India's Prime Minister is currently in America with his first personal meeting with the President of the USA. With this, the relationship between the world’s two largest democracies is destined to be stronger, closer and tighter than ever before. The first, in-person summit of Quad leaders is the highlight of this meeting. Quad comprises India, the US, Japan and Australia, and it aims to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific amid heightened geopolitical tensions in parts of Asia. The leaders of the Quad nations have decided to join forces to tackle the climate crisis, and deploy secure, open, and transparent 5G networks. The leadership provided by India, along with these other nations, will help today’s world solve many of its current pressing challenges.
The evidence of a new and resurgent India is steadily mounting. India's benchmark Sensex scaled the 60,000 mark for the first time on Friday. It was lifted by strong liquidity flows and investor optimism of a continued economic revival in the economy from the pandemic-induced turmoil. Indian stocks have been performing well over the past few quarters due to robust liquidity, upward earnings cycle and the green shoots of recovery in the economy.
India has also recorded the highest ever FII inflows of $ 37.6 billion in financial year 2021. This is greater than the cumulative inflows of the past six years. After the Covid led sharp correction in March 2020, markets gradually recouped their losses in FY 2021. The positive policy measures, both of the government and the RBI, as well as a better than expected corporate earnings performance, which resulted in two consecutive quarters of earnings upgrades (a first in many years) contributed to it.
India's record on vaccination has also been impressive. More than 800 million doses have been officially administered, with over 600 million people having received the first dose and around 200 million both the doses so far. Only 11 days were needed to reach the 800 million mark from the 700 million mark. The health minister has also said that India will also resume the export of surplus Covid vaccines from next month. All these are positive developments which deserve to be appreciated.
Covid has given an unexpected boost to digitalization in India. The silver lining from the pandemic that has imposed a heavy burden on the economy, is that a rapid technological transformation across business models, channels, and touchpoints is now being witnessed in almost every sector of the economy. The scale of the transformation has to be experienced to be believed. Underlying this shift is the need for greater organizational agility in tandem to closer ties with customers (including millions of highly influential NRIs all over the world) in the course of a changing global order. Growing internet and mobile penetration, constantly dropping cost of data plans, and a shift from offline to online shopping channels are all fuelling India’s unexpected push towards digitalization.
Our attitudes and behaviours have already begun to change. Neither India nor the world will be the same after the pandemic. After the provision of basic services is stabilized, and we settle into the new-normal, policymakers will ensure that both Maharashtra and India embark on a new trajectory of socioeconomic resurgence.