If India wins the World Cup… - Views on News from Equitymaster

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If India wins the World Cup…

Mar 21, 2003

This is not a title you would normally find on an equity related website, for what has cricket got to do with investing. One might assume that this is written by a cricket crazy fan who, even in normal trading hours, can’t think beyond the game. In a sense, this observation is true. But then, who in India can really say that he is not a fan of Sachin & Co (or Saurav & his boys)! Nothing binds India together more than this game of bat and ball. Cricket embodies the spirit of India and its people. Cricket in that sense has grown from a national pastime to becoming the mirror of the country’s hopes and expectations.

The zeal, the aggression and the mental toughness shown by the Indian team so far are reflective of the new generation of Indian go-getters. Not for them, the laid-back ‘goody’ image of yesteryears. India today wants to win and be counted. And so is true today for India Inc., as well as our politicians, students, policemen, lawyers, judges and a host of other service providers.

If we look around, Indian auto manufacturers are willing to take on the world, even as the domestic pharma companies are making progress in R&D. Indian software talent is now being widely recognised and the hotel majors are looking to expand beyond Indian shores. Oil companies too have slowly but surely started building assets in foreign countries. Services in banks and other financial institutions have improved quite a lot and even government companies are not far behind in upping their ante.

The change is evident even in our policy makers. So ministries are becoming more efficient, more projects are being pushed forward and infrastructure needs of the country are being addressed. Nowadays, we keep hearing of men in different fields making a difference often, be it in the government’s divestment process, or the men in charge of municipal corporations, or the election commissioners, or the judges who have stood up to be counted. Of course, on the flip side, India has the distinction of being the second most corrupt country in Asia, with red tape all around. But as Indians get more connected to the world, they are becoming even more aware of the potential that globalisation offers. This awareness of standing up and being counted is probably the biggest change in the Indian psyche.

So if India goes on to beat the mentally tough Aussies in the final, it will no doubt be a great cricketing achievement, but more importantly it will be a signal that the 1 bn Indian population is gearing itself to win. For long, Indian flashes of brilliance have been appreciated globally, but the will to succeed every time is yet to be seen. That ‘will’ would be put to test this Sunday at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, South Africa. Go India go!

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