Team Zee Research Group
2012 – The year gone will be remembered most for upfront spontaneity in the Indian public life. Whether it will persist with same vigour in the coming year is in the realm of speculation, what remains certain is that the New Year presents a new hope over despair, a new sense of purpose. Most strikingly as march of technology drives greater convergence among nations, conflict will not vanish but how collaboration is ensured will determine the world around us. India appears set to fast forward its integration globally while the world at large takes even better note of our growing global clout.
2013 presents an opportunity for India to integrate itself with the rest of the world in a bigger manner. The global and regional integration are not going to stop. The opening of multi-brand retail to foreign direct investment provides yet another avenue for integration with the wider world economy. While there are inherent risks of living in a shared world, a nation as big as India cannot live like Robinson Crusoe. India has to carve its niche in the world and that can happen with a more pro-active and vigorous involvement in world affairs. Politics, business, Bollywood, social media et al appear all set to leverage brand India for a new global status.
Zee Research Group (ZRG) offers a sneak preview of India in the world and world in India the year ahead.
India in the world! Coexistence of multilateralism and bilateralism
India’s dominance in South Asia may be contested by its neighbors but the country surely leads the pack of sub-continent nations with the oldest statesman at the helm. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will turn 81 in 2013. As a statesman, Singh is way ahead of his other South Asian counterparts in terms of age and experience. Not only South Asian neighbours, India’s larger neighbourhood which includes China and Iran, cannot boast of a leader more aged and experienced than Singh.
Greater Indian support for democracy? – Democracy is more than just a form of governance or rearranging societal relationship. At its heart is the core idea of human dignity. Will India openly support democratic movements in 2013 especially in Syria?
India and China have shown in the past that when they cooperate, even the US and Europe have to respect their sentiments. Can the same spirit of cooperation guide India-China relations in 2013? Indian and Chinese stamp of cooperation in areas like climate change, WTO, bilateral trade, technology transfer and so on can work wonders for two of the world’s largest nations.
Forging partnerships on multiple levels – While India must aim for greater cooperation with China, it cannot ignore its immediate and extended neighbourhood from the bigger picture. While it must work towards making South Asia more united, it should push harder for greater collaboration with South-East Asian and Middle Eastern nations.
Further cementing ties with the superpower – The biggest challenge with Indian foreign policymakers is to impart a greater sense of urgency and purpose in India-US relations. The two natural partners must augment ties to a deeper strategic and business level.
Indian business in the world: Together in pain and pleasure!
Can the Sensex breach 23K barrier in 2013? – Morgan Stanley has predicted that the Sensex could well cross 23,000 barrier by the end of 2013. The American firm is predicting a near 25-percentage points upside to the Sensex by the end of December 2013 while the index earnings growth is expected at 10 per cent. The sentiment is shared by others too. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch has said in its India Strategy report that the Sensex will reach the level of 21750 by December 2013. Indian markets are bullish since late October when the government cleared key economic reform decisions.
FIIs will invest more in 2013: FIIs have so far invested in $23.5 billion (December 23, 2012) into stocks -- the second highest figure since the foreign investors were allowed entry into Indian capital markets in 1992. It is expected that FIIs investment even better then 2012, as government will initiate more reforms in the country.
Women representation on the boards of Indian companies likely to improve
With the passage of the Companies Bill, 2012 in the Lok Sabha women representation on boards is expected to increase.
Currently, at around 5.3 per cent, women are grossly under-represented on the boards of Indian companies as against the global figure of around 15 per cent.
Amongst the highlights of the 2012 Act, it is stated that prescribed class of companies to have at least one woman director on their boards.
This bill will now have to be approved by the Rajya Sabha at the ensuing session (likely February 2013) and assented to by the President of India. 2012 Act will, thereafter, come into force.
Dairy product prices to rise globally
Prices of dairy products are likely to go up in the coming quarters, due to reduced supplies from major milk producing countries.
A recent Rabobank study said dairy products are likely to become costlier by a little over 10 per cent in the current quarter (October-December). The trend would continue in the next two quarters, to see a further rise of a little over 20 per cent until June 30, 2013.
Rabobank expects European Union milk production to, more or less, track prior year levels through the first half of 2013.
In the US, milk supply growth is expected to lag year-ago levels in the first half of 2013 (-0.9 per cent year-on-year).
OFS window expected to be on fire as June 2013 deadline approaches
In 2012, Offer for sale (OFS) has emerged as the most preferred route for listed companies to sell shares to investors.
Around 150 companies may sell stakes by June 2013 if they decide to comply with the 25 per cent public shareholding norm mandated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
According to various estimates, the total value of such share sales would be around Rs 30,000 crore.
Even the global MNC companies are expected to exploit this window going forward in order to remain listed on the Indian bourses. Companies like Fresenius Kabi, Astrazeneca, Gillete India, Oracle Financial, Timken India etc. may use this window to avoid delisting.
Rising soft power: Bollywood going places in 2013
Bollywood is India’s one of the biggest soft power asset. So far, Indian cinema is making footprints abroad in terms of viewership, recognition, interaction and collaboration with the other cinema. Year 2013 will represent greater collaboration and consolidation of Indian cinema and the world.
Growing presence at International Film Festivals
India will be the guest country at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the nation’s film industry, the third country after Egypt (2011) and Brazil (2012) to be given a special spotlight. The Festival de Cannes celebrates one of the most important countries in the world of cinema, a country with a prestigious history and tradition, one whose current day and creative impulses are a perennial example of vitality.
Bollywood actress to make debut at World Music Awards
Priyanka Chopra made her singing debut with an international album ‘In My City’ in 2012 and she will now be competing for the World Music Awards for the year 2013 with Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Madonna. Priyanka has been nominated for awards in three categories – World’s Best Female Artist, World’s Best Song and World’s Best Video at the World Music Awards.
From Odisha to Hollywood - Odisha-born, US-based producer and writer Solila Parida is producing a Hollywood film titled ‘Desires of the Heart’. This will be the first ever Hollywood film produced by an Odia. It’s a reincarnation of a love story between two persons living far apart. Hollywood stars Val Lauren and Alicia Minshew along with the veteran Bollywood actor Gulshan Grover and national award winning actor Harsh Mayar are in lead roles. The makers are planning to send the film to the Berlin film festival (BFM) in February and preparing for release worldwide in April 2013.
India’s appetite for social media to blur boundaries!
Social Media worldwide will enter a phase of dramatic growth! – Representing a 19.2 per cent increase over 2011 figures, it was predicted that social network would enter a massive 1.43 billion new users in 2012. Following the revolutionary trail, social media users are expected to grow even higher by 21.1 per cent in Asia-Pacific (including China, India and Indonesia), 23.3 per cent in the Middle East and Africa and 12.6 percent in Latin America in 2013(Forbes and eMarketer).
India would dig deeper into social media by 2013! - Population in India using social networking sites would increase from 6.30 per cent in 2012 to 8.60 per cent in 2013. But this increase would not be pleasant. McAfee predicts that 2013 is likely to see significantly more targeted attacks and targeted malware and the type of attack is more difficult to protect against. (Statista 2012)
India’s addiction to the social network would grow mostly due to Facebook - The fastest growth in social networking in 2013, will come from India (where usage will increase by 51.7 per cent), Indonesia (51.6 per cent) and, lagging distantly, China (19.9 per cent). (eMarketer).