Thinks 422

Canalys: “The smartphone market in India achieved a record 162 million shipments in 2021, growing 12% on 2020. After a tough start to the year, due to the second wave of COVID-19, India recovered strongly in the second half. Following a strong comeback in Q3, smartphone vendors shipped 44.5 million devices in Q4 for 2% growth, despite a challenging supply chain. Xiaomi was the leader, shipping 9.3 million units and maintained its 21% market share. Samsung came second with 8.5 million units for 19% share. For the first time realme climbed to third place in India, with a 49% year-on-year increase in volume that reached 7.6 million shipments. Fourth and fifth place were taken by vivo and OPPO, with 5.6 million and 4.9 million units respectively.”

FT: “A lot of contemporary political commentary centres around the same disturbing puzzle — why is authoritarianism making a comeback? Moisés Naím is a US-based commentator who originally hails from Venezuela, which makes him well placed to understand the dangerous interplay between populism and authoritarianism. In “The Revenge of Power”, he skilfully combines reportage with social-science research to identify and analyse the three “P”s driving the global resurgence of authoritarianism: populism, polarisation and “post-truth”.

Rajesh Kumar: “The growing acceptability of income support and other promises being made by political parties, in a way, reflects the system’s inability to create income opportunities at the scale required. As reported elsewhere, compared to five years ago, the total number of people employed in four out of five poll-bound states was lower in December 2021. Even at the national level, India’s employment ratio is one of the lowest in the world. The female labour force participation rate too is one of the lowest, which perhaps explains the idea of promising cash transfers to women. A big risk in the medium term would be that in the absence of a large-scale increase in employment opportunities, the political pressure to provide support in one form or the other would rise significantly. Broad changes in the economy currently underway could also exacerbate the problem…India needs a debate as to what percentage of general government revenue can be used for subsidies and cash transfers.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.