Breakthrough deal in education relations of India and Australia.
The Melbourne Business School at the University of Melbourne has announced a partnership with India’s top business school – the Indian School of Business (ISB).
Now, this partnership will give MBA students a truly global perspective of emerging business trends.
As part of the collaboration between the two schools, Executive MBA and Senior Executive MBA cohorts from Melbourne Business School will undertake immersion modules at ISB’s Hyderabad campus (pictured).
This is a brilliant deal and will contribute to the India-capability of Australian executives.
Art in both traditional and contemporary form is alive and thriving in India, judging by a beautiful exhibition at the Melbourne Museum.
Sutr Santati curated by Lavina Baldota of the Abheraj Baldota Foundation is worth seeing for the quality and innovation of the objects, which is matched by the display which adds to the beauty.
I was enthralled – but when I saw the great Mahatma Gandhi featured in one of the pieces, I just stopped and admired the way this exhibition pays homage to the history of free India and yet celebrates modern innovation.
It made me realise that it is only a little over 75 years when India had some of the finest FREEDOM FIGHTERS in the history of human struggle to be free.
Make sure you see this soon!
Celebrating 75 years of India’s independence, Sutr Santati showcases 75 hand-woven textiles created by contemporary Indian designers.
In May 2023, Melbourne Museum welcomes international exhibition Sutr Santati: Then. Now. Next. Stories of India woven in thread. Conceived and curated by Lavina Baldota of the Abheraj Baldota Foundation, the exhibition brings together diverse textile traditions of the country, conceived and created by some of its most prominent artisans, craftspeople and designers.
Sutr Santati means ‘continuity of thread’ in Hindi. As the exhibition title, it is a metaphor for ongoing dialogues in Indian culture and society, which shape its evolution, bridging the past with the future. The exhibition’s curatorial vision seeks to promote the ideals of organic and slow consumerism in reflecting India’s identity and the inherent collective, collaborative efforts which are required to push towards such goals.
The themes, techniques and materials of specially commissioned fabrics in the exhibition are viewed through the lens of innovation. In doing so, they reinforce the value of fabric – an important legacy of Indian independence – to define the country’s contemporary artistic landscape, and to push its creativity into the future.
Heartiest congratulations to Lynley Crosswell, CEO, Museums Victoria, and Rohini Kappadath, General Manager, Immigration Museum – you have given us a special opportunity to gain insights into India.
Only 8% of Indian households own a car – so big growth is ahead
INTO INDIA has consistently said India is the growth story of this century.
Now Anish Mathew, CEO and CIO of the very successful Sundaram Asset Management Singapore Pte Ltd, has found a unique way to describe why India is indeed THE growth story.
6 big changes in India
The number of income tax filers has increased by 57.5% between FY15 and FY21. This is obviously the impact of the growing use of Aadhar (biometric unique identity card) as the preferred KYC document and the implementation of GST, both of which is pushing up the tax compliance in the country.
Indirect (GST) tax base stood at 14mn in November 2022, a 2.3x increase from mid 2017.
Number of PAN cards (unique tax identity number issued by the Income Tax Department) allotted has increased by 2.5x in the last 7 years.
80% of the railway tracks were electrified as of end FY22 as compared to 31% in FY11.
Road infrastructure measured in number of kilometres has increased by 36.6% in the last 11 years.
Major port capacity has nearly doubled in the last 8 years.
5 reasons growth will boom
Only 8% of the households owned a car, 24% an air conditioner and 38% a refrigerator.
Only 1% of Indians account for 45% of all flights.
Only 3% of Indians make up all unique card holders.
Only 2.6% of Indians invest in mutual funds.
The Indian diaspora remitted USD 100bn into the country in 2022, eclipsing the gross FDI flow during the same period.
Mathew advises that the three big growth drivers for the next decade are consumption (driven by the Demographic Dividend and rising incomes); manufacturing, and; digitisation (which is the formalisation of the Indian economy)
He makes a powerful case for investment and trade with India.
India’s “north east region” has long been neglected and is little known among western leaders – but it has a crucial future because of the role it can play in India’s strategic and commercial connectivity in the surrounding region.
The role of China in the Indo-Pacific increases the focus on this sensitive region.
India is now giving the NER priority – there are around 30 major road and highway links under construction, a complex process when border crossings are involved. There are also around 10 major railway construction projects including bridges and new lines.
This has been so well described by Sreeparna Banerjee and Ambar Kumar Ghosh, “India’s Northeast: Gateway to Connectivity with Eastern Neighbours,” ORF Occasional Paper No. 395, March 2023, Observer Research Foundation.
India’s northeast consists of eight states—Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Sikkim, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Nagaland. It shares 5,812 km of international boundaries with the neighbouring countries of Myanmar, China, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. It is landlocked; seven of the eight states are linked to the rest of India only through the Siliguri Corridor in North Bengal—a narrow strip of land (22-km wide) that is also called the ‘Chicken’s Neck’. The corridor is flanked by Nepal in the north and Bangladesh in the south.
