Category Archives: India

India Budget 2014

For an aspiring nation with millions of youngsters its common to have lot of hopes on tomorrow (Achche Din). In India this year with a new government the expectations on the central budget were high which some say unrealistic.

In the preceding weeks when Prime Minister talked of bitter medicine to be given to the economy, I was looking forward to it so that the patient can be cured for good. Instead what we got yesterday was lot of rhetoric talk in the budget speech, 16,536-word to be precise but little of substance or anything new. We were given No medicines, only prayers on lips.

Following were the good points I could see in Budget 2014:

Brands can operate their own e-commerce portals. Hope this paves way for Apple, Dell & other branded products are sold from their own portals like rest of the world.
  1. Rs.500cr on developing 5 tourist circuits (feels like pittance but still welcome)
  2. Rs.10,000cr on a start-up venture fund (I wish to dream it be like Singapore’s Temasek)
  3. Rs.100cr each on  Solar park projects, execute ultra-mega solar projects
  4. Govt. move to ebiz portals for all clearances

I was disappointed on the following two being left out:

1. Though it was talked about no reversal of the Retrospective Tax act.  This infamous act was accused by UPA critics to have been brought in particular to target Vodafone

2. No tough measures. No labour law reforms or subsidy cuts. I hope it will not be status-quo for another 5 years

Electoral victory is a (political) capital with diminishing returns every day. The new Government will do good to remember it in coming months.

Update 15th July 2014:

Like previous years this too Indo-American Chamber Tamil Nadu branch has organized a post budget analysis event. The keynote speech was by Mr.Gopal Srinivasan, CMD of TVS Capital Funds Ltd.

Mr.Srinivasan summarised his take on the union budget eloquently as a Test Match, not a 20-20 cricket with Modi’s government playing for the long term 5-10 years. He felt the focus on government seems to be on job creation. He was appreciative of Modi government embracing lot of the policy initiatives started by the previous government, which is a welcome departure in India.


Mr.Rajat Mehta of HSBC Bank & Mr.N.Muralidharan of E & Y highlighted on the below points of budget:

  • Foreign fund managers if they reside in India doesn’t change the fund status which is a welcome move to attract best finance talent to India
  • Banks can issue Infrastructure bonds with lesser reserve restrictions
  • Disinvestment targets are double of last year which is ambitious and something previous government could never get it done
  • Advance tax ruling benefits extended for domestic companies for domestic transactions, rules of which are expected to be notified when finance bill gets passed

Nobody Can Love You More

Yesterday I begun to read this book “Nobody Can Love You More” by Mayank Austen Soofi. Its about the Life in Delhi’s Red Light District. Wait… It is not a directory of services at sale there. Its about the life of the working woman living there and people around them.

After watching me for an hour wife came near and snatched my Kindle that I was reading from. Reading the title she remarked that she understood now why I was absorbed on this book. Knowing better not to argue with wife I convinced myself the comment was unintentional and a joke.

When reading about Red Light Districts I always feel heavy hearted. For me this issue is never about morality, which I think is irrelevant and any talk of virtue here is nothing but hypocrisy. I feel sad imagining the forced labour and inhuman living conditions the girls/women are made to go through in these places. Adding salt to the wound is that in countries where the age old trade is illegal like in India, it pushes the trade to dark alleys which are beyond any governance. This makes even basic health care and safety that we take for granted being denied. 

Soofi first visits one of the Kotha’s (house of ill repute) to teach English to kids of a Kotha malik (owner). Intrigued about the lives of people there, why they choose to livehere,  he tries to talk to them to understand their story. Initially he encounters a thick wall of secrecy worn by each one of them.  Gradually he befriends them and he is able to peal one by one the layers of life in this district. The author clearly loves Delhi and its people, which comes across in his writings. He manages to transport us to the narrow staircases of G.B.Road buildings. Soofi guides us from the ground floor Sanitaryware shops to the Kotha’s in the upper floors, we are led to see that the life in the two floors are world’s apart. One is seen as a business and the other is shunned by society.

Soofi shows how divisions normally seen in society gets blurred when you enter this district. Here the real religion one follows is not relevant, a woman might follow Islam but have a Hindu name or vice-versa what ever that suits them for earning that day. In G.B. Road Soofi visits a Sufi saint temple and a Hindu Hanuman Temple, but being worshipped by people living here with equal reverence.

