The year that was
The year 2016, like all other years, saw many ups and downs and in-betweens in all sectors in India. However, one interesting aspect of 2016 had been the bureaucracy and the babus who remained in the spotlight all through the year.
As we enter the New Year, our Cover Story in this edition brings to the readers glimpses of some bureaucrats who hogged the limelight in 2016 for reasons as varied as scaling up the Mount Everest, winning an international badminton tournament, coming under the Income Tax Department scanner, getting into a relationship with a man of a different religion, spending only Rs 500 on own wedding and missing a flight over a power bank!
The year 2016 has also been an eventful period for Indian industry. In this edition’s Industry Watch segment, experts from the domains of telecom, real estate and automobile look back at its landmark events concerning their respective sectors.
It was a fruitful year for the telecom sector. The industry made significant investments, bridged the digital divide and amplified financial inclusion in 2016. However, at the same time it was also a year of turbulence and flux for the industry. Some of the key drivers for the telecom market consolidation were increasing pressure on profitability, hyper-competition, spectrum trading and sharing guidelines and favourable Merger and Acquisitions policy. In a significant development, 2016 saw the entry of a 4G operator which introduced aggressive tariff plans with free voice calls and low-cost data. The development is expected to usher in exponential growth in data.
The real estate sector can look forward to a more cheerful 2017, given some of the good initiatives taken by the Government. For the real estate industry, the year 2016 saw the biggest changes in decades, especially on the policy front. Some of the biggest game-changing policy decisions like the GST and the RERA cleared hurdles, and are on their way to full implementation. The demonetisation move caused considerable turmoil. However, along with the Benami Transactions Act, it promises to bring greater transparency in the real estate sector.
The automobile industry is one of the key drivers that boost the economic growth of India. The automobile industry has a prominent future in India. Apart from meeting the advancing domestic demands, it is penetrating the international market too. Favoured with various benefits such as globally competitive auto-ancillary industry; the production of steel at the lowest cost; inexpensive and high skill manpower and entrenched testing and Research and Development centres, the industry provides immense investment and employment opportunities. It is expected that the auto sector will continue to be the most important example of the post-liberalization manufacturing industry with a significant contribution to India’s economy and society.