and agriculture. (Photo: PTI)
Statecraft seems to have gone missing—on the covid-19 response, GST compensation and agriculture. (Photo: PTI)

Fixing software bugs in India’s economy

  • Beyond the Budget, the key to reviving growth lies in improving economic stewardship. Here’s how
  • In the upcoming Union Budget, measures must be urgently taken in order to address the protracted and worsening Twin Balance Sheet problem, including revitalizing the IBC.

Though it is early days yet, some bankers go so far as to see a future where getting out of a bank account could be as simple as shifting a mobile phone operator. (Photo: Hindustan Times)
Though it is early days yet, some bankers go so far as to see a future where getting out of a bank account could be as simple as shifting a mobile phone operator. (Photo: Hindustan Times)

Digital bank account sparks off a disruption

  • Technology is hastening the transition of the bank account into a commodity. Is portability around the corner
  • ICICI Bank recently tried its hand at being the disruptor by allowing even the customers of rival banks to use its mobile app. Bankers also say portability of accounts is around the corner

The impact is already being felt. Goods arriving into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK now require checks and delays have risen at the port of Dover. (Photo: Bloomberg)
The impact is already being felt. Goods arriving into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK now require checks and delays have risen at the port of Dover. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Brexit shock washes up on Britain’s shores

  • New tariffs, bureaucracy and quotas are disrupting life in the UK. The pain has only just begun.
  • The shrinking of Britain may even become physical and political. A Scottish referendum is now increasingly likely. There is a sense of exhaustion and fatigue among Britons.

Over the next five to seven years, the smart protein market in India may touch $1 billion on the back of early adopters in cities. The top 50 million in India’s vast consumer pyramid is the first target.
Over the next five to seven years, the smart protein market in India may touch $1 billion on the back of early adopters in cities. The top 50 million in India’s vast consumer pyramid is the first target.

How plant meat is coming of age in India

  • Amid viral outbreaks and climate change, an alternative meat industry is taking root. Can it be the next big thing?
  • Success is possible because there are strong triggers. Aware consumers, particularly in cities, are worried about climate change and viral outbreaks. There is a health imperative too.

The two phenomena—sea glitter and jellyfish, beauty and danger—are inextricably interlinked. Together, they represent yet another pressing warning about the ill-health of our oceans.  (Photo: HT)
The two phenomena—sea glitter and jellyfish, beauty and danger—are inextricably interlinked. Together, they represent yet another pressing warning about the ill-health of our oceans. (Photo: HT)

The curious case of the glowing beaches

  • Bioluminescent algae have caused a stir along the Arabian Sea. But the sparkle could be a climate warning sign
  • India has been seeing warning signs, but what is now playing out along the Konkan and Malabar coasts indicates a perfect storm of climate change-induced fallouts is at its doorstep

In a sign of the stark divisions that have taken root in the US, a pro-Trump mob breached and briefly took over the US Capitol building on Wednesday (Photo: Reuters)
In a sign of the stark divisions that have taken root in the US, a pro-Trump mob breached and briefly took over the US Capitol building on Wednesday (Photo: Reuters)

How US democracy nearly came undone

  • With its seat of power descending into chaos and violence, America’s democratic traditions hang in the balance
  • The violence, coupled with the president’s tepid response, appeared to drive Republicans to the breaking point after years of allegiance. Many resignations might be in the offing

In June, when the three new farm bills were imposed by way of an emergency ordinance, very few, including the government, anticipated any strong resistance. (Photo: Pradeep Gaur)
In June, when the three new farm bills were imposed by way of an emergency ordinance, very few, including the government, anticipated any strong resistance. (Photo: Pradeep Gaur)

The faces behind the farmer revolt

  • Unlikely alliances brought the disquiet to Delhi’s doorstep. Here’s the definitive behind-the-scenes account
  • Many of the farmer leaders who are out on the streets have not seen eye-to-eye for years, if not decades. Yet, decisions are being taken jointly, brushing aside years of acrimony

With low footfalls at stores and stocks stuck at various warehouses, taking orders and getting customers to buy new clothes is nothing less than a logistical nightmare for fashion retailers.
With low footfalls at stores and stocks stuck at various warehouses, taking orders and getting customers to buy new clothes is nothing less than a logistical nightmare for fashion retailers.

The race to take fashion retail online

  • Post-covid, apparel retailers are scrambling to build e-experiences. It’s turning out to be a steep learning curve.
  • Retailers will have to quickly build more sophistication with online channel, including battling issues around fits, returns, putting full-price of products online and ensuring speed of delivery.

