Showing posts from April, 2018

The forgotten caveats

The headline in the business standard reads : " India must grow at 18% to ensure jobs to growing workforce: World Bank ".   The article is based on the recent world bank report titled " Jobless Growth " under the south  Asia  economic focus series.  One  would  agree that 18%  growth  for a country of our size is not attainable . That being so, the headline implies that World Bank is saying that India cannot secure jobs to its  growing   workforce . Gloomy picture indeed. There is an element of certainty about the nice round number 18 which misleads a lay reader.  It is not so if one reads the actual report. The actual report has pushed in enough caveats to survive any close scrutiny about the number 18. The problem is, the report presents things in a way  that   make  newspapers pick up such headlines. That's a danger that any report writer should be wary about, and should factor in while  presenting  data to a lay reader.   To expand the debate, the

Mainstreaming block chain technology in international commerce

This post was originally published at The Hindu Business Line newspaper here Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), a concept of recording and sharing data across multiple data stores, or ledgers as they are popularly called, is an idea whose time has come. The concept of DLT was introduced through block chains in the famous paper by the elusive author known only as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. While the initial application was limited to crypto currencies, it didn’t take much time for the world to realise that the underlying technology of using distributed ledgers has multiple applications spanning various spheres. However, it is only lately that we are seeing actual implementation of the often discussed concepts. To cite an example of block chain application in mainstream commerce in India, we may look at the Trade Receivable Discounting System (TReDS) guidelines of the RBI, which sought to set up a system to ease the liquidity crunch for MSMEs by way of bill/invoice factoring in

Strategic manufacturing growth - tariffs and policy nudges

(This post was originally published at Swarajya magazine  India has become   world’s second largest   mobile phone manufacturer in the world after china. While there are reasons to cheer, there is also a feeling that we are at the screwdriver level technology when it comes to electronics hardware manufacturing. We bring in most of the components and assemble them here using screwdrivers. The critiques use the term screwdriver technology to deride such activities. What many of them miss is the fact that usually such screwdriver technologies are the stepping-stones to upper levels of value chain. And while at it, the millions who turn the screwdrivers have a job. During early 2000s I used to work in the engineering product development at an Indian firm. We designed the components in house, did all validation tests, and launched the products in the market. My skills

Commercial Blockchain application in mainstream commerce - An India Example

I have been a supporter of Blockchain technology (the keypin of crypto currencies) for long time now. I had blogged about the utility of secure open-ledger transactions  here and here . Blockchain applications can be extended to virtually a lot of fields and international trade is one of them. India is at decent level of technology application when it comes to blockchains, as opposed to the shoddy levels we display when it comes to AI and machine learning applications in public policy sphere. To cite a good example of blockchain application in mainstream commerce, we can look at the Trade Receivable Discounting System (TReDS) guidelines of RBI , which sought to set up a system to ease the liquidity crunch for MSMEs by way of bill/invoice factoring in the financial market for the supplies made to big corporates.  Blockchain technology behind MSME liquidity solution I shall briefly explain the simplified process under TReDS with an example (or see image below). Let's as