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“India needs its Thatcher moment” warns Gurcharan Das, expert keynote speaker

Gurcharan DasGurcharan Das, an expert keynote speaker on Indian economic development, recently wrote in the Financial Times that Modi needs to give India its Thatcher moment and initiate institutional reforms.

Gurcharan guides the reader through his own reasons for why he voted for Modi. After weighing the risks of choosing a “sectarian leader who might undermine secularism,” and who has also been argued to be “authoritarian,” Gurcharan “concluded that there was a greater risk in eschewing Mr Modi than in voting for him.” This follows the promises Modi made to change the way India is run, “by investing in infrastructure and skills training; cutting red tape to encourage private investment; eliminating unproductive subsidies; and tackling corruption.”

Gurcharan goes on to argue that India “is a discontented and politically troubled nation, similar in some ways to Britain in the late 1970s with high inflation, declining growth, high fiscal deficits and a government in denial. Britain yearned for a strong leader then, and in Mrs Thatcher it got one. In Mr Modi Indians, too, have chosen a strong leader.”

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To book Gurcharan as a speaker, please contact our Managing Partner, Leo von Bülow-Quirk, at or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8000

Modi’s election “most significant event of 2014” argues John Hulsman

Writing for City A.M., Dr John Hulsman, a prolific foreign affairs commentator, analyses why Modi’s election is the most important political event of the year, and what this means for investors.

Having predicted Modi’s huge win and importance for over a year, John notes that Modi will be the first Indian leader to be able to form a single party government since 1984. Consequently this “amounts to nothing less than a revolution, a political sea change for the most populous democracy on earth, with huge promise for the world’s investors.”

John goes on to outline Modi’s to-do list:

  1. Crack down on corruption, and quickly.
  2. Renew the link of the governing with the governed.
  3. Tame the dragon of inflation.
  4. Most importantly, reignite India’s world-beating growth rates of the past.

As India looks to Modi to bring about economic revival, John suggests that “investors should look at India in this fashion: even given the corrupt, inefficient government of the past decade, India still managed to grow at 4.5 per cent. Imagine what it can do with more efficient, honest, pro-business people in charge?”

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For information on John’s speaking availability, please contact our Managing Partner, Leo von Bülow-Quirk, at or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8000

James Crabtree: “India looks to Modi for economic revival”

James Crabtree, Mumbai Bureau Chief of The Financial Times, warns that now comes the hard part, as a landslide win puts pressure on Modi as Indians seek economic revival.

With Modi on course to win around 336 seats in the Lok Sabha, India’s parliament, and now “unencumbered by the limitations of coalition government, India now has a rare opportunity to shed its status as the laggard of major developing economies.”

James noted that progress will be awaited with particular interest among India’s heavily indebted industrial conglomerates, many of whom contributed generously to Mr Modi’s election, and will want something in return.

He goes on to argue that Modi will want to amend India’s reputation abroad too, as “anxious foreign investors want reassurances… notably on tax policy, where a spate of global businesses have become entangled in rows with revenue officials.”

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Ruchir Sharma: “A Reagan-Volcker Moment for India”

In a recent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Ruchir Sharma, Head of Emerging Markets at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, asks that whilst Narenda Modi appears set to win a sweeping election victory, can he break inflation and restore growth?

With Raghuram Rajan now heading the central bank of India, and Modi offering a message of “better days ahead,” Ruchir notes that the current “circumstances are strikingly similar to those in America in 1980, after Paul Volcker took over the Federal Reserve and Ronald Reagan won the presidency—with few black votes.”

Ruchir argues that as such India now stands at its Reagan-Volcker moment, if Modi can master a few Reaganesque traits. These should include firmly backing the central banker Rajan, facing up to the key challenge of deregulation, and working on his image as a uniter.

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For information on Ruchir’s speaking availability, please contact our Managing Partner, Leo von Bülow-Quirk, at or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8000

“Never trust an Indian exit poll” warns James Crabtree

James Crabtree, Mumbai Bureau Chief of the Financial Times, recently reported on reliability of the election exit polls, after they appeared to suggest that Narendra Modi seems set to become India’s next prime minister.

James notes that the exit polls chime broadly with evidence from pre-election opinion surveys, arguing that “the charismatic Mr Modi has dominated the campaign from the start with his promises of an economic revival and his mockery of Congress leaders such as Rahul Gandhi.”

However, he goes on to warn that “analysts also cautioned that India’s exit polls needed to be treated with caution following notoriously inaccurate predictions before the last two national elections in 2004 and 2009.”

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India’s new voters: we are connected

Check out this article on India’s new voters in the latest issue of The Economist, which argues that rapid social change and assertive voters will improve Indian democracy.

With commentary coming from speakers such as Swapan Dasgupta and Gurcharan Das, it is believed that more demanding voters are emerging thanks to three intertwined trends: a youth bulge, urbanisation and rising incomes.

A particularly exciting statistic shows that over 100m voters have been added to the electorate since 2009 and that “turnout is usually about 60%, but could be higher—recent state elections show people unusually eager to vote.”

Click here for the full briefing.

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