While full literacy and education for all is currently envisioned for 2030, this date now looks uncertain.raj k raj/ht
An economics consultancy recently predicted China would displace the US as the world’s largest economy in 2028, five years sooner than it had predicted just a year ago.  (Photo: Getty)
An economics consultancy recently predicted China would displace the US as the world’s largest economy in 2028, five years sooner than it had predicted just a year ago. (Photo: Getty)

A year on, China is shaking up the world

  • The Middle Kingdom has come out stronger than ever after the pandemic. What are the implications for India?
  • The risk for China as well as the world is that over-confidence in Beijing and persisting worries within that country about the West seeking to curb its rise might tip over into conflict

Perhaps the most defining image was the long march undertaken by millions of migrants. (Photo: Hindustan Times)
Perhaps the most defining image was the long march undertaken by millions of migrants. (Photo: Hindustan Times)

The march of 2020 in 10 key long reads

  • A quick snapshot of the terms, trends and events that defined the year and how #MintLongStory responded
  • Many stories focused on what the Centre should do to alleviate economic angst. The science behind the virus was a recurring theme, as well as developments on the vaccine front.

(From left) Economist Tim Harford; former RBI governor Urjit Patel; and Maruti Suzuki chairman R.C. Bhargava
(From left) Economist Tim Harford; former RBI governor Urjit Patel; and Maruti Suzuki chairman R.C. Bhargava

Ten books from 2020 you must not miss

  • The pandemic has put paid to airport reading, but there’s always Mint’s listing of top business and economy books
  • It’s tough to make predictions. But Mauro F. Guillén’s 2030 uses insights, data and research from different subjects in making predictions about how the world will look 10 years from now

One of the most significant impacts of the covid-induced lockdown was with respect to work lives, with people being compelled to work from home wherever possible. (Photo: Getty)
One of the most significant impacts of the covid-induced lockdown was with respect to work lives, with people being compelled to work from home wherever possible. (Photo: Getty)

How Indians lived online during 2020

  • Many businesses and lifestyles were upended thanks to the pandemic. What hidden patterns does data reveal?
  • Niche categories like e-grocery and online gaming have suddenly turned into whole new industry segments, which continue to register strong growth even after the end of lockdowns

India Inc is now at the crossroads. The challenges on the road ahead will need it to assume a much larger social role.  (Photo: iStock)
India Inc is now at the crossroads. The challenges on the road ahead will need it to assume a much larger social role. (Photo: iStock)

The global drive to reimagine capitalism

  • The pandemic has intensified calls for business to change its role in society. What will India Inc do?
  • This is an opportunity for India Inc to do the right thing, put in place a template that resonates with the highest standards of corporate governance, and India’s civilizational ethos.

Lakhbir Singh, 80, from Tarn Taran in Punjab is among thousands of farmers who have made the national highways bordering Delhi their home for close to a month
Lakhbir Singh, 80, from Tarn Taran in Punjab is among thousands of farmers who have made the national highways bordering Delhi their home for close to a month

Inside the farmer disquiet at Delhi’s doorstep

  • The protesting farmers have rejected all offers by the government. What will make them change their mind?
  • Farmers from Punjab and Haryana, for now, are unwilling to trade the assured prices guaranteed by the MSP regime for the uncertainty that free markets may bring.

Starting in the mother’s womb, the first 1,000 days of a child’s life provide a window of opportunity to improve the child’s nutrition and health outcomes. Those are closely linked to better education, earnings, and health outcomes in later life. (Photo: HT)
Starting in the mother’s womb, the first 1,000 days of a child’s life provide a window of opportunity to improve the child’s nutrition and health outcomes. Those are closely linked to better education, earnings, and health outcomes in later life. (Photo: HT)

How hunger came back to haunt India

  • With data showing a worrying rise in child undernutrition, urgent action is required. Where are the gaps?
  • Getting ICDS services running immediately should be top priority, along with a resumption in school meals. Since malls and cinema halls have reopened, anganwadis should too

Wistron’s Narasapura factory has 1,343 permanent workers and 8,490 contract workers on the rolls of six staffing firms (Photo: AFP)
Wistron’s Narasapura factory has 1,343 permanent workers and 8,490 contract workers on the rolls of six staffing firms (Photo: AFP)

Dark underbelly of India Inc’s shop floors

  • The Wistron incident shows the need to bring industrial relations on the front burner. What are the first steps?
  • Companies serious about more harmonious relationships with the contractual workforce should offer them a pathway to up-skill and be employed as a permanent worker over time

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