This region can serve as a pivotal connecting space between India and its neighbours to the east in South Asia, as well as to East and Southeast Asia and beyond, enhancing the country’s diplomatic, infrastructural, and commercial engagements.
India’s foreign policy priorities, reflected in its ‘Act East’ and ‘Neighbourhood First’ policies, also bring the northeast into focus as a connectivity gateway to the wider Indo-Pacific.
Japan, with its long-standing expertise in the infrastructure sector, continues to play a significant role in developing physical connectivity projects within and across the northeast.
Australia shares many of the strategic goals of India, and now through the QUAD (India, Australia, Japan and USA) the countries are closer together through their commitment to democracy, open and free cultures and more.
The focus on this region will continue – India is crucially positioned within South Asia and in the broader Bay of Bengal region. It needs to play a more vibrant role in the region, and to do so, must engage more strongly with its East and Southeast Asian neighbours.
“India much more straight-forward long term story than China” – Christopher Wood, Equities Analyst, Jefferies
For business and investment, India is now a more straightforward, long-term option than China.
But it is really smart to think BOTH India and China, not one or the other.
The equity strategists are saying it. All the trade commentators are saying get your product or service into India – now.
One equity analyst, Christopher Wood, the global head of equity strategy at Jefferies, said in the latest edition of his immensely popular newsletter to investors called ‘GREED & fear’: “India remains a much more straightforward long-term story than China, which is why GREED & fear has 39 percent of the Asia ex-Japan long-only portfolio, long-term in its focus invested in India and “only” 25 percent in China.”
INTO INDIA points to the incredibly high number of young Indians coming through – called the demographic dividend” – as the big reason to be there.
Time to begin or upgrade with an Indian investment and market entry strategy?
The level of honesty in this new memoir, “Dirty Little Secrets” by Nandita Chakraborty, is at times confronting but always refreshing in a genre where so many writers gloss over the difficult parts.
There is no glossing over. This memoir tells it all. It is brave, meaning she is brave, and she will need to be for the future, as this memoir reports. The book includes accounts of being scammed by a man she “loves” but has never physically met. At first this is hard to understand, but gradually we can see how scammers have the ability to trap us.
It is finally a painful story of the quest for love, the yearning for relationship and the impact of a serious climbing fall, leaving the author with acquired brain injury.
The writing style makes the text more powerful – there is no attempt at embellishment or covering up – the style is direct and allows the reader to make up their own mind.
This is also a story about India and Australia. About the different lives of both countries and of the tough times that migrants experience – not the least being their distance from family and the security of home.
This adventurer has left everything behind. Not surprising, then, that the adventurer stumbles again and again.
Her biggest stumble is found in her lasting views that “love is instant” and that “love conquers everything” – both of which leave her vulnerable to some of the nastiest men you will meet in literature.
But for all that, meeting Nandita is to be in touch with joy, smiles, laughter and the spirit that a good life is ahead.
I for one am looking forward to the second instalment.
INTO INDIA was super pleased to see that Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Penny Wong, has appointed Ms Swati Dave as the inaugural Chair of the Advisory Board to the Centre for Australia-India Relations (CAIR).
By all talks, the CAIR is going to be the new epicentre of Australia’s broad relationship with India.
It can take things to a new level. Much needed.
CAIR will open some time this year and will serve as a national platform to further strengthen our relationship with India.
Why is this such a strong appointment?
Ms Dave is currently Deputy Chair of the Asia Society Australia and as a member of the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations’ Advisory Board. She is also an Investment Committee member for QIC Global Infrastructure. Ms Dave has more than 30 years’ of experience in finance and banking across a range of sectors in both domestic and international markets.
She is the right person to guide the relationship to a higher level.
We need much more guidance on business relations, cross-cultural understanding and a broader cultural engagement with India. INTO INDIA has long called for more Australian investment in India -investment is a powerful basis for future trade.
CAIR will apparently work closely with the Australia India Council (AIC) and the Australia India Institute (AII).
Australia and India – stepping up with CAIR to a new, stronger relationship.
PM Narendra Modi – India’s most international leader
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India is one of the globe’s outstanding and well recognised leaders.
No coincidence, given he is probably the most outward looking of India’s PM’s and is pushing hard for his vision of a modern and connected India.
India’s Presidency of the G20 this year will greatly add to Modi’s credentials.
But what will the year ahead show us? “More Modi” is the probable answer.
In India ten states and territories are due to hold elections this year in what will tell us more about how Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dominant Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national government will fare in elections likely in 2024.
The BJP is in full or coalition government in five of these regional governments which will hold elections throughout the year starting in February.
The BJP runs 11 states in total and five more in coalition governments.
So how about the Congress Party? The once dominant Congress Party only runs three states and three more in coalitions.
Other parties run eight states suggesting one possible disturbing long term outcome – some untidy form of cooperation between the Congress and others.
This year will tell us a lot and most think the BJP grip will continue.