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BW Businessworld

An End To The Winter Of Discontent?

BW Businessworld with Havish Consulting conducted the Mood of the Nation survey, along with senior executives to know what both Corporate India and India think about the present government.

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The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. 
– Michael Altshuler

What a fortnight it has been! While the country has been rocked by CAA-NRC protests, the economy is still floundering. To paraphrase Arvind Subramanian, the Indian economy may be headed to the ICU, and that the present situation is as bad as the balance of payments crisis of 1991.

Many may be tempted to read an element of exaggeration here, but the former CEA is known to weigh his words. Clearly, the economic gloom has not dissipated. And the new year and the new Union budget will give the Union government an opportunity to work towards reviving the economy with renewed vigour.

The government can take heart from the fact that the nation, as also Corporate India, has not lost faith in the incumbent Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman. True, the overwhelming sentiment is that the government pushes its ideological agenda while paying relatively less attention to the economy, which should get its prime attention.

These are some of the findings of a survey commissioned by BW Businessworld. As we say on the second cover, it’s a “vote of confidence” for the incumbent FM.

While on the subject of the economy, in this issue of BW Businessworld economist Ajay Chhibber shares his seven-step prescription to revive the economy. Industry leader Naushad Forbes writes an interesting piece on what can be the central piece in the forthcoming Union budget if we have to realise the $5-trillion economy vision. Another industry leader Harsh Pati Singhania writes a piece on why India didn’t join the RCEP.

The past fortnight has been newsy, as we said, for another reason. Corporate India and, specifically, the Tatas were jolted by an NCLAT order which asked them to reinstate Cyrus Mistry as executive chairman. Mistry was removed from the position in 2016 in a boardroom coup.

For Mistry, it may be a vindication, but the Tatas believe they have a strong case at hand, and will file an appeal. Clearly, the last word has not been said on the matter.

Our first cover for the present issue has something very interesting – we present the riveting story of the advertising and communication giant WPP, which continues to set the marketing and advertising agenda in India, much like the rest of the world. The company had a forgettable 2018, and in 2019, it unveiled its plan for a turnaround over three years. It remains on course towards that. The cover feature includes an interview with the WPP CEO Mark Read.

This issue of BW Businessworld has all its regular features and columns.

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Happy reading!

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mood of the nation poll 2019 editors letter