What I liked is that Soofi takes no sides, he never gets judgemental. Other than his dislike for the place being dirty and cramped he never projects his personal feelings of the place. Overall an engaging read!!!


Wish list for the new government

I am no political science or economic expert, but in the self improvement principal of Dr.A.P.J.Adbul Kalam “You have to dream before your dreams can come true”  I am chronicling my wish list for the new Modi Sarkar. Yes I know I am only dreaming!



  1. Get rid off immediately the Retrospective Tax act which hit the nail in the coffin of business investments. Provide assurance to Indians & the world that Indian tax laws are mature
  2. Goal needs to make India to the top 10 in the world bank list of business friendly nations (currently India is 134), implement actions to make this true in the next 3 years
  3. Bring states on board by providing tax neutral compensation, audit the overall IT systems needed and implement GST (Goods Services Tax) within next 12 months
  4. Provide economic stimulus (direct or indirect) for hard-hit sectors like Automobile & Infrastructure
  5. In a time bound manner dispose the huge number of  tax disputes and cases against businesses languishing in corridors of departments (Income Tax/Service Tax/Excise). Empower bureaucrats (you heard me correct) to settle cases and provide incentive to businesses to opt for it. In a similar spirit pay off the refunds in next 180 days
  6. To handle the NPA (Non performing assets) with Public sector banks. Though there many be a solid case to go against those in previous regime who created this mess for personal gains, now is not the time. Instead do the sensible thing, solve the problem. Capitalize the large 2 to 3 national banks, privatise rest all in phases, go with carrots and sticks to companies who are at default
  7. Work shoulder to shoulder with RBI (Reserve Bank of India) and its Governor Mr.Raghuram Rajan
  8. Spell out your vision for next five years for the economy & fiscal discipline, aim for a surplus budget in the fifth year – a reasonable target I think
  9. Sell off BSNL, MTNL, Air India, Airport Authority & others in services sector – government has no business to be in hospitality. Privatise portions of Indian Railways especially coaches and stations, again government has no role here
  10. Finally, consult extensively especially using Social Media across the country before giving shape to your second budget (the full budget for 2015-16) and enshrine that idea

Infrastructure & Policies

  1. Plan and Fund to implement warehousing facility in every district to prevent the huge wastage of grains across the country which are exposed to rodents and elements now. A time bound program of 365 days is needed for it. If Government doesn’t funds for this, then do FDI in retail in earnest with laws stipulating private companies to do warehousing in public-private partnership for public good
  2. Bring out a plan and funding for a national toilet scheme [if everyone is shy to lend their name, you can name it after me :- ) ]. To ensure no village with more than 100 people will be without a municipal toilet that is open always (No padlocks in any of these toilets by design) in next 365 days. This should be a private-public partnership, give tax breaks to corporate for doing this, give special central funding directly to those collectors who score on an annual audit for maintenance. Partner with Melinda-Gates foundation for design ideas, India can fund it, we need their ideas. Optionally remove private/executive/ministerial toilets at all central government offices/public companies. There should be a single set of toilet for visitors and staff across board
  3. In priority reform defence procurement and fund it well. A weak country can never be a prosperous country
  4. Implement  Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam’s Broadband policy in earnest. Similarly provide financial rewards to state governments doing well on Renewable energy
  5. India lacks behind even our small south east neighbours in volume of tourists. In my opinion, Tourism is one industry that can provide employment (direct/indirect) to all strata of society (educated, illiterate, across caste and language) and for every Rupee invested in a direct employment in tourism by government, you will get 20 times indirect employment. Think of Mom n Pop shops, clerks, drivers, waiters, cooks, guides, porters, cleaners, house keeping and so on. Come out with a national tourism plan in 90 days and fund it well. Liberalize VISA scheme, one David Headley need not make genuine tourists suffer. Take ideas from Europe & Australia for idea on protecting and promoting national treasures. Train 2 Million people in a government funded program across the country with 1 million in metros. Promote 1000 new tourist destinations. Build airports in these places. I have suggested you privatise Air India and Indian Railways, but if you are retaining them then fund them well to ensure they operate more to North-East and inner-lands of the country, mandate to Air India & Indian Railways against Metros only concentration
  6. Make central government servants salary to be in parity with market conditions, but remove all undemocratic perks like special sirens, cooks, servants, free phone calls and so on. In the same spirit, mandate all ministers to use public services (Bus, Train, Hospitals, schools) periodically and report their usage in their ministerial website
  7. Give more teeth and autonomy to all regulators including TRAI, IRDA, SEBI & RBI. Unify all anti-corruption laws and departments including Lokpal, CVC and so on. Give autonomy to CBI and fund it to take it to international standards
  8. Provide anonymous online mechanisms for feedback from citizens and ticketing system for tracking and replying to them (anonymous if the citizen chooses to)
  9. Setup special new courts at Supreme Court and High Court levels to dispose off the millions of case in a 3 year timeframe. On a similar line reform in land records and registration (a huge area today for corruption and black money) needs to be done on priority. Implement state of art IT solutions for these, if planned correctly this can be a IT revolution showing the way to the world
  10. Finally, work hard to settle long standing border disputes with all our neighbours. Align closer to USA & China for our own benefit. Throw India’s weight in the area around Indian ocean to protect our national interests

