Financial Times

Beyond the control of scions in India’s family businesses

Indians have a saying that captures the tendency of family businesses to decline over generations: “The life of a business house is 60 years.” This phenomenon was portrayed by the German writer Thomas Mann in Buddenbrooks, his novel about a wealthy merchant family in the city of Lübeck whose business disintegrates as the children lose an appetite for making money. Until now, the 148-year-old Tata Group has defied this rule.

The $74m Mars mission benefits India every bit as much as clean water

Last week India sent a satellite into orbit around Mars,with a low-cost, nimble mission that has stunned the world. At $74m over three years, the cost was roughly one-ninth that of the latest (also successful) US mission, which took six years. And in reaching the red planet on its first attempt, India’s space agency succeeded where many other leading powers – including the US, Russia,China and Japan– failed.

Modi needs to give India its Thatcher moment

The country’s new leader must now initiate institutional reforms, says Gurcharan Das

Aam Aadmi is not the reforming party India needs

The leadership is trapped in the ideas of the old left, writes Gurcharan Das

Delhi needs to sell the idea of the market

 

Indians say their country ‘grows at night while the government sleeps’, writes Gurcharan Das

When the Indian government presented its budget last month, the people were expecting giveaways, subsidies and bribes for votes. But it turned out to be a surprisingly responsible settlement that capped the fiscal deficit at 4.8 per cent of economic output. It was a sensible budget, but it will not get India growing again.

Where society has triumphed over the state

India's mystifying economic rise bewilders Indians and baffles economists. No one quite understands why this noisy and chaotic democracy of a billion people has become one of the world's fastest growing economies. It is looking at a fourth year of consistent real growth of around 8% a year, following upon 22 years of very respectable 6% average annual growth. What puzzles economists is that India is not following any of the proven paths to success. Compared to the classic Asian strategy—exporting labour-intensive, low-priced manufactured goods to the West—India's economy is driven more by consumption rather than investment, its domestic market rather than exports, services more than industry, and high-tech rather than low-skilled manufacturing.

India's law and China's order

The Chinese premier's recent visit to India was a good thing because it took our minds off Pakistan, even for a fleeting weekend. We really must learn to ignore Pakistan and heed China. If Pakistan pulls us down into an abyss of terrorism and identity politics, China will lift us up, I think, firing our ambition for better roads, schools and health centres. I used to either admire or fear China, but now I am more relaxed. Both our economies are among the world's fastest, and both are on the verge of solving their age-old economic problem. China's success is induced by the state, however, whereas India's is due to its private economy. Although slower, India's path may, in fact, be more suited to its temperament.

It's all about execution!

New Delhi— On Sunday Manmohan Singh, India's earnest, new prime minister, declared to the nation that his top priority is to change the way government runs and improve delivery of services to the poor. This happy focus on governance is one of the unexpected consequences of the change in government in New Delhi. For the past two months the Left has smugly spread the myth that the election verdict was a revolt of the poor against the rich. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was, quite simply, a vote against day to day failures of governance. Local governments in India are so eaten away by corruption and mismanagement that they cannot deliver the basic services to the poor, such as decent schools, primary health centres, and drinking water.

Once again, governance let us down

NEW DELHI--Despite strong economic growth, good monsoons, improved relations with Pakistan and America, and a new mood of national self-assuredness, (plus a winning cricket team!) Indians were unwilling to forgive bad governance, and so they threw out one of India's better governments.