The year 2014 was a year of contrasts. Samples of good news include Indian citizens voting en masse for an empowered government with a decisive leader
at the helm, rationalization of global oil prices, rising of financial markets, etc.
On the other hand, there have been a series of manmade disasters. The most shocking would be the massacre of 132 school children in Peshawar at the hands of the Taliban. Then we had 3 major air tragedies, two pertaining to Malaysian Airlines and one pertaining to Air Asia. The ISIS grew in strength in 2014 causing mayhem in Syria and Iraq. The Uber incident in Delhi grabbed big headlines. In previous years, we had big natural disasters such as tsumanis and storms and flooding, but 2014 was remembered more for manmade disasters.
So what could be the outlook for 2015 if we extrapolate the recent past? We are looking at small and payment banks coming into the picture, which would mean that like 1991, there will be new types of banks coming into play, which would widen and deepen the financial landscape, for the benefit of a large portion of the financially excluded and underserviced population.
Consumer spending too is picking up and the e-commerce boom shares a key responsibility. It not only cuts prices, but products have become available on a much more wider geographical basis, giving customers better choices. The ongoing expansion of the Net and the emergence of several more of promises more such benefits in 2015.
2014 marked the rise of the Indian entrepreneur at the grass root level, and
2015 will only reinforce the same.
On the political front, Indian citizens have seen the benefits of casting their votes based on economic parameters and issues of national interest, as opposed to caste/religion and local issues, and this trend looks to carry on in 2015, enabling better decisions by the decision and policy makers.
2015 also marks the year that many social media organizations will have better quality and quantity of data than many governments. They will therefore be in a position to influence government policies. Hence the collaboration between government bodies and social media will become increasingly important…and perhaps new milestones will be set in this regard in 2015. It is clear that better physical security will result not only from technologies, but better analysis of data as well.
With optimism in the air, the Banking Frontiers team wishes all readers “365
days of acche din” in 2015, full of love, joy and success.