What a year it’s been !

When the history books are written, the year 2016 will go down as the year that changed a heap of things, starting with the way we handled cash, or not.

But think back: earlier in the year, analysts had sounded the death knell for India’s IT sector, a sector which raised the country’s international profile apart from creating a huge support industry within the country. That was not the first time that the sector had been declared dead or dying but this time, it was declared to be the victim of technology. Technological changes, in the form of automation and the cloud etc were going to finish off the sector.

Indians, of course, have not been fazed by this gloomy prediction. Instead, companies, particulary IT companies in Pune, have seen this as a challenge. The thing about Pune’s homegrown IT companies is that they are numbers of small hence, agile and able to adapt quickly. They don’t have the huge numbers, the so-called bench, of the big companies and a large number of them are tech focused , not so deeply focused on the services sector.

There are other things happening in the tech space in Pune. International collaboration, particularly with Israeli companies is in the air, a work-in-progress kind of situation. Which will mean that this sector should be able to ride out this storm, too. And there is talk also of improving the quality of education/ training via this collaboration. Addressing this shortage or lack of skilled people able to rise to the challenge, is a national concern.
The news from the manufacturing sector has not been all that great in the past few months.

But earlier in the year, there was a good deal of promise that this sector, in Pune’s industrial belt would benefit from the government’s efforts at allowing private sector manufacturing for the defence sector. Major companies in the Pune region have always had a presence in this sector, although they have most of them kept a low profile over their contribution in this sector. Some of these contracts have yet to over materialise so the initial euphoria over the programme may have been premature. But that promise should materialise and that will definitely make a difference to the manufacturing sector. With the private sector taking more of a part in manufacturing, this will mean that updated equipment is a must and can work to its fullest potential. Researching websites such as https://www.tsinfa.com/hydraulic-press-machine/ for specific manufacturing equipment will help these companies deliver the products that they need to with quality at the top of the list.

The real estate sector, yet another labour-intensive sector, has had its usual ups and downs: from being gung-ho initially, it claimed to be facing a triple whammy by year’s end. The three factors the sector claimed would adversely affect them were the implementation of the new Regulator , the government’s decision to withdraw Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes and the coming of the GST. The logic for the withdrawal of the notes is easily understood since this is a sector largely dependent on cash. The two other, however, are likely to be upsetting for the sector if only because they are new and anything new is anathema to the old order.

These changes will cast long shadows and that’s what is in store for all of us in the new year: some of the overhang from this year plus some completely new scenarios. Let’s wish ourselves a Happy New Year!


Gouri Agtey Athale

Gouri Agtey Athale

Gouri Agtey Athale has been tracking Pune and its events for over three decades as a premier business journalist. She was till recently the Asst. Editor ( Pune Market ) for The Economic Times.
Gouri Agtey Athale

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