And while he scoffs at new-age trading favorites such as Bitcoin and Zomato, it hasn’t stopped him from a daring foray into the skies with his upcoming budget airline, Akasa Air. In a freewheeling chat with BT’s Global Business Editor Udayan Mukherjee, Jhunjhunwala explains why he remains the staunchest bull on Dalal Street. Edited excerpts:
UM: With 60,000 done and dusted on the Sensex, do you think there are even greater summits ahead for us in the months to come before this bull market tires out?
RJ: Well, my personal opinion is that 60,000 is just a figure. ‘Dil hai ki manta nahi, bazaar hai ki rukta nahi [The heart never agrees and the market never stops]’. We are seeing the largest ever bull run in India. India is changing and very few people are recognizing this change. I believe the market is reading the future better than we are. Despite all the skepticism, the Nifty has moved from 7,500 to nearly 18,000, so corrections will come and go. It’s all part of the journey. The day I came to the market, the Sensex was 