COBCAM 2015, Day 2: Athena – Is India on the threshold of a Global Meltdown?

COBCAM CollageExcerpts from the discussion:

Mr. Madhav Nair, Country Head, Mashreq Bank

Mr. Madhav Nair spoke in brief about the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis as well as the 2008 Global Financial Crisis to go along with the economic conditions prevalent at present. He said that India has managed to do well during the economic crises because of the regulations imposed by the RBI as well as the fact that it is not an export driven economy. The lowering of oil prices has helped India further as oil is one of the country’s major imports. He spoke about the fact that we live in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous or VUCA world. Further, he explained how the Make in India campaign could increase inflow of foreign exchange and a Make for India initiative could reduce our reliance on imports. Thus, both would result in improving our foreign exchange reserves and in turn help in the growth of the economy.

Mr. Arijit Mukherjee, SVP, Anand Rathi

Mr. Arijit Mukherjee spoke about how India has been able to survive the financial crises time and again. According to him the forex reserves, declining inflation numbers, relatively stable currency and the favorable demography are the strengths of India and these strengths will help us overcome future financial meltdowns, if any. He also went ahead and explained the crucial role played by RBI governor, Mr. Raghuram Rajan in stabilizing the Indian economy. When questioned about whether India should reduce its imports and increase the exports, Mr. Mukherjee told that, both exports and imports need to coexist. The decision of what should be done at what point of time is very important. He also went ahead and spoke of the real estate bubble which crippled American economy. When conditions are unfavorable, the economy has to inflate itself out of trouble. He concluded his talk by telling that India is in a strong spot right now and there is absolutely no need to worry about the economic meltdown.

Dr. Vishal Ravi, District Commissioner, Udupi

He spoke about the National Disaster Management Authority and gave examples of related issues to explain to the students in simple language to give them a better idea about the topic of discussion. He stressed on the fact that the economy must not be financialized and the finances should be economized. He also spoke about the need to Make for India. For the service sector to be buoyant, the manufacturing sector must do well, he said. He also spoke about the three major challenges faced by India i.e., illiteracy, poverty and unemployment and how one feeds into the other. The favorable demographics of the country is one factor which should be used to our advantage, he said. To end with, he stressed on the need of reserves such as oil reserves and foreign exchange reserves, not just for contingencies, but also for strategic purposes.

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