This 20th Anniversary issue of Business Today is – both , in keeping with making the Anniversary Issue a Collectors’ item as well as presenting either a fresh view to the contemporarily relevant topic or presenting a new topic] a very pensive yet full- of –hopes forward-looking statement.
In presenting the design and the content, the Editorial Team has indeed lived up to their promise of not looking back.
The issue is essentially split in several sections, each section having an article or a story from the different fields of India.
For all practical purposes, the issue opens with ‘Companies That Changed India’ in the last 20 years. There may be some debate about a few of the models quoted here or left out from its roster,, but even while looking at the rear window, the eyesight has not wavered from the front-view.
‘Score Ahead’ charts the current scenario and future agenda for ‘a new India’ in terms of the aspirations and challenges in the fields of Democracy, Politics, Corruption, Media, Scientific Research, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Education, Banking, Global Standing, Personal Finance, Philanthropy, Women, NGOs, Healthcare, Public Transport, Infrastructure, Agriculture, Environment, entertainment, Advertising, Technology [Social Media].and Sports – the Index has inadvertently maintained the title of “Column’ here- with the help of quite passionate articles from the persons at the grass-roots in the respective field. The topics do cover most of the soft issue for the tomorrow of India, and to some extent that of Bharat as well.
The editorial preface to these articles notes deluge of opportunities. Partly the [so called] liberalization in the past 20 years, coupled with need of the European countries and USA to locate their manufacturing bases to a low-cost destination has provided such a booster dose to our economy, that some of the chinks left out in the process of development have not hurt the economy and the people.
The liberalization eased, to a greater extent, but only in certain selected areas only, the governmental controls on operation and maintenance of the business in India. As result, entry of private enterprise in the two basic sectors, heath care and education, did get great opportunities. At the end of 20 years, when the momentum of growth has mellowed down, the three typical systemic maladies – insufficiency, [only] profit orientation and degeneration of ‘people aspect’ – as captured by Dr. Abhay Bang [“Change the Medication” , page 96], seem to affect almost all the areas taken up for discussion in this section.
The Editorial Team needs to be especially complemented for presenting the stories of ‘common men’s spirit of entrepreneurship – the potential bulwark of engagement of the bulging young India in decades to come – in the section ‘The Enterprising India’. One may chuckle with a resignation of cynicism on this aspect, particularly if he /she has read a story, being circulated in some other publications, of Dr. Piramal sitting over a pile of disinvestment cash. Oh well, even though we have gained fairly good ‘project’ management expertise [“Blueprint for Excellence” – Shri K Venkatesh, page 110], as much of the work has been done in last 20 years is still required to be done in next 5 years.
‘Catalytic Converters’ has picked up a wide spectrum of potential game changers by way of Clean Drinking Water, Solar Energy, Low-cost tablets, Wireless Broadband, UID, Cloud Computing, Mobile-based Transactions, Commodity Trading,
The photo gallery and snippets of thoughts of “ambitious men and women who are deciding the future of India in the areas of Entrepreneurship, professional Executive, Fashion, Jurisprudence, Education to air their views on what would change in their areas of work in the next decade.’
The stories in the issue have presented the imbalances and the opportunities by maintaining the delicate balance with an undercurrent of positive optimism.
May be because of such strong under-current of déjà vu that Shri Chaitanya Kalbag’s editorial post script – which I have translated in Gujarati] throws up the gauntlet of getting back to the work of unfinished agenda of providing decent education, health care, nutrition and shelter to the poorest child in the remotest village of India [Bharat] with the’ collective semi-conscious’ energy to stand up, dust off and carry on. He has unambiguously emphasized the intent of the Editor-In-Chief to set the tone for the future on the 20th Anniversary of Business Today.
On the whole, the issue has been well-designed and its content carefully chosen and presented to render the Anniversary issue a must-read and ponder upon.
I feel satisfied to remain an avid reader of this business journal from its inception and justified in maintaining the relationship of a subscriber for almost 15 years.
Ashok Vaishnav, Ahmedabad,