Charlie Munger talks about the Lollapalooza effect which means factors have to come together for things to move up. That is applicable in the Tata Group. Under Chandra’s leadership, businesses are coming back. Commodity cycle is back for Tata Steel, IT outsourcing increasing for TCS. Where do you see the confluence of this factor?
As far as the Tatas are concerned, it is said karma always helps. They are good people. They always get help from every quarter and I am so happy to see the group do so well. It is one of the most ethical groups and the good thing is that most forward looking groups have realised that they cannot be sitting on past glory. There is a huge move towards professionalising companies, there is a huge move towards giving credence to the return on equity perspective. Otherwise erstwhile companies which used to just invest, the view was that
haan aage peeche paisa ban jayega (we will make money somehow). That has changed now. They are professionally analysing whether return on equity is possible, how capital can be allocated because of their own internal view of giving respect to minority shareholders as well as the recent activism, finally that is also playing off.
Across the board, creating value, which is determined in terms of market cap, is also becoming a key KRA for most top management along with growth and profitability. Market cap is now the third important point for any CEO’s KRA. All this is a good confluence and another thing is that India is coming back in the global investors’ frame of mind as a good destination, particularly after what has happened in China. We are a capital starved nation. If we have the capital, we have more than enough entrepreneurship, more than enough passion and the fire to grow. It is a great combination. A huge domestic market backed by capital coming in from overseas and the entrepreneurship and passion of the domestic entrepreneurs. All we need is investors to believe in this and it would be so good to see domestic investors making money rather than global investors making at the expense of the Indian consumers.
Read Also: Market’s like a cardiogram; as long as the economy grows, it will also chug along
Read Also: For next 2 years, earnings cumulatively may go up 50% compared to March ‘21
Read Also: Auto better for trading; can’t ignore pharma
On shareholder activism
I completely endorse shareholder activism. Being exposed to the global scenario, as I was on the board of CFA Institute for six years in the US and even in my earlier stint in the mutual fund side, we have been quite vocal in terms of some of the practices of listed companies. Unfortunately at that point of time it was not a big sort of a subject in India but what is happening right now obviously is going to be most welcome, I think it is going to put companies on guard in terms of you know ensuring or in terms of giving credence to the fact that there are minority shareholders who have an equal voice as a promoters. At the same time, we should be careful of not taking it too far. I have seen some small proposals of salaries increasing from Rs 2 crore to Rs 3 crore being opposed.
As shareholders, we should be responsible and keep our egos aside. Be very reasonable and rational and wherever we feel as shareholders that justice is not being done to minority shareholders, it is our right, it is our duty, as trustees particularly for people like us who manage public money to fight for our rights. But not small things which are innocuous and which do not have major impact on the companies working. I do not think every resolution needs to be opposed but it is a welcome move. In a listed company, all shareholders have equal rights depending on their shareholding. It is right as well as duty to protect that you know rights for the benefit of our unit holders.