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BW Businessworld

Her Story In The Making

In this issue of BW Businessworld, we lead with a Budget cover. We will follow it up with a post-Budget issue.

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You must gain control of your money, or the lack of it will forever control you. —Dave Ramsey

The coming Union Budget will be momentous for a host of reasons.

India’s first full-time woman Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Budget on 5 July. Sitharaman has an interesting background. She is an alumnus of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). At the JNU, she belonged to a group called ‘Free Thinkers’. In the Bharatiya Janata Party though, her thinking is anything but ‘free’. In Sitharaman, the party has found one of its most articulate spokespersons and an ardent advocate of the party’s philosophy. Sitharaman has worked with the corporate world. In her first stint in the National Democratic Alliance government, she handled the Commerce Ministry and then the Defence Ministry.

Sitharaman will be presenting the Budget when the economic outlook is worrisome. A slowdown is knocking on our doors. Farm distress and a jobs crisis has already attracted a lot of media attention. She will have to give a boost to agriculture and manufacturing and ensure that enough jobs are created. With the Modi government marrying welfare state with second-generation reforms, every step that Sitharaman takes will be keenly watched.

Sitharaman’s Budget is momentous for another reason – she has to fill the big shoes of former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. It was under Jaitley’s watch that demonetisation came into effect. The GST architecture that we have today owes a lot to Jaitley’s persuasive skills with the Opposition-ruled states. Jaitley was also a trusted friend and philosopher of Prime Minister Modi, and the government’s always-in-demand troubleshooter.

With the industry, especially the MSMEs, still reeling under the impact of demonetisation, and the GST regime now finally showing a semblance of stability, this is Sitharaman’s opportunity to strengthen the economy, boost consumption, and increase investments.
We await the Budget document with bated breath.

In this issue of BW Businessworld, we lead with a Budget cover. We will follow it up with a post-Budget issue.

Our second cover is an interesting success story of our times – Havells. The company’s journey has been impressive since the days of  its legendary founder, Qimat Rai Gupta, but it has lately been facing challenges. We present this interesting story along with an interview with Havells promoter, Anil Rai Gupta.

In other segments of the magazine, we bring you an in-depth report on Boeing and how it sees India as a huge opportunity. We bring to you an equally interesting story on Bharti Realty.

Beyond the boardroom, we look at office wear. The market for sneakers is booming and is expected to keep growing. We touch on a debate on whether or not sneakers could soon become legitimate office wear. Apart from all our regular features, we offer you an interesting monologue of film artiste Ashish Vidyarthi as our Last Word in this issue.

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Happy reading!