A 2020 Olympic - The Honest Truth By Ajit Dayal
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Investing in India - Honest Truth by Ajit Dayal
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23 AUGUST 2008

Now that China has proven to the world that it is possible to spend an obscene amount of money to build stadiums and buildings; use software to create fake fireworks; and use a playback singer to sing the Olympic welcome song - can India be far behind?

For decades, the Indian brain was obsessed by Pakistan. Everything Pakistan did, India could do better - and bigger. Sometime in the late 1990's there was a switch. India's political masters (actually, uh, do any exist?) were no longer obsessed with Pakistan. There was a new neighbour, China, which needed to be emulated.

So 2020 it is. That is the year when India wishes to host the Olympics. I am not sure what the Indian Olympic Committee has in mind but, based on recent travel experiences and on reading about the state of the Indian landscape, it is fair to say that India has what it takes to win the bid as host country.

We have the singing talent for sure. There must be a dozen TV shows that are trying to find the next singing sensations. The dance steps and the voices of these 10-year olds will certainly win us the support of the selection committee. And unlike China, India has a population that knows how to celebrate - with or without fake fireworks.

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And if for any reason the Left calls a national strike because the Indian Olympics were not hosted in their capital city of Beijing, the software companies can probably simulate the entire Olympic Games as if there was no strike. Who knows, some Indian company may earn the IPR (intellectual property rights for those of us not in synch with the new global language) for a new, virtual 20/20 Olympic Games.

But what if there is no strike by the Left and they actually begin to behave in a constructive manner? And they actually feel proud that India can do something better than China - like building nuclear power plants? What if the reds give the green light and signal a "go ahead"?

Does India have the stadiums to host all the games? And the places to stay for all the sports people and the visitors? Sure, not an issue.

There will be enough tracts of land which were cleared of one million trees and rice fields for the SEZ projects. By 2020, these SEZ projects will be failed entities taken over by the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR). For a nominal rent, the BIFR would allow the Indian Olympic Committee to rent these 220 SEZs and re-name them as Sports Entertainment Zones. Some of these can be SEZs can be used for the fields where the events can be hosted and some can be used for cities built of tents. All very eco-friendly and no NGO will call for a boycott of the Olympics.

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Swimming pools? That is the easiest part. The BMC is very good at ensuring that the streets of Bombay are flooded every monsoon. The additional construction in many parts of Bombay is taking place at the cost of a natural drainage system. The mangroves are being knocked down. The natural river outlets to the sea are being reclaimed. So, by 2020 the flood waters will be even higher - good for diving and good for Mr. Phelps' children to try and better his record of 8 gold medals. Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad are also contenders to host the swimming events.

All the 600 malls that are being built for the great Indian retail consumption story will also be empty - and owned by the BIFR. So, the BIFR can collect some more rent for allowing this space to be used as dorms with a shared bathroom service. They will all be air-conditioned but - in keeping with the eco-friendly nature of the Olympics - the air-conditioners will not be used. The real reason, of course, is that India will still be short of power in the year 2020 with 12 hour blackouts a fact of daily life. (Before you trip me here, there will be priority for power usage given to the servers that simulate the Olympic Games - just in case the Left parties call for a national strike.)

The 50 to 100 million square feet of commercial space being built for ITES and back-office companies will also be empty. Their open floor plans will be good for games like badminton, table tennis, archery, and shooting.

So, India can have a very eco-friendly Olympic in the year 2020. Think about it - the first Olympics were also run without power. And they had no grand stadiums and 5-star hotels for visitors and for the sportsmen. These luxuries like air-conditioning, sponsorships, and television rights are all the inventions of the demons of modern science and the wicked ideas of the multinationals.

While the world celebrates the handing over of the Olympic flag from Beijing to London (the host for the 2012 Olympics), the silent revolution will be when India wins the 2020 Olympics and - with great foresight - shows the world how to live in an eco-friendly environment.

By the way, if BIFR ever becomes a listed entity, buy the shares big time - and wait for the rental income to pour in. At current valuations of many of the listed companies that deal in unreal land grab schemes, BIFR may be more "real".

Suggested allocation in Quantum Mutual Funds
Quantum Long Term Equity Fund Quantum Gold Fund
(NSE symbol: QGOLDHALF)
Quantum Liquid Fund
Why you should own it: An investment for the future and an opportunity to profit from the long term economic growth in India A hedge against a global financial crisis and an "insurance" for your portfolio Cash in hand for any emergency uses but should get better returns than a savings account in a bank
Suggested allocation 80% 15% 5%

Disclaimer: Past performance may or may not be sustained in the future. Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, fluctuation in NAV's and uncertainty of dividend distributions. Please read offer documents of the relevant schemes carefully before making any investments. Click here for the detailed risk factors and statutory information"

Note: Ajit Dayal, the author is a Director in Quantum Information Services Private Limited and Quantum Asset Management Company Private Limited. Views expressed in this article are entirely those of the author and may not be regarded as views of the Quantum Mutual Fund or Quantum Asset Management Company Private Limited or Quantum Information Services Private Limited.

Mutual Fund Investments are subject to market risks. Please read the offer documents of the respective schemes before making any investments.


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