"I am delighted to be here at the Hyderabad Management Association’s 46th Annual Awards Function.
I am happy to know that a number of managers, entrepreneurs, technocrats and business persons are being honored here today for their stellar contributions to industry and commerce.
At the outset, let me congratulate each one of the achievers for exceptional accomplishments in their chosen fields.
My dear Sisters and brothers,
Today, India is home to the fastest growing economy in the world. The latest report of the World Bank has mentioned that Indian economy grew by 7.2 per cent and that it is expected to grow by 7.5 per cent in the next two fiscal years.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) too forecast that India would continue to be the world's fastest growing major economy and that India’s growth rate would touch 7.5 per cent by 2020. The report highlights India as the bright spot amidst the otherwise bleak global economic growth prospects.
We have improved our global ranking on most economic indices. Today we are ranked 77th on Global Ease of Doing Business ranking.
As you all are aware, former Prime Minister, late Shri P V Narasimha Rao initiated the liberalization of the Indian economy in the early nineties. It gained momentum under the leadership of late Shri A B Vajpayee, who had ushered in a connectivity revolution giving a huge impetus to the economy.
Now, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has initiated a series of economic and administrative reforms from tackling the menaces of corruption and black money to ensuring that the fundamentals of the economy remain strong.
Thanks to these reforms, India has emerged as a top destination for investments in the world.
There is a need to further accelerate reforms as India forges ahead to become the third largest economy in the coming years.
India is today one of the favourite destinations for investments and has become the most attractive emerging market.
According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), FDI equity inflows in India in 2018-19 stood at US$ 44.37 billion, indicating that government's effort to improve ease of doing business and relaxation in FDI norms is yielding results. As per a report of UBS, annual FDI inflows in the country are expected to rise to US$ 75 billion over the next five years.
We are poised to become a US $ 5 Trillion economy in a decade.
Dear sisters and brothers,
Just recently, we have conducted the ‘largest festival of democracy’, the general elections 2019, in a peaceful and orderly manner. The people have made their choice with a resounding clarity and have voted for stability and continuity.
With a stable government at the centre, it is now up to us to ensure that the momentum of our growth is maintained and enhanced further. Backed by this buoyant growth, we must step up our relentless crusade against hunger, poverty, illiteracy and disease.
We must translate our economic growth into happiness for the masses through good health, education, employment, improved infrastructure and amenities.
One way to achieve this goal is through enlightened and efficient management practices both in the private as well as the public sector.
Dear sisters and brothers,
Managerial and leadership skills are crucial components of good governance. Take the case of GST, for past 17 years discussions were on and many doubts and apprehensions were expressed from time to time. Various State governments expressed fears that theirs powers would be taken away. Similar doubts were also expressed by corporate bodies and social groups.
The leadership and managerial qualities were best exemplified in the manner in which Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and former Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley negotiated all obstacles in the implementation of GST and put to rest all fears and doubts on the revolutionary tax reform.
In the 34 GST council meetings held not even once there was a voting, there used to be agreement and disagreement but all these were sorted out by the managerial skills of GST council Chairman Sri Jaitley
In all the sectors of the Indian economy, in both private and public sectors and in all walks of the society, there is a huge scope to enforce optimal utilization of resources and creative management practices.
I understand that the Hyderabad Management Association has members from the industry, business community, and academia, including students.
You must leverage the strength of the diversity and collective experience of your members to revolutionize the sphere of management. Bodies like the HMA must use management as a tool for transformation of the economy and the society.
Management as a discipline is not confined to the corporate sector. The scope of management studies should cover the rural economy, agriculture and allied industry and provide solutions to make these sectors viable and vibrant.
The principles of management are equally applicable in aspects of public administration. I hope you will look at applying them to a number of specialized areas, such as Entrepreneurship, Energy Management and Healthcare sector.
Every official in the bureaucracy must remember the face of the common man and strive to bring a smile on his face. The time also has come to rejuvenate the bureaucracy by introducing reforms in selection and cadre allocation and making in-service training mandatory for officials at all levels.
The performance management systems in the bureaucracy can be enhanced with greater focus on outcomes and by recruiting more young people into the system. It is also important to ensure that appointments to important positions are apolitical.
