Market Follower Despite Strengths

Updated: Dec 23 2002, 05:30am hrs
The occasion was an awards ceremony for the countrys best chief financial officers (CFOs). Last years winner was overheard chatting with a jury member who headed a large financial institution at one time. While praising the members various achievements, the CFO wondered why his organisation was always a follower instead of a market leader despite its strengths.

The gent, who today is an important regulator, replied that they (the government) moved him from a job he knew well to one he has no idea of. All he needed was another year at the financial institution to make it a market leader but, in any case, the problem was not Mumbai, but Delhi. Can one bank on this statement

Costly Marketing
At a time when the A K Antony government is tightening its belt to get out of the fiscal mess Kerala finds itself in, this one stands out in contrast. The state government has allotted a budget of over Rs 23 crore for making next months Global Investors Meet a grand success. However, the organisers are now a worried lot as what is left with them is a paltry Rs 2 crore or so. According to insiders, the rest has been spent on marketing the investment abroad and the jumbo marketing team that toured the world comprised most ministers and top state government officials!

At a conference on globalisation, a slide depicted various countries strengths in areas such as defence, education, research and financial services. A plus sign denoted strength and a minus sign dearth. Not only did China get a strange + for its collapsing financial infrastructure, the host country, Indias, defence and education research stats were gloriously hidden in the microphones shadow. Mercifully so, was the response of the rather embarrassed professor.