The Wealth Of The Nation
This issue of BW Businessworld is about the wealthy, their wealth, and their wealth managers
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I will tell you the secret to getting rich on Wall Street. You try to be greedy when others are fearful. And you try to be fearful when others are greedy. — Warren Buffett
The rich and the powerful are the flavour of the season. Books on the “Billionaire Raj” are hitting the headlines. It’s being asked if the near-double-digit growth is sustainable at all. Lack of political push, bad debts, crony capitalism are some of the structural problems we have had to deal with in the past. Arguably, these are not the dominant problems in the Narendra Modi era. But even his admirers concede that Modi is a cautious reformer, not a big-bang reformer.
Modi claimed recently that over 5 crore people came out of poverty in the last two years. He cited an international report to argue his case. Earlier, Modi had stressed on the neo middle class — people who come out of poverty and join the burgeoning middle class.
Modi’s schemes — be it MUDRA or Startup India — are about creating wealth, and giving rise to a new generation of millionaires. It’s about aspiration; it’s about dreams coming true.
The drawing room chatter, too, has lately been a lot about the wealthy. Only recently a report said that India’s richest one percent owned 73 per cent of the total wealth generated in the country in 2017.
This study, as did some other recent research, also pointed to a rising inequality in the country — while the wealthy are getting richer faster, the not-so-affluent are growing only incrementally.
Inequality and its political economy is important. But we leave it for another occasion. This issue of BW Businessworld is about the wealthy, their wealth, and their wealth managers.
Wealth management took off in earnest in India with the tech boom, as our first cover story observes, when the tech czars had to find ways to protect their wealth. Our cover story celebrates the best and the finest wealth managers of this era. We call them the wealth gurus. This is topical and important. Consider the facts — by 2022, the number of HNIs is expected to double to 330,400, commanding a net worth of Rs 352 trillion.
There is another topical issue that concerns us. The Niti Aayog has come out with an alarming report on the water availability in the country. It warns that at least four major metros will run out of groundwater by 2020. BW Businessworld has carried at least two major reports in the last one year on the impending water crisis in the country. The Niti Aayog report makes us revisit the problem, as we ask — what next?
The second cover looks at the problem, and the road ahead, even as it gets some very eminent names like waterman Rajendra Singh to suggest the way forward.
This issue also carries an interview with Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma on the sector’s turnaround story. In another interview, Sikkim’s Pawan Chamling outlines some of his key initiatives that have made him the longest serving chief minister in the country.
Last but not the least, we continue with the series on “Mapping PM Modi’s New India” as we look at his “Housing for All” vision.
This issue also has all its regular features.
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