India’s Economy will Bounce Back

Fitch Ratings suggest that  India’s GDP will bounce back like never before with 9.5% sharp growth rate next year…

About Fitch Ratings –

‘Fitch Ratings’ is the 3rd largest credit rating agency in the world. It is an American credit rating agency, the other two are Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. It is one of the three nationally recognized statistical rating organizations designated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 1975.

Fitch Affirms India at ‘BBB –’ of which outlook is “Stable”.

Fitch still has positive outlook –

Our outlook on India’s GDP growth is still solid against that of peers, even though growth has decelerated significantly over the past few quarters, due mainly to domestic factors, in particular a squeeze in credit availability from non-banking financial companies (NBFC) and deterioration in business and consumer confidence.

What Fitch Expects?

Fitch expects growth to slow to 4.6% in the financial year ending March 2020 (FY20), from 6.8% in FY19, which is still higher than the ‘BBB’ median of 2.8%. We expect growth to gradually recover to 5.6% in FY21 and 6.5% in FY22 with support from easing monetary and fiscal policy and structural measures that may also support growth over the medium term.

The agency praises RBI –

Fitch expects the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to cut its policy rate by another 65bp in 2020, after a cumulative 135bp easing since February 2019. The RBI has built a solid monetary policy record since the inception of the Monetary Policy Committee in October 2016, with headline inflation remaining within the medium-term inflation target range of 4% +/- 2%.

The government is focused –

The government is likely to remain focused on reforms during the second term of Prime Minister Modi. It has announced some structural measures over recent months to counter the growth slowdown, including efforts to reduce red tape and boost foreign direct investment.

Is work from home feasible in the long run?

(@the_hindu_editorial)

It may bring more flexibility for some, while exacerbating the existing divides for others

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdowns have made work from home an imperative for several industries. Some job profiles lend themselves to working from outside the office more than others do.

Will work from home become constant even in a post-COVID future?

Ramkumar Ramamoorthy is Chairman and Managing Director of Cognizant India; Ashwini Deshpande teaches at the Ashoka University.

Prof. Ashwani Deshpande and Ramkumar Ramamoorthy’s views –

Ashwani Deshpande: It’s doubtful if the pandemic itself would go away, say, in a couple of months. If we are talking about changes in work arrangements over the next two years, that’s a pretty long time for us to have a change in our work patterns. At least for the next two years, as we go through the cycle of lockdowns and containment, we will go in and out of work from home.

Ramkumar Ramamoorthy: While much of the focus seems to be on work from home, it’s actually work from anywhere. In the last 12-18 months, for example, I have worked from the office, from home, from hotels, coffee shops, a hospital, beaches, marriage halls, moving cars and airplanes. We will get to a mode where people could potentially work from anywhere based on the job that they do at a given point in time. But, this is not new; this has been in vogue in the IT industry for many years.

Ashwini Deshpande: A lot of the services are difficult to deliver from remote. Teaching, to a certain extent, can be done remotely. But it’s just not of the same quality as teaching inside the classroom. A lot of other services are not actually conducive to being delivered remotely. I don’t think that the traditional workplace is going to completely die out. It might undergo certain kinds of transformation. Maybe [there won’t be] thousands of people working in one building.

Companies also have a very important role to play. . .

If you take the Cognizant example, we have about 2,00,000 employees in India with about 20,000 in tier-two locations such as Coimbatore and Mangaluru. About 38-39% of our India workforce comprises women but in our tier-two locations women constitute about 50% of the workforce. We have employees who volunteer to teach in schools in the hinterland of India. Our employees or their spouses who are in the U.S. actually teach English, Math and the basics of computing to students in villages over Skype. I do agree that we need to do this at scale. And we need to institutionalise some of these.

Ramkumar Ramamoorthy: This is a perfect opportunity for us to bridge Bharat and India. I think we shouldn’t short human imagination here. The true success lies in the speedy implementation of some of these opportunities at scale. COVID has accelerated some of the things that would have otherwise taken a number of years to fructify. Let’s look at the silver lining here and make the best out of the opportunities that it presents to every one of us whether it’s the government, industry, individuals or society at large.

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