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BW Businessworld

What Will 2013 Bring

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The year that has just ended was depressing, to say the least. Economic growth slowed sharply. Industrial growth was largely stagnant and services lost their sparkle. 
 
Most auto manufacturers reported slow sales. Industrial unrest also plagued the sector. In aviation, Kingfisher’s problems went from bad to worse, and the airline finally had to stop flying. Meanwhile, other full-service players, Air India and Jet Airways, too had their share of problems. Passengers had a tough time as airfares went up. 
 
In telecom, the Supreme Court cancelled 122 licences. The police put A. Raja, several bureaucrats and a few industry captains in jail. At the fag end of the year, the auctions held for telecom turned out to be a damp squib with few players showing any interest in bidding.
 
The power sector saw two of the biggest grid failures in history. Besides, most power producers had to operate below optimal capacity because of fuel shortages. 
 
For businesses across the board, the debt burden went up, while sales growth came down and profit margins were squeezed. 
 
Parliament passed few Bills in the year, though the winter session was somewhat better.

Politicians, however, continued to embarrass themselves by either doing little work, or making statements in poor taste or, at times, both.
 
The armed forces did not cover themselves in glory either with the erstwhile army chief going to the Supreme Court because of a dispute over his date of birth. The year ended with one of the most shocking rape cases ever in the country’s history.
 
Will 2013 be better? We asked  a range of economists, industry experts and trend-spotters how the year will pan out.  At a macro level, we asked our columnists to tell us what the key issues would be in the Indian economy, in politics and in the stockmarkets.
 
We asked other experts to tell us what the scenario would be in key areas that affect our readers’ lives — home, job, workplace, shopping, books, travel, and even commutes. For all these areas, we also asked our columnists to look at both the high-end trends as well as those in the mass market.
 
We hope you will enjoy the issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. And here’s hoping that 2013 will turn out to be a great year for all of you.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 14-01-2013)