DSIJ Mindshare

Leadership Needs To Change

Asked to comment on how he thinks will Samvat 2070 pan out, he quickly quipped that we wasn’t concerned about what will happen this Diwali or next Diwali. He didn’t want to get into predictions as he thought he wasn’t competent enough to do so. “If I knew that I would have been a billionaire” said Prithvi Haldea, Founder Chairman, PRIME Database and went on to share with us some very interesting insights on what he feels about the present state of the Indian economy, its policy makers and the markets.

How do you think will the invest- ment climate pan out in the next one year?

Given the track record of the pres- ent government and the mess that we are presently in, there is a clear need for a change in leadership. I think the leadership should be able to give clear policy directions. There is a real policy paralysis right now. There is a lack of leadership and a lack of decision mak- ing ability in the bureaucracy and I think unless we move out of that we will only sink. According to me May 2014 is going to be a turning point. We can either get into a bigger mess or come out of it and look for a better future.

Do you think that the macro indica- tors are still in place for the econo- my?

We are a large country with a large population and we have seen that countries where there are scarce natural resources have grown based on their human resources. The fact is, for India, a proper management of its human resources will determine its macro factors. The important thing is to manager manage your human resource in manufacturing, services and other areas very carefully and optimally. Here, as I mentioned earlier, the role of leadership will come into play.

Which factors after the General Elections will take India in to the next orbit of growth?

I think basically, we need to have a clean government and fixed set of rules. Investors look out for predict- ability in the investment climate. This predictability comes from encour- aging entrepreneurship. This is enough to propel us in the next orbit of growth.

What is your take on the recent fiscal measures taken by the government like the Food Security Bill?

Somebody has to undo this. You need to understand whether you are willing to keep the people hungry or you want to give them good educa- tion, health and create jobs for them. Why don’t we focus on creating jobs by means of which they will be able to earn their livelihood? If you can bring this new paradigm, then the whole picture changes. The main aim of the political class at this point is to earn votes and one needs to understand that subsidies need to be targeted only to those who really need them.

Can you share your thoughts on the regulatory framework in India?

SEBI has to have more powers and they need to exercise that power in a right manner. SEBI will have to spend a lot of time, money and man-power in creating a team that will take care of insider trading. I am not saying that insider trading does not take place in developed markets, but the fear is huge. The number of instances is very low. Therefore, we need to create that fear as we all know that insider trading is an easy way to make quick money.

Would you like to comment on the recent development in the commod- ity markets?

All that I can say here is that, I do not understand how an exchange can run without regulatory oversight. There is a fundamental issue in this.

What are the three things that you want to see in the next one year for the betterment of the economy?

The first and the last thing that I would like to see is “Change of Leadership”.

DSIJ Mindshare