The year 2019 will be remembered as a year where both politics, as well as business, took centre stage. This year, we saw the Modi government come to power for the second consecutive term. We also saw India’s gross domestic product (GDP) hit a 6-year low but one word ‘slowdown’ grabbed the headlines in the second half of 2019.
Almost every sector was hit by the slowdown blues and the auto sector was one such sector which saw its worst-ever slowdown in over a decade. Another sector that felt the heat of the slowdown was the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) which did not move that fast this year and fell prey to that very consumption slowdown story; volume growth hit mid-single digit and rural growth hit a 7-year low.
The surrounding the slowing economy finally reached the North Block and the government stepped in to set things right.
Of course, 2019 was an unforgettable year for India’s non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) especially with liquidity crisis plaguing the system. NBFCs lost shares to other finance companies, lending slowed down drastically even with the government and regulator coming to the industry’s rescue.
The shocks that ripple through India in 2019 were not only from the economic and the political space but also from the corporate space. In July, India Inc was shaken by the tragic death of VG Siddhartha, India’s coffee man. The man who made the coffee shop a mainstay in Indian psyche with the introduction of Café Coffee Day chain.