All the best to Mr.Narendra Modi and his team.

The Accidental Prime Minister

Dr.Manmohan Singh has many accolades to him. He is the incumbent Prime Minister of India, serving for 10 years in the office, which makes him third after Nehru & Indira in the duration of their time in office. He was the finance minister who in 1991 under Sri P.V.Narasimha Rao who unleashed the Tiger (Indian Economy) by bringing in reforms which has over last two and half decades pulled out hundreds of millions from poverty. Till then whichever party was in power Economic Liberalization was a sure way to end your political career, it was a common compulsion in both sides of the house to be seen as a socialist. Dr.Singh is an alumni of University of Cambridge & University of Oxford, worked for the United Nations in 1966–69, Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 1980-82 and has held many other covetable offices.

This book “The Accidental Prime Minister” has been the most talked about in the Election 2014 season that’s underway in India. Mr.Sanjaya Baru quotes a long line of friends and pedigree in Indian Civil Services. Having served as the media adviser to The Prime Minister (PM) from 2004-2008 during the first term of Dr.Manmohan Singh, this book is Baru’s memoir. Baru is a prodigy of K.Subrahmanyam and he doesn’t miss to highlight occassions where PM seeks K.Subrahmanyam’s advise. Baru has given an apt byline for the book “The Making & Unmaking of Manmohan Singh”. The events up to the time of Dr.Singh becoming Prime Minister and UPA-1 term was the making of Dr.Singh, his second term (UPA-2) was the unmaking.


Even though Dr.Singh’s second term (UPA-2) has been rattled by scams and corruption scandals from all corners of his government, they have all stopped in front of his office door. That speaks volumes on the integrity of this man. Even though he was made the Prime Minister of India  by Sonia Gandhi in 2004, he earned his office after 2009 elections due to merits that people saw in him. Looking back from 2014 to that victory (one of the best of Indian National Congress in recent decades) in 2008, it is sad. The man who earned the title “Singh is King” (after a bollywood movie) just after the Indo-US deal in 2008 has found himself to media ridicule. The expectations and hopes of millions of Indians placed on Dr.Singh was wasted due to what his critics have termed as Policy Paralysis of his Government in the last few years – which is called as  the unmaking of Dr.Singh in this book.

If you are looking for details on how NAC (National Advisory Council), a non-constitutional authority chaired by Sonia Gandhi overshadowed PMO, then Baru doesn’t have those. Baru introducing the book says he never carried notes during his tenure and the book is compilations of incidents from his memory, not a comforting thought for an otherwise important memoir. The book has details on the UPA-1 term which is not surprising given the fact the author has served in PMO only till 2008, so when it comes to UPA-2 term he speculates reasons for the unmaking – PM’s shyness, throwing away the opportunity to enforce his will after 2009 victory, Dr.Singh’s civil service years teaching him to mind his own business when it comes to integrity which he thoroughly ensured with his family but didn’t extend to his colleagues.

In ten years of office, it is surprising that Dr.Singh has done only 3 press conferences which is indicated to be one of his major drawbacks and disconnects with electorate. Baru takes credit for the successful running of the first press conference in 2004, which was run under his watch as media advisor. Even then Dr.Singh was unwilling to develop a brand for him, instead leaving Sonia Gandhi and the party to be the public faces of his government. Baru writes how Dr.Singh did away with the Intelligence briefing done everyday to PM, instead asking IB to brief his NSA head J.N.(Mani) Dixit and later M.K.Narayanan. He makes us wonder whether this was throwing away of a leverage that a PM normally used over his cabinet and colleagues.

