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From the Centres and Institutes

Sovereign Digicoin: A Road Map for RBI

In July 2016, an editorial in this newspaper had queried, “Should RBI issue a new digital Bharatcoin?” and ended on a futuristic note encouraging policymakers and regulators to have a “discussion on Bharatcoin”. It is a testimony to the prescience of this newspaper that its early exhortation to explore the issue of Bharatcoin has found an echo in the report …

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Why Debt Waivers are Likely to Hurt Indian Farmers in the Long Run

Almost all political parties contesting ongoing UP assembly elections have promised a debt waiver for small farmers. A wide range of statistics from farmer suicides allegedly caused by indebtedness to low productivity of Indian agriculture are cited as compelling reasons that warrant a political intervention in agricultural debt contracts.Unfortunately , very few people are asking the question: Why did the …

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SMEs: Don’t Push Succession Under the Carpet

Ninety percent of the businesses in India are family owned. About 30% of the family businesses listed on the Indian bourses got listed post liberalization in 1991. The first generation founder would still be actively involved in most of these companies considering the average age at which entrepreneurs start a firm to be 40 and the average retirement age for …

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Entrepreneurs: Beware of the Marginal Thinking Trap

The notion is simple: an entrepreneur’s primary focus should be solving customer problems, rather than making products. The product is simply a means to an end.  Products will come and go, but customer needs will persist, and the benefits sought by customers will expand and grow. As such, making new and improved versions of the existing product is not what matters, but …

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Using Interoperability to Become Cashless

Debates in the aftermath of the government’s decision to withdraw high-value banknotes have reached fever pitch. In the public discourse on Facebook and Twitter, arguments have usually taken colour from the political affiliation of the commenter; in more hallowed debates among policy wonks and economists, the views appear to be sharply divided on whether the withdrawal will bring net benefits …

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Is MGNREGA Destroying Factory Jobs?

As Budget Day draws near, economic policy makers in the country are likely to shift their attention to the allocation of funds to various programmes planned for the upcoming year. MGNREGA is one such programme. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which aims to provide at least 100 days employment to the rural unemployed and underemployed by engaging …

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An Open Book-Transparency Matters in Family Business

Recent developments on the Vijay Mallya saga have left more questions than answers on the extent of transparency that our corporates preach and claim to practice. Discussion on the need for transparency and governance in family businesses is nothing new. Conventionally, concerns of minority shareholders, systemic fragility and the cascading impact on the economy that opacity of firms create make …

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Note To Entrepreneurs: Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast

The best of strategies are unlikely to succeed without the support of an appropriate organizational culture. As Peter Drucker said, culture eats strategy for breakfast. Entrepreneurs who find initial success in the marketplace often emphasize that innovation is a priority for their fledgling company, and even point to specific strategies to ensure continuous innovation, to help prevent copycats and “second-but-better” products entering …

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Bet on the Jockey, Not the Horse

Entrepreneurial ideas are abundant,but entrepreneurs who can execute ideas in the face of difficult odds are uncommon Steve Jobs once said, “To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.” Jobs’ comment has been recounted by many over the years, to emphasize the fact that ideas are cheap, and what really matters is execution. …

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Resolving Financial Bankruptcies: A Case of Government Overreach?

The Indian finance ministry recently put up a draft Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill for public comments. The Bill proposes to establish a comprehensive framework for resolution of financial firms (founded on the premise that bankruptcy of a financial firm can have implications that go beyond the firm’s shareholders and extend to its consumers and, at times, to the …

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