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Srinath Sridharan

Independent markets commentator. Media columnist. Board member. Corporate & Startup Advisor / Mentor. CEO coach. Strategic counsel for 25 years, with leading corporates across diverse sectors including automobile, e-commerce, advertising, consumer and financial services. Works with leaders in enabling transformation of organisations which have complexities of rapid-scale-up, talent-culture conflict, generational-change of promoters / key leadership, M&A cultural issues, issues of business scale & size. Understands & ideates on intersection of BFSI, digital, ‘contextual-finance’, consumer, mobility, GEMZ (Gig Economy, Millennials, gen Z), ESG. Well-versed with contours of governance, board-level strategic expectations, regulations & nuances across BFSI & associated stakeholder value-chain, challenges of organisational redesign and related business, culture & communication imperatives.

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India Leading Globally, Thanks To Modi-ism

Effective succession planning is crucial to ensure continuity, stability, and a smooth transition of power. They will surely be treading into much larger shoes!

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That India is recognised as a global power to reckon with, is a given now. This position did not come easy. It has been built carefully and especially catalysed in the past nine years by the political and policy leadership demonstrated by the Modi government.

Be it the Modinomics or Modilogy, it has worked. Every leader, be it in the corporate world or politics, will have their detractors and face vocal criticism. As with every -ism, there will be hits and misses. But making more quantitative and impactful hits is critical for any government and this has been amply demonstrated. From citizen-centric initiatives to pioneering advancements in various sectors, and stewardship in global issues like climate change or Global South efforts, Modi’s lead-from-the-front has worked.

The hallmark of Modi's governance has been its NationFirst approach, with commitment and respect to global issues and values of OneWorld. It is beyond doubt that PM Narendra Modi’s idea of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas,’ has transformed India into one of the fastest-growing economies of the world today. His leadership imprint is so strong that one would call it the Modi government, and not as BJP government.

In the realm of governance, the ability to think beyond conventional boundaries and pioneer innovative approaches is a hallmark of exceptional leadership. The Modi government has exemplified this quality, emerging as a trailblazer in out-of-the-box policy thinking and spearheading a transformative approach to innovation in public infrastructure. Through a series of groundbreaking initiatives, the government has showcased its commitment to creative problem-solving and propelled India towards a new era of progress and development. Of course the list of policy initiatives over past nine years is long, and a book written on them might be a better attempt. This government has used the power of Data, Digital, Democracy for its decisions. 

India's global outreach and diplomatic engagements have seen an unprecedented boost during these nine years. Modi's untiring efforts in shaping India’s foreign policy has strengthened its position on the global stage and fostered strategic partnerships with nations around the world. 

Policy, Polity, Personality

India's digital and technological advancements have been at the forefront of the government's agenda. The government's focus on leveraging technology and digital solutions to enhance public service delivery has been instrumental in transforming governance. The Digital India initiative, with its emphasis on digitising services and promoting e-governance, has revolutionised the way citizens interact with the government. From digital payments to online governance platforms, the government has harnessed technology to simplify processes, improve transparency, and enhance citizen engagement. 

Economic growth and stability have been key priorities for Modi's government. Structural reforms like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) have simplified the tax system, while some work is on, to even the system-irritants. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) has changed the speed and ability to facilitate faster resolution of distressed assets and boosting investor confidence, and surely it will go through a polishing to make it effective and time-bound. 

One remarkable instance of out-of-the-box policy thinking is the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), launched soon after the government assumed office. This ambitious financial inclusion program aimed to provide access to banking facilities to the unbanked population. By thinking beyond traditional approaches, the government leveraged technology and adopted a simplified account opening process, utilising Aadhaar and mobile technology. This groundbreaking initiative led to the opening of millions of bank accounts, enabling previously underserved individuals to participate in the formal financial system.

