In hindsight, we all got off cheap in the past 12 months. The markets are down about a percent in rupee terms and about 5% in dollar terms. Looking at the carnage in most emerging markets (Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, China), India has still held up ok. Which is precisely what I had written in my piece last year in this magazine, that we would be fine, relatively. But weren’t we supposed to be doing better than just a 1%-down year? Weren’t we supposed to be at the cusp of a new dawn, with a brand new leadership?
The trouble was that in 2014, we witnessed a collective shot of serotonin and adrenaline, simultaneously, to all market analysts, fund managers and corporate managements. It was assumed that the new government had some miraculous secret that only it knew, and that in May 2014, they would let us in on that secret. Large investments would get conjured up, non-performing assets would vanish, GDP growth would head back to the 10% mark, etc, etc.
In the vein of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who, when presented with a plan by his inner circle as to how India’s economy would get magically transformed, if anybody dared to ask, “Par yeh sab hoga kaise?” (But how is all this going to happen?), would have been shot down, trolled, v