Where is growth?
The mobile was ringing, suddenly phone was picked and the statement – wait! Mumbai Indians needs only 5 runs to win in last 6 balls. I said ok Sir I will call you in five minutes. The turmoil of thoughts continued in my mind. What am I thinking, what are the questions in my mind, so many things how do I connect all these dots etc. Mumbai Indians eventually won, Prof Mankad informed me in next five minutes.
We started talking – the market is steady, if not bull than not bear too. Indian Prime minister and Finance minister both are making statement that “We are going to grow at 6.9% if not at 8%”. Still, there is some uncomfortable feeling. I told Prof Mankad, “Sir I am not convinced. Further to it I said – news is Facebook is licensing the AOL patents – owned by Microsoft now – for close to 550 million. Next thing which I forgot to ask him was – news of bribing in Mexico by senior executive of Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart was running behind growth – sometimes in 90’s – and got in this trouble recently when the case was surfaced. I further added that Italy and Spain are showing -ve growth (to be precise signs of recession), where is growth?
As always these questions were simple to answer for Prof Mankad. What he said very closely resembled to my thinking of inclusive growth. He said – hold your horses, the questions are right, this growth is notional and specific to IT and finance industry, largely to few services industries so to speak. The questions are pertinent, sir said. If I remember correctly he also informed me that Italy not only Spain has declared recession, French election would surely put more light on the already tough Euro crisis. Sarkozy is likely to lose, and then there are more elections coming up in Europe e.g. Germany etc. Political parties in Holland have agreed on austerity measures. Growth would happen and thus recession would be arrested only once we see growth in all the industries otherwise we are in a bad shape. It is not possible to say that we are growing at so and so rate when only one or two industries are showing signs of growth.
This reminded me of my most loved theory of the Buddha – Interdependent Co-arising. I have written on this often and the current situation shows us yet once again that we are all connected, nothing can be isolated and growth is a collection of small growth in each industry. Each industry is a building block for the overall movement of the engine of economy world across (with few riders). No China can survive without US or Europe, no India or Philippines can grow its service industry until there is overall growth in the demand of service industry in developed nations.
Where is growth? There would be growth when we all learn that we need to think about each other and help each other grow – we are all interdependent and we would successfully grow only when we grow together.