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a nationwide cleanliness campaign, has transformed the sanitation landscape of the country, significantly improving public health and hygiene. The ambitious Skill India program has focused on enhancing the employability of the youth, equipping them with necessary skills for a prosperous future. The Ayushman Bharat scheme, the world's largest health insurance program, has provided quality healthcare to millions of vulnerable families, bringing them relief and a renewed sense of security.

In the rapidly evolving global landscape,  Modi has recognised the immense importance of positioning India as a global leader, particularly within the Global South. Under his leadership, India has made significant strides in strengthening its ties with nations across the world, while also championing the cause of developing countries and youth empowerment. His efforts have not only enhanced India's international standing but also propelled the nation to the forefront of global leadership and youth-centric policy making. He has skillfully leveraged India's rich cultural heritage, economic potential, and demographic dividend to forge strong diplomatic ties with nations around the globe. His proactive approach to diplomacy and his personal rapport with world leaders have elevated India's stature, enabling it to emerge as a trusted partner and a voice to be reckoned with.

Furthermore, Modi has been a strong advocate for the rights and aspirations of the youth, recognising their potential as agents of change. He has actively engaged with young minds, understanding their concerns, aspirations, and the transformative role they can play in shaping the nation's future. The government's focus on youth-centric policies, such as the Skill India initiative and the Start-up India campaign, reflects Modi's commitment to nurturing a vibrant ecosystem that empowers and encourages the youth to drive innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. Under his leadership, the government has launched initiatives like the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme and the Atal Innovation Mission, which provide platforms for skill development, mentoring, and incubation of young talent. 

Dil maange more

However, there are still policy initiatives that await attention and the ability to get them translated for better outcomes. These include agricultural and farm reforms, reforming and designing an executive system that need not be the current bureaucratic choke points, judiciary reforms, reforming devolution of authority to municipalities and town administration, Ease of doing business needs further and rapid improvement, ability for the nation to hear it’s leader speak with the fourth estate (the media), and to hear him take questions from the media.  

His ability to leverage the power of social media as well as the Mann ki Baat, as the new media for public outreach has been unparalleled. His ability to crowdsource ideas and citizen inputs has again been pioneering.  While it is easy for social media trollers to question his energies, it is simply unparalleled energy to work non-stop, every day for the past nine years. 

It is this infectious energy that has inspired millions of Indians and galvanised the nation towards a shared vision of progress. Ask even the most workaholic corporate head honcho, if they can deal with such pressures non-stop, for 3,300 days as the Head of a large global enterprise, that’s under constant attack and query. 

The transformative leadership and remarkable energy displayed by Modi has raised the bar for his successors. When he turns 75 years (when his party leaders turn non-political-mentors), his successors will face the challenge of carrying forward his vision and managing the sky-high expectations set by his energy, speed, style and his leadership capabilities. Effective succession planning is crucial to ensure continuity, stability, and a smooth transition of power. They will surely be treading into much larger shoes!

9 years in A to Z 

A: Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY). Abolition of article 370. Atal Innovation Mission.

B: Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao

C: Clean India Mission - Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. CoWin for digital public infra for covid vaccination. Covid vaccination drive, not only for India, but for many countries.

D: Digital India

E: e-NAM (National Agriculture Market). Entrepreneurship.

F: Fit India Movement. FDI investments increased

G: Goods and Services Tax (GST). Global Leadership. 

H: Housing for All - Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)


J: Jal Shakti Abhiyan. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY). 

K: Kisan Credit Card (KCC) Scheme

L: Make in India

M: Mudra Yojana (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency)

N: National Skill Development Mission - Skill India

O: One Rank One Pension (OROP)

P: Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)

Q: Quit India Movement 2.0 - Sankalp Se Siddhi

R: Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY)

S: Start-Up India. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Sagar Mala.

T: Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)

U: Ujjwala Yojana - Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)

V: Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY)

W: Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK)

Y: Youth Empowerment Schemes (including Startup India and Standup India)

Z: Zero Effect, Zero Defect (ZED) Certification Scheme

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[email protected] Nine years of Modi Govt