I strongly believe that the public and the private sectors in our country have to work to complement each other and to learn from each other’s experience. The public sector has to utilize the private sector’s expertise in technology, automation, digitization and the ease with which they adopt innovations and adapt quickly to the changing times. The private sector can learn from the best practices of some the reputed public sector organizations.
As matter-of-fact, management bodies like the HMA must serve as bridges connecting government, industry and academia. They must facilitate effective engagements and provide policy inputs to the government and aid in the implementation of these policies.
My dear sisters and brothers,
A company is not all about just profits, market valuations and turnovers; there is a lot that goes into building its position and image.
Strong principles of corporate governance must be the driving force of any company. The principles of transparency, integrity, ethics and honesty must be upheld at all times and must be reflected in every business activity.
At this crucial juncture of our development, we simply cannot allow scams, frauds, scandals to happen. Financial fugitives, who defraud shareholders and other stakeholders of a company, must be brought to justice before they seek safe havens in other countries.
Associations like yours must strive to help the corporate entities to be not only professionally competent but also responsible corporate citizens. The role played by the industry and corporates is of vital importance in protecting and preserving the environment. The principle of sustainable development should be at the core of every activity undertaken by a corporate entity.
We are witnessing the 4th industrial revolution which is driven by rapidly changing technology with cutting edge innovations such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Block Chain. We will have to manage technology driven changes in industrial processes and practices. Every change is potentially disruptive.
We have to control and manage this disruption. Hence we have to equip ourselves with knowledge and upgrade skills continuously.
My dear sisters and brothers,
We are also witnessing another type of disruption, which unfortunately is becoming increasingly commonplace. Our legislatures, instead of becoming effective forums of debate, are being reduced to ‘disruptive platforms’.
This growing tendency, in my view, is a clear negation of the vision of our Constitutional makers. In a way, it is an affront to the spirit of the Constitution of India. It is apathy towards the hopes and aspirations of the people. It is utter disregard for people’s mandate. It is a betrayal of the people’s faith in these pillars of democracy.
Dr. Ambedkar, with great foresight, had warned us almost 70 years ago when he said: “However good a Constitution may be, it is sure to turn out bad because those who are called to work it, happen to be a bad lot. However, bad a Constitution may be, it may turn out to be good if those who are called to work it, happen to be a good lot.”
It is a matter of concern that political discourse is reaching a new low in recent years. We should reverse this trend at the earliest. A credible opposition is an essential prop for a healthy democracy.
People in public life should understand that they are only rivals, not enemies. I have often been quoting Pranab Da’s mantra-- ‘Discuss, Debate and Decide but not Disturb’.
Functioning of our Parliament and State legislatures has become worrisome with more disruptive and dysfunctional tendencies.
People need to monitor the functioning of the legislatures and also the conduct of various parties and the elected representatives.
People elect their representatives hoping that they would articulate their hopes and aspirations in the legislatures and do the needful by way of making laws and raising issues of public importance so as to make a difference to their lives. Dysfunctional legislatures strengthen the demand for ‘recall of legislators’. I am afraid that we are moving towards that stage.
As Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, I have tried to be objective and judicious in my response to cases of violation of anti-defection laws. These cases, in my view, require to be dealt with speed and alacrity to uphold the best democratic traditions.
Election petitions and criminal cases against political leaders must be decided quickly by special benches of higher courts in a time-bound manner. If need be, separate benches may be setup to expedite such cases within six months or one year.
Similarly, the presiding officers of legislative bodies need to decide anti-defection cases within three months time.
I am convinced that our country has one of the best Constitutions in the world and we have, over the last 70 years, been translating its intent into policies and programmes.
We need to now focus on effective implementation and adopt a collaborative approach for speedy development, inclusive development and sustainable development.
Currently, the contribution of women to India’s GDP is 18 percent, one of the lowest proportions in the world, reflecting the fact that only 25 percent of India’s labor force is female. We have to re-write this story and organizations such as yours have a crucial role to play in changing this narrative.
You also need to sensitize companies about the need to follow an equal, unbiased and fair recruitment policy. Women all over the world have started shattering the glass ceiling.
India cannot afford to stay behind. We cannot reach the goals of progress we have set for ourselves unless we walk the path of inclusion and social justice.
I commend apex institutions such as All India Management Association and its affiliated institutions like the HMA for their dedicated service.
Let me once again congratulate all the award winners.
I wish the Hyderabad Management Association all the very best in its future endeavors.
Thank You-Jai Hind!"