Global Meltdown and India

The financial meltdown has sent shockwaves throughout the world. For many Indians, it is their first exposure to how integrated the world economy has become. This is a novelty for them when the newspaper headlines are not about the shenanigans of ministers or rantings by a communal organization but what is happening to Lehman or Morgan Stanley or even ICICI.

The Indian economy remains fairly robust despite the shocks. The banking system is very conservative. There is practically no use/misuse of financial instruments which have sent the Western markets to a spin. The drivers of growth like increasing liberalization, demographic advantages, low cost skill arbitrages and technology-led productivity growth in several sectors continue as they are. The stock market of course is getting battered due to fear, panic and flight of foreign capital (which is increasingly wary of emerging market returns).The overheated sectors like realty or the businesses primarily dependent on the Western markets like IT or ITes will undergo sharp changes in their business models.

I foresee no major disruption in retail or FMCG sectors due to this financial crisis. The retail sector had anyway started undergoing its own adjustments for a few months now due to its own set of dynamics.

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