Anecdotes BookExcerpt

The Fearless Modi

Lalit Modi is in the news lately for his challenges to the establishment.

Check out his latest tweet:


As a history buff,I am reminded of another fearless Modi-Lalit Modi’s grand father Rai Bahadur Gujarmal Modi :

“Gujarmul-ji was a fearless man.Once, a delegation from the sugar industry wanted to meet Morarji Desai when he was Prime Minister.Gujarmal-ji lead the delegation.

When the delegation went to meet Morarji-bhai,he,as was his habit,started preaching.Before he could finish, Gujarmul-ji started interrupting him.This went on for some time.Morarji-bhai continued in his inimitable style.

Gujarmul-ji then said, ‘Mr.Prime Minister,we have not come to meet Morarji-bhai.We have come to meet the person who is occupying the Prime Minister’s chair.We bow to the chair.So long as you are sitting in this chair we bow to you.Once you leave this chair we will never come to meet you’

Morarji-bhai found his match in Gujarmul-ji and fell quiet”

-from KK Birla’s autobiography “Brushes with History



Jim Rogers on Modi and India

How do you rate the performance of the new government under Narendra Modi?

Jim Rogers: So far, Modi does not seem to have produced results, which we all expected him to do. He said a lot of wonderful things, but so far nothing has happened, other than a lot of public relations.

Do foreign portfolio investors share your view? What is the mood among these investors because their inflows have slowed in the last two months?

The mood about India is still somewhat exuberant because Modi is still very popular since the last elections. But some people have begun to worry about how long this honeymoon period will go on.

Modi has not done much to change the economic outlook of India. People are waiting to see when Modi is going to change its economic policy, or start opening up India to the outside world. The expectations are very high because Modi at some point of time has to come up with some concrete proper actions.

How do you see emerging markets like India getting impacted from the U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike?

Emerging markets will be impacted by the interest rate hike. Last year, it scared lot of people, including the best of the emerging markets, when the tapering of quantitative easing was announced. When the market goes down by a fair amount, central banks will panic, and they will say “Don’t worry, we will help you.” Yes, it’s going to affect everybody, especially the emerging markets.

So, what are you buying these days?

I am buying stock index in India, stock index in Russia. I am long on fertilisers and agriculture commodities as I expect prices to go up. I am overweight on the U.S. dollar. I am overweight on Japanese blue chips as pension funds there are adjusting their portfolios. I am overweight on China as the government is emphasising its economic plans for the next 20 years.


from ET


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