22 January, 2021

Don't Panic

Industry is depressed, bourses collapse, marketers face falling sales. Everyone dreads the R-word. Are they all wrong?

Don't Panic

IN Douglas Adams’ five-part trilogy The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, the most useful book in the universe has, on its cover, just two words, the most useful message in the universe: "Don’t panic". Right now, as far as the Indian economy is concerned, that, apparently, is the toughest thing to do. It is, also, almost the only thing to do.

There is no better indicator of the confusion that appears to have gripped Indian industry, policymakers and consumers than two press statements issued recently by the high-profile Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). On December 4, the CII released the findings of its latest Business Outlook Survey. The findings exuded optimism from every pore: industry expected orderbook position to improve, value of output to rise, capital expenditure to go up, rate of return on capital to increase, employment and exports to climb in the next six months. A definitely rosy picture. But the next day, Shekhar Datta, CII president, in an unusually strong-worded statement, expressed...



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