Worst of times can also be the best of times, says Anand Mahindra

Worst of times can also be the best of times, says Anand Mahindra
Anand MahindraBCCL
  • Inflation can provide a minimum threshold of returns on productive assets, said Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra.
  • A fall in Rupee value can boost India’s export competitiveness, he said in his AGM speech.
  • India can be the balance against China, said Mahindra, who believes our country can gain from the vacuum created by the global supply chain disruption.
  • “In the private sector, job creation is happening mainly at the lower end of the gig economy. We need to boost manufacturing.’
  • Read more from Mahindra’s AGM speech.
All that the RBI governor Shaktikanta Das was worried about in the monetary policy on Friday morning, became ‘positive’ cues for M&M chairman Anand Mahindra as he addressed the annual general meeting of Mahindra & Mahindra, in the afternoon.

Inflation, Mahindra, agrees is a concern but it can nevertheless provide a minimum threshold of returns on productive assets.

“It enables a businessman to take more risks because inflation ensures that investing in

the present is cheaper than that in the future. It further makes businesses more attractive vs passive investments, thus attracting capital. If it does not spin out of control, inflation can be the ally of growth,” he said in his speech.

The export advantage

Twitter’s favourite businessman, as he is called, also said that the Rupee was overvalued and ‘finding its own level’ was inevitable. As it fell, it boosted export competitiveness, which has grown 25% year-on-year.


The war has disrupted the global supply chain, but at the same time, it is restructuring. As the sourcing diversifies, India will be the top gainer, and the domestic manufacturing could take off.

As the world unshackles itself from China, a vacuum has been created. Many countries will rush to fill it too.

“That is India's cue. We can be the balance against China. We can be the new player in the supply chain. The situation is rife with opportunities. We have but to seize the day,” Mahindra says.

Gig jobs are not enough

However, he also points out gaps that India has to fill to take advantage of these opportunities. The most important of these is jobless growth, as Indian unemployment hovers around 7-8%, as per CMIE data.

He spoke of the suffering of young men and women who suffer the most from joblessness, who are his biggest followers on Twitter. Mahindra who engages with most of the people who comment or tag him on various issues believes that a country with the largest youthful population might dip into unrest if this problem is not solved.

“In the private sector, job creation is happening mainly at the lower end of the gig economy - drivers for Uber, delivery for Zomato, that sort of thing. This is not nearly enough. To create jobs on a mass scale and to take advantage of the global factors that are moving in our favour - we must boost manufacturing,” he said in his speech.

He ended his speech by quoting British writer Charles Dickens, without the horror that Dickens is known for. These are the best of the times, these are the worst of times – the first lines of The Tale of Two Cities.

“But depending on how you look at it, these can be the best of times,” he concluded.

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