Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The sky is falling?

Cheif Vitalstatistix from the Asterix comics has only one mortal fear - That the sky will fall on his head tomorrow. 
It is this fear that he has been living with, and since tomorrow never comes, he and the rest of the famous gauls are all safe (except from the dreadful singing of Cacafonix).
Now, why are we talking of this gleeful chief now?
Every day for the last couple of months, I have been meeting people who are Indian (and a few foreign) personifications of the cartoon. No offense meant, but most of those people seem caught up in the 'recession' fever, much like the man on top of the shield is caught up on the sky falling over his head.
Now, it is not that there is no recession; but atleast in our part of the world, things are not as bad as they are put to be. 
Sure, some sectors have been hit, and there are going to be a few more that are going to be hit badly in the coming months. But then, is this something new to us? If we call India the IT capital of the world, or atleast the outsourcing capital of the world, we have already been through 2 'slowdowns' in the last ten years since the sector has started in the country.
In the year 2002, the chips were so down that large companies - both in the Silicon Valley and in India had to close down or turn to their BPO divisions to scrape through. But after the slowdown, we have had a speed up of unforseen proportions! Millions of people became millionaires on the stock market, and tens of millions of people suddenly became the 'hip and happening' IT crowd all across the country. If you were not in software, you were not fit to be a part of the marriage market anymore! Banks ran behind these guys and behind the infrastructure companies to give loans of unheardof capitalizations!
Anyway, like the old Red Indian saying, 'What goes up comes down' and the higher they jump, the harder they fall. If you think honestly, did people not know that this was going to come to a more realistic and stable phase? Are we fools enough to invest in the stock market when it was at 21000 expecting it to cross 50000 (many of us apparently were)? Some genuises gave predictions that the Indian stock market would cross 50000! God save India!!
There I go again!
Coming back on track, the recession is not actually a recession. Like the analysts say to appease their viewers, this is a 'correction', and something that needs to happen once in a while so that other sectors come to the fore. Nature's balance is a phenomenal thing, and if there are too many rats running around, the cat should be let out. (Bad analogy!! I Know; but you get the point don't you?)
Every other person I meet talks about the recession coming in and hitting his business! This is like a lovely story we read while we were kids. 
One guy had a sweet shop and was doing great business. With the money he earned, he sent his son to IIM-A, and during his vacation, the son went home. One day, while sitting at the shop, the son told the father - Dad, recession is coming, we need to cut costs and focus on our core competency. Let's not spend money, and wait till the recession tides over. Poor dad agreed with his IIM son, and stopped giving offers. He stopped advertising, and started turning off lights to save power. He reduced the number of sweets being made, and the display cases started looking drab and empty. Footfalls into the shop reduced and in a couple of weeks, business was terrible. Dad looked at son and said 'thank god that you warned me in advance; else I would have been doomed".
Strikes a chord, doesn't it? 
The sky is not falling! Recession or 'slowdowns' are a part of our economic radar, and if Warren Buffet can be confident of tiding this over after losing billions of dollars in the last few months, what are we?
Cheer up! Read a few Asterix comics if you'd like. As they don't say, The chief is not always right!

1 comment:

angelofdusk said...

definitely strikes a chord! thank god we're teachers!!