Press Release

Stop Cribbing, Start Investing

18 May 2015

I have been thoroughly surprised and amused by the reactions of some of the senior corporate leaders on the first anniversary of the Narendra Modi government. The entire focus of many in Corporate India seems to be to extract endless supplies from the government. All that I have seen in the past few days is endless whining and cribbing by the stalwarts of the private sector. They seem keen that the government should do a lot more for them, their companies and their sectors. It is amusing that many of them have been at the forefront of all the complaining about the government expenditure on public welfare projects. They seem even more outraged by their inability to get freebies when welfare money is spent by the government for ordinary people. I disagree with their approach and focus.

The reality is that the Prime Minister and his team are painstakingly putting together the building blocks for the next wave of growth for the country. Success was never going to come quickly or easily. Regardless of how good this Prime Minister is and how inspiring his vision is for the country, the turnaround was just not going to happen overnight. India’s success story was never going to be crafted with a few big headlines. It requires intent, thoughtfulness and a determined effort. And, that is what I have seen from the government so far. In fact, the biggest driver of the country’s economic success will be the willingness and ability of the Indian private sector to make substantial investments for the long term. Private investment has to drive growth as much as government spending and policies. It is, therefore, disappointing to see the haste and impatience of the corporate sector, which expects a rapid turnaround even though it is just not doing enough to make that happen.It is clear to me that either you believe in the Prime Minister’s vision and the India growth story, or you don’t. And, if you do, the onus is as much on the business leaders to participate and drive growth rather than stay on the sidelines and wait for the government to score all the goals. The opportunity to invest exists across sectors. If any business leader is investing for the long term, she will see a landscape with tremendous opportunities. If corporate leaders are able to look beyond the easy paths, many exciting stories are waiting to be written.In fact, if there is any complaint that I have about the Prime Minister, it is that he has not cajoled and pushed the corporate sector to invest more. At Star, we believe in his vision and in India’s growth story. And, we are backing our belief with action. We are making big investments in India and across the breadth of all our businesses. We are attempting to transform and invigorate India’s sports landscape. In our acquisition of Maa, we see a new growth avenue. And in Hotstar, we see the opportunity to shape the future of digital India. Each requires substantial investments and a lot of persistence and hard work. And, we are willing to do that. I just wish some of my peers would do a bit more and complain a lot less.  The author is chief executive officer of Star India
Source: Business World
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