The conference was organized at the Majorda Beach Resort on the 8th and 9th of September. Samriddhi’07 invited eminent personalities from leading companies to discuss various issues playing a vital role in financing India’s development.
Top finance luminaries such as Dr. Ajay Shah, Senior Fellow, National Institute for Public Finance and Policy, MR. Rajnikanth Patel, MD and CEO, Bombay Stock Exchange Ltd., MR. N.V. Ramana, CEO, Basix India, and MS. Lalita Gupte, Chairman, ICICI Ventures were invited to discuss the challenges faced by the country and the role of finance in resolving them.
“Per capita income has increased from $250 in the 90’s to around $500 these days. But still it is pretty low. Urban population is growing and 80pc of people do not have access to money even if they want”, added Mr. Vishwanath Krishna Director Cognizant Technology Solutions. He also emphasized on IT and Telecom as important tools to unleash the power of finance.
“We always look at America or some Western economy, but there is also some learning at our backyard, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South and East Asian countries”, said Mr. Ramesh Negi, Finance Secretary, Goa, referring to the innovative ways in which microfinance was being used in our neighbouring countries to solve the problem of poverty. He spoke of the great disparities that exist in the country and the need to ensure that the poor people do not get left out while India grows. He added that “more people have cellphones than bank accounts in India as the minimum deposit required to open a bank account is about Rs 5000 whereas a cellphone costs about Rs.1000.” In such a scenario microfinance can be used effectively to ensure inclusive growth in the country.
India gets more FIIs and China more FDIs. FDIs indicate development in infrastructure. FIIs reflect good governance, safety and integrity of the nation’s stock market. FIIs come because the investors have faith in the government policies, plus they know that they can withdraw the money whenever they want.
Speaking on the global integration of stock markets, Mr. Rajnikant Patel spoke of the immense success of the Indian Markets over the last few years. He said, “160 IPOs were raised in the last year, this was the highest in the last 6 years. From Jan 2006 to Dec 2006, the Sensex gave investors 46% returns. No other stock exchange in the world has given this kind of rate of returns in a single calendar year.”
“There are two types of movements in the market: one is physical movement of the money i.e. selling and the other is information impact on the sales”. Mr C J George, promoter MD of Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd, emphasizing on the importance of information added that markets are driven by globally integrated sentiment, which is why if NYSE grows by 5%, NSE grows by 10% all based on sentiments. He also stressed upon market volatility in the context of the Indian markets which has increased with global integration.
“The only thing that can hinder India’s growth is poor infrastructure. If infrastructure cannot be developed, the growth rate will stay at 7-8% only as against the requirement of 15pc”, said Mr. S Subrimanian, Head of Investment Banking, at Enam Secirities Pvt Ltd. Addressing the gathering at ‘Samriddhi’, he wanted to stress upon the fund requirement in India to attain the 15pc GDP growth.
Mr M Balachandran, former CMD, Bank of India who was also present on the occasion spoke openly about the hindrances that were stopping India from becoming the third best in PPP(Public Private Partnership), the best indicator of growth, he stated “Infrastructure, bottlenecks, bureaucracy and Investments” as the main Impediments.
“Not only in terms of capital, but also the ability to reach. Unless we grow we wont be able to compete globally” was one of the most assertive statements made by Ms . Lalita Gupte, the Chair Person of ICICI Ventures and former Joint Managing Director, ICICI Bank, who went on to categorically state that one of the main challenges facing the Indian banking sector is the implementation of the Basel II norms. She added that “The convergence of Indian accounting standards with world accounting standards is very important because it will make easy implementation of Basel II norms”.
Samriddhi-2007 is the latest in the series of initiatives from the students of Goa Institute of Management, to foster closer ties with the industry. These conferences also provide a platform for students to interact with luminaries various sectors.