New Year, New Hopes
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A New year brings new hopes and expectations. Often, hope overrides the reality on the ground in the belief that the days ahead will be better. And, it’s not just individuals, even nations ride on hope.
Japan has seen inflation rise and its standard of living take a turn for the worse, but it went ahead and re-elected Shinzo Abe for a second term as prime minister in the hope that his ‘Abenomics’ (a combination of government spending, economic stimulus and administrative reforms) was their best chance of getting the economy back on track.
In Hong Kong, residents hope for democracy even as China hopes to maintain its stranglehold over the island. The US hopes it will be out of the woods in 2015 while Europe hopes the year will see it return from the edge of economic ruin.
Indians seem to have their bets on the Narendra Modi-led NDA government, with state after state going to the wily duo of Modi and his lieutenant Amit Shah, even though the nation is yet to see any tangible gains from the change in regime.
What do Indians expect in 2015? BW commissioned 21 of India’s best brains to pen down their hopes and expectations from the new year. Read Digvijaya Singh’s thoughts on the relevance of the grand old Congress party in the Modi-Shah era. One of India’s biggest philanthropists, Shiv Nadar, believes ‘giving’ will get institutionalised in 2015. The country’s biggest retailer, Kishore Biyani, says the year will see the divide between online and offline blur. Suzlon’s Tulsi Tanti believes renewables hold the key to India’s energy security. PepsiCo’s D. Shivakumar predicts India’s fast-expanding consumption economy will force marketers to reinvent themselves. Maruti Suzuki’s R.C. Bhargava considers the combination of lower crude prices and a possible lower interest regime in the new year as good tidings for the automobile industry. According to Flipkart’s Mukesh Bansal, 2015 will see the emergence of the mobile as the dominant medium for online transactions. Nearly 80 per cent of online fashion and lifestyle purchases will happen on the mobile, with tier-II and -III cities accounting for most of the action.
Read these and many more in BW’s traditional year opener. Wish you all a very happy, peaceful and prosperous 2015.
(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 26-01-2015)