We will recall that 2022 began with fast spreading Omicron variant entering India and the apprehension about the prospects for the year. With the efficient vaccination drive and necessary preparations, as a nation, we should not only thank the Central and State Governments, healthcare institutions and the local administration authorities, but also take pride in the fact that we managed it well. The Union Budget presented on February 1, 2022, provided continuity in terms of fiscal policies and it was undoubtedly a growth oriented budget aimed at nation building, which set the tone for the rest of the year.
2022 was the year of healing, hope and optimism. While many of us in the corporate world are concerned about the global economic slowdown and inflationary pressure, across India we witnessed and continue to witness optimism. After having endured enormous pain including erosion of wealth, job losses, disruption in the educational system, hospitalisation, and bereavement of near and dear ones in 2020 as well as 2021 due to the pandemic, one did not expect economic recovery in such a fast pace. The unfortunate war between Russia and Ukarine also brought additional pain. Indians, urban and rural alike, with conviction and determination demonstrated rose to the occasion. In my view, this aspect alone defines our character in the 75th year of Independence!
Quite a few product categories have grown despite the input cost escalation and continuing supply chain disruptions. Traditional, modern, and digital retail formats showed resilience and continue to innovate and experiment and consolidate. Capex cycle is on and there is growth in construction. Production Linked Incentive Schemes for a few categories such as air conditioners and electronics have triggered manufacturing capacity expansion. In many product segments, under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat programme, massive indigenisation efforts are on. The malls, airports, hotels, and restaurants are overflowing with consumers, and with good agriculture output, rural consumption is reviving.
The corporate performance continues to be good, and recruitments are happening in a big way. Sensex ended with a growth of 4.48 per cent for the calendar year and the market capitalisation of all listed companies in BSE increased by 16.43 lakh crore.
That it is India’s decade is widely accepted by the stakeholders and the country assumed the G20 Presidency is indeed gratifying!
The author, B. Thiagarajan is Managing Director at Blue Star Ltd