Business as Usual?

I have just come back after my annual sojourn in India, more specifically Delhi and Mumbai. The two cities together offer a ringside view of politics, government, bureaucracy and business. The mood, unlike earlier visits in 2011, was sombre and the sense of optimism has been replaced with despair and despondency. In short, doomsayers are having a field day.
Business is holding the government responsible for applying brakes to the growth story and the government, in turn, is looking for scapegoats to hang. Meeting senior ministers, civil servants and bureaucrats gives you a sense that the country is in freefall and everybody is waiting for something to happen in the hope that need for taking serious decisions will be pre-empted by unfolding circumstances. No one need to put their signature on any piece of paper.
Business is putting on a brave face – ‘it is business as usual’ and ‘we thrive despite the government’. However, it is clear when you talk to business professional how entire sectors are making place for new business models, old brands are dying and new sectors opening up. Infrastructure and stalled reforms as in retail are really hurting. So actually, it is not business as usual and there is no thriving without support from the Centre and State.

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