Rameesh Kailasam: “The customer of tomorrow, in a fast-changing scenario, wants everything at the swipe of a screen and a click of a button. The customer of tomorrow is even unwilling to step out and check the physical market and wants to buy most stuff online. Along with millenials, as a large number of Gen Z-ers come of age as consumers, they are no longer comparable with the consumers from the generations that preceded them, when it comes to the manner in which purchase decisions are made…Customers are fast-changing, as are their perceptions and points of access. Brand loyalties may soon become a thing of the past and disruption will be key to attracting the new-age customer. Emergence of many new-age brands, outlets and products are unimpeachable testimony of this changing consumer-leaning.”
Sadanand Dhume on India’s Stalled Rise: “The economic bedrock of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s political success—has been the government’s distinctive approach to redistributive development. In many other countries, social spending has traditionally focused on intangible public goods, such as health and education. Since 2015, the Modi government has instead invested in programs that provide tangible basic goods and services, many of which are aimed at women. This “New Welfarism” has included bank accounts, cooking gas, toilets, electricity, housing, and, more recently, water and just plain cash…The achievements of the New Welfarism are real. By 2019, 98 percent of all households had access to electricity, up from just 75 percent a decade ago, and 60 percent had access to clean cooking gas. According to survey data, nearly three-quarters of all Indian women now have bank accounts that they can use themselves. And the government’s subsidies to the poor—previously known for extraordinary rates of “leakage”—are now provided in direct cash payments, ensuring that they reach their intended beneficiaries. They now amount to $100 billion per year.” My take: Entrepreneurs create wealth, the government distributes it. This is not the path to prosperity.
FT’s Graphics of the year — making sense of 2021. “Visualisation has become increasingly important in the telling and the understanding of stories.”