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BW Businessworld

Rise Of The Swadeshi

While many have faulted demonetisation and GST implementation for the economic mess, the PM said that demonetisation would be known as the beginning of corruption-free era in the country

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“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis’. One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger, but recognise the opportunity.”

— John F. Kennedy

Economic slowdown is the talk of the town. If the Opposition was not enough, BJP’s in-house critics are also slamming the party for “mismanaging the economy”. So much so that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself had to take on the critics, and dwell at length on the slowdown.

The PM conceded that the last quarter had seen a dip in the growth rate. But he sought to remind the Opposition and in-house critics alike that there have been many such instances when the GDP rate went below 5.7 per cent in the UPA era. While he welcomed criticism, he sought to caution everyone against spreading pessimism.

While many have faulted demonetisation and GST implementation for the economic mess, the PM said that demonetisation would be known as the beginning of corruption-free era in the country. “You people know more than me as to how one has to think fifty times before giving and taking black money,” he said.

We at BW Businessworld thought this was the right time to gauge the mood of Corporate India. In a survey commissioned by us, we came across some surprising findings — while Corporate India faults the government for mishandling the economy, its faith in PM Modi remains unshaken.

For getting a deeper understanding, Deputy Editor Suman K. Jha met with Union Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa who said that the economy would pick up faster than what the people were thinking, even as he hoped that the private sector would invest.

We also decided to do an economists’ roundtable in which the wise men come up with their own prescriptions for the economy.

Our first Cover, however, is on the ever-expanding empire of Patanjali. For a change, we decided not to focus on Swami Ramdev. Instead, the lens was on Acharya Balakrishna who has recently entered the wealthiest Indians’ club. The exclusive story, brought to you by Senior Special Correspondents Himani Chandna and Monica Behura, provides a fascinating account of how the Swadeshi empire is spreading its wings.  

Our second Cover is about Kapil Wadhawan, the man behind DHFL. DHFL is now branching into newer territory like consumer financing, reveals Wadhawan, in this interesting story brought to you by Mumbai Bureau Chief Clifford Alvares.

There is another Swadeshi empire that is spreading its wings, and, in fact, is soaring high. In our third Cover, brought to you by Senior Associate Editor Ashish Sinha, SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh shares the airline’s turnaround story, even as it awaits its newest order of aircraft fleet.

The fourth Cover in this issue is about the impeding water crisis in the country and how it’s going to impact the lives, and the GDP. It’s anchored by Assistant Editor Anuradha Shukla.

Among other offerings in this issue, we have an exclusive interview of Food Processing Minister Harsmirat Kaur Badal, who’s trying to make the food processing industry big in the country. She talks to Deputy Editor Suman K. Jha. In our Last Word, we feature Indian National Congress social media department head Divya Spandana, who’s credited with infusing new life into the party’s social media campaigns. She speaks to Jha.

All in all, a very readable issue, which you dear reader, will surely enjoy.

In the meantime, do keep writing in.


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