Hyderabad Blues

9 11 2010

On November 2, most newspapers in Hyderabad carried the news about the dismal performance (21 all out) by the Hyderabad cricket team in a Ranji match against Rajasthan. Debutant medium pacer Deepak Chahar ripped through the batting line-up to give Hyderabad the dubious distinction of scoring the lowest ever score in the 70 + years of Ranji trophy history.

This is almost symptomatic of the lows the city has been experiencing for the last two years.

Last year just after the Satyam scandal broke out I wrote a piece called Brand Hyderabad in Tatters. Things have not got better for Hyderabad. If anything, it has got worse.  

The untimely death of the Chief Minister YSR in a helicopter accident in September 2009 was perhaps the start of a political and administration decline in the state. Although, the Congress government remains firmly in saddle, the current Chief Minister hardly inspires any confidence in comparison to the charismatic CMs of the immediate past like YSR or Chandrababu Naidu.

The Telangana agitation has gathered momentum since end 2009 and the city has experienced repeated bandhs and tension is palpable in the city during important dates such as November 1st, the AP formation day. Many investments in the city have been put on hold waiting for the decision of the Justice Srikrishna committee which is expected to release their report in December 2010.

The SKS Microfinance IPO, a Hyderabad HQ co, was a major success. But, instead of paving the way for many Hyderabad microfinance companies to go for an IPO, there are huge controversies surrounding the entire microfinance business. SKS has only left a bitter after-taste in the mouth. SKS once again puts a taint on the Hyderabad brand.

The uncertainty about the future of the city has led to many investments moving away from the city. There are huge vacant spaces in the Hi-tech city and in the commercial hubs. Hyderabad had the largest number of IT-SEZs approved. Majority of these projects are in limbo.

In IT , Hyderabad’s loss has been the gain of Chennai and Bengaluru. In the case of pharmaceutical industries, many investments have moved to the Vizag the pharma city. Inspite of a automobile boom in the country, there is no automobile industry in the state. Hyderabad just remains a big consumer of cars and two-wheelers.  Not only investors have fled, the students of engineering , MBA, MCA have also decided to move out of the state in droves to join colleges in the neighboring states.

In the last one year, opening up of the India office of Facebook is perhaps the only major new foreign investor coming towards the city. Whereas, in terms of policy, nothing major has changed, the perception about the city and the state has changed for the worse.

One indicator of  how the city is perceived can be made out by the fact that the US President Barack Obama has given Hyderabad a miss unlike his predecessors Bill Clinton and George W Bush.It appears it is no longer a hot destination for US businessmen.

Hyderbadis can take inspiration from their Hyderabadi sport stars Saina Nehwal and VVS Laxman, who have demonstrated great strength of character in the playing field, that you can always come back from behind. Being down is not being out.

– G. Mohan




One response

15 11 2010
Rajan Alexander

For Micro-Finance survival, they need to muzzle their Spin Doctors and listen more to their High Priest

A string of suicides in Andhra Pradesh that put micro-finance under the spotlight, triggered a backlash because of which, MFIs found themselves reduced to fighting for their basic survival. No surprise here to find a variety of spin-doctors functioning as their apologists, fending off and neutralising any criticism that the industry faces currently, almost oblivion to the fact their support is to a slow sinking Titanic. Two of the most significant spins in this debate are those related to suicides and interest rate. In this post, we bust these spins.

“I believe in Schumpeterian creative destruction. Its time has come. The present MFI model has to go…. It wasn’t just about giving loans. It was also about creating livelihood mechanisms, which would build capacity among the poor to repay their loans easily, and leave them better off than before”

This is Economic Times quoting Vijay Mahajan, considered the high priest of Indian microfinance suggesting that either MFIs change their business models or go bust.

Read more: http://devconsultgroup.blogspot.com/2010/11/for-micro-finance-survival-they-need-to.html

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