Baru quotes an incident when PM at his residence calling Baru to the room where he was seated along with Mrs.Kaur and queried what did you say to US Consulate general?. This was during the time Prime Minister after pushing for Nuclear Deal was kind of let down by Sonia Gandhi when she publicly indicated that they will not take rash decisions with allies and PM following up by saying we are not a single agenda government giving the impression that they may sacrifice the deal. Baru answered I told him “Que Sera Sera“, PM countering with “What do you mean”, Baru replies “Whatever will be, will be”. Mrs.Kaur who probably was familiar with the song having watched the Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller “The Man Who Knew Too Much” in which Doris Day sang the song “Que Sera Sera”. Immediately on reading this, I downloaded the song from Nokia MixRadio and it turns out to be a thoughtful melody. Check it out from here

After reading the book when I shared it to a Rajya Sabha MP, he rightfully pointed out the incorrectness of the first paragraph in the book. Baru says “None of my predecessors in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has ever written a full account of his time there”. In reality I could find at least two books on the subject - My Days with Nehru by M.O.MathaiMy Years with Indira Gandhi by P.C.Alexander. For rest of the book is good,  we can discount this to have crept in due to publishing deadlines. Overall this book is what the doctor ordered for this election season, it helps us to understand the soft-spoken Sikh who shaped India in the last decade.

Update 13/May/2014. Today Opposition Leader of Upper House Mr.Arun Jaitley summed up  what in my opinion  many in this country respectfully feel about Dr.Singh: “It was his inability to overrule people which affected his functioning. He did not have the last word. Had he overruled his Finance Minister on the retrospective tax law knowing fully well the consequences of a retrospective taxation, the Prime Minister would have stood out. If he had stood up and cancelled the coal blocks allocation once the fraud was revealed or cancelled the 2G licences himself rather than wait for the court to do it, I have no doubt that history would have recorded him very differently” wrote Jaitely.

The Maruti Story

Do you remember the feeling of looking out for something in your room and being surprised by seeing an item you had purchased with lot of interest but somehow got hidden from view and you end up wondering how you left it there? That’s the feeling I got when I stumbled on this book “The Maruti Story” by R.C.Bhargava (Published in 2010) in my own library during the recent Pongal holidays.

For Indian Middle class families of 1970s or earlier, life was of simple choices not exceeding two. Personal transportation for the family meant (then) ubiquitous “Hamara” Bajaj or old “Vespa” scooters. Little well to do families upgrading to a car had two choices – Premier Padmini (Fiat) or Ambassador (Morris Oxford) cars.

In India of 70s, Population growth was the biggest problem facing the country, food shortages and rations were not far from memory, nationalisation was the trend, general public were used to behaving subservient to those in power. A company selling a product or service considered itself to be doing a favour to the customer, with the customer feeling privileged to be given a chance to buy it (ironical for a country whose Father of Nation has penned a famous quote about how to treat a customer).  If this was true for Private companies, State owned companies (called PSUs or Public Sector Units in India) performed (the word itself here feels ironic) more badly. Everything was controlled by licenses and quotas, Political interference was the norm, making common man feel they were freer before Independence. Most of the companies that were born in this hot chamber died immediately once the economy was liberalised in 1991. The Maruti story is an attempt by a veteran Indian Civil servant in narrating how in this hostile environment a PSU called “Maruti” was born and is thriving even today after three decades to tell its story.

My personal experience as a school kid in late 1970s when my family upgraded to a new model Ambassador car which was what my father called as buying “nothing more than a new metal box & four Wheels”. The process of buying a car in those days involved paying money upfront to book it and then waiting for months at the mercy of the dealer for the delivery. To make the new vehicle usable meant visits to over half-a-dozen outside vendors to improve it. For the Ambassador we bought this involved doing a complete chassis rust-proofing, changing the poorly performing Petrol engine to a Diesel engine from matador, changing the seats and doing interiors (it came barren) to something that’s comfortable, finally if you had the money adding an audio system & Air conditioner. Many of that changing (the waiting period was still there) when I bought my first car nearly a decade and half later, and it was a Maruti 800 (the first car produced by Maruti).

R.C.Bhargava starts his story soon after the nationalisation of Sanjay Gandhi’s Maruti Motors Limited to Maruti Udyog Limited as a PSU in 1981. If Mrs.Indira Gandhi’s vision for Maruti was to fulfil her late son’s (Sanjay Gandhi) dream of producing world class cars in India, then Mr.Bhargava and his boss Mr.V.Krishnamurthy were the most unlikely candidates to have even found a place in the team. To produce world class cars in a country where there was no Automobile industry in its true-sense meant first changing the system. The obvious choice for this would have been to import an established Automobile CEO to India, but that was politically unpalatable for a government proclaiming self-reliance and this was few years after India had kicked out multinationals like Coco-Cola and IBM. Instead of expatriates Mrs.Gandhi had drafted Mr.Sumant Moolgaokar (then Chairman of TELCO a commercial vehicle manufacturer from the house of TATA) as Non-Executive Chairman and Mr.Krishnamurthy from BHEL (another PSU) as Managing Director to head Maruti. Mr.Krishnamurthy then assembled a leadership team for Maruti comprising mostly of other insiders (Civil Servants and PSU employees) including the author. When Mr.Bhargava became a Maruti employee in 1982, he had spent nearly twenty six years in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) known for its Red Tape culture of bureaucracy and outdated processes inherited from its colonial rulers. In his wildest dream the author wouldn’t have dreamt that 30 years from that start, he will be serving as Chairman for a Maruti that’s private and majority owned by Suzuki Motor Corporation.

The Chairman & other Directors of a PSU in India get to enjoy luxurious Lutyen bungalows in New Delhi complete with garden, staff, butlers, chauffeur driven car and status in society. This is the mental image we carry of what’s it to be a director in a PSU when we open the book. Instead the author starts with a long safety message of what’s it like to be in the management of a Government owned entity in India. The Directors turn out to have limited powers where it really matters which is in the board roam of the company they head. Whether it is capital investments, pay scale, service terms of employees, entering into partnerships, investing surplus funds, all the decisions are taken external to the board by the ministry and the bureaucracy. Adding to this handicap, PSUs directors are governed by the same rules as public servants and are subject to Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) 1988 which has contrary objectives to running a profitable enterprise. An example of good intentions turning out to have unintended consequences. The act with its power to prosecute even after a person retires from civil service is perceived as a hanging sword by those covered by it, preventing them from taking any decisions. There are more restrictions placed by being a PSU including audits by Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Equal Opportunity rules to be followed in every transaction which can turn out to be an impediment for promoting talent over quotas, and PSU Directors spending considerable time and effort to answer numerous parliamentary committees which oversee their working.

Though the parentage of Maruti had raised concerns then, it got lucky on several fronts. The very political interference environment of India and its Babus (Indian Civil servants) turned out to be its best new born gift. It got assigned Mr.Arun Nehru (second cousin’s son of then Prime Minister Mrs.Indira Gandhi) as its point men who navigated the project through the maze of government corridors. Second was a hard set date (December 1983) for production and a PM who was committed to see through it as a memory of her late son. Third was inheriting from Sanjay Gandhi’s Maruti over 297 acres of prime land along with 1 million square feet of covered factory which meant work can start without spending years on land acquisition. Last and most important was getting Suzuki Motor Corp (SMC), Japan as its partner. SMC as the partner not only gave Maruti the Automobile technology, but brought with it the much needed Japanese work culture & ethos which was in those days anti-thesis to what was prevalent in India. Maruti also got lucky with getting full support of Mr.Osamu Suzuki who was the CEO of SMC, who ensured Maruti’s management team had direct access to him at all times.

Continuing with Mr.Bhargava on the journey we first encounter the Market survey called for by Maruti and conducted by Indian Market Research Bureau to understand the market needs and the consumer (a term unheard of in India till then) which influenced the team to move away from Ministries choice of Renault to explore Japanese small car manufacturers. When the author quotes one of the earliest minutes of meeting off the company board he drafted “should produce cars and commercial vehicle in accordance with the decision of the government and that immediate should action be taken to collect all relevant information on the various options which could be examined by the board for selecting the specific models to be assembled/manufactured by the company” he pats himself in his back by saying this to be his bureaucratic experience cutting in to keep all options open, we are left with a smile on how Governments functions. There are many examples recalled by the author on how Maruti’s team navigated the bizarre laws of India without falling foul to any of them. One was how they managed to share the power from their captive Gas turbines with their vendors (Joint venture of component manufacturers) when the law in those days prevented from sharing power to anyone outside. The solution was to transfer the Gas turbines to a subsidiary and issuing equity in that subsidiary to all the Joint venture companies making all of them part owners of the turbine.

In any technology partnership when you are in the knowledge transfer phase there is no replacement to having your engineers travel onsite to the principal’s location. Maruti in its first fifteen years had sent over 979 workers to Japan to get trained and it was helped greatly by the subsidy it got for those travels from Japanese Government under Association of Oversears Technical Scholarships (AOTS) scheme. Next to having best technology was to have a good working culture, Maruti’s workers got their example set in the days of commissioning itself by a Director of Production from Japan Mr.Shinohara who picked up a broom, a bucket of water cleaning the shop floor without waiting for a sweeper.

The author talks of various board decisions that helped Maruti .The huge booking advance it got from thousands of customers which saved the company from paying interest for working capital needs, the decision to voluntarily include workers union on major policy decisions, decision to have one common uniform for blue & white collar employees, having common restrooms for all (yes you read it correct – restrooms!), common lunchrooms, open cubicles for managers, hiring Diploma holders for shop floor, and productivity (and production) based metrics for calculating bonuses and.

Two examples in Maruti story I enjoyed which exemplifies Indian creativity/workaround called Jugaad. One was how the quality plywood that SMC used in wrapping painted SKD (Semi Knocked Down kits) after getting discarded by Maruti ended up in streets of Delhi with boards in front of shops announcing “Maruti Ply sold here”. The next one was a fine idea of clever thinking, on how a crack team headed by one Joga Singh solved the problem of moving a heavy vehicle inspection equipment from Anzen of Japan weighing several tons into large pits in the floor without having modern machineries which were common in Japan. The Indian team without waiting for the Japanese engineers had brought huge blocks of ice and filled the pits with them, then rolled the equipment over the ice, then in the night the ice melted and the machines went down and settled in the pit automatically.

Not everything was rosy in the Maruti story. The author writes about the delay in 1994 and 1995 over the issue of extension of licensing agreement between Maruti & SMC preventing it from getting access to latest Japanese technologies. How then Secretary of Industries Ministry Mr.T.R.Prasad and then minister Mr.K.Karunakaran turning out unfriendly, with the ministry and Maruti involved in several collisions. Many decisions got affected then and following years even after Secretary and Minister changing to Mr.Anup Mukherji & Mr.Murasoli Maran respectively. The decisions that got stuck included the choice of location for the second factory to increase production, appointment of Directors in the board by Government and on the issue of SMC brining in fresh capital for capacity expansion. There were other missed opportunities including in early days of Maruti, Indian Railways a Government of India undertaking refusing to invest in adapting its coaches to carry Maruti cars which would have resulted in huge benefits for both the arms of the same government.

The book switches to high gear after this, around the time when Government of India starting to dilute its stake eventually exiting entirely and SMC increasing its stake above 50%. This meant Maruti’s export to Europe happening in small volumes started to grow exponential. The author goes into detail on Maruti invested heavily in preparing their vendors, even playing midwife in getting its vendors to partner with their Japanese counterparts ensuring best technology flowed from Japan to India at all levels of its manufacturing, with some of those vendors grown to Billion Dollar multinationals today. We learn on how Japanese were obsessed with following to the dot written instructions (in contrast to Indian habits) and on how SMC was looking for reduction of costs at every level continuously. Maruti in its early days had to develop the whole idea of marketing cars, show rooms, dealers and even train extensively on the attitude of its own sales departments. And any mention of Japanese is not complete without mention of their quality processes and inspections, the author walks us through of what Maruti implemented which includes establishment of Quality circles and Job rotations between cross functions.


As you come to the end of the book you are left wondering on the huge strides India has made in the last three decades in which Maruti had grown and on how many of the things remain stubbornly the same in the way her Government functions. As a consumer I have time travelled from an India where to get a car allotted(!) I needing a letter from a MP (Member of Parliament), to an India where I could get sales representatives of all major car companies to my door step waiting for me. On the things that remain the same are the inefficiency of Indian Bureaucracy and corruption which having resided in the decade after the end of license raj in1991 seem to have made a comeback with a vengeance in the last 5 years.

As I put down the book I feel it to be a nice read just like the comfortable cars manufactured by Maruti, whose cars are not premium, not luxurious but certainly Made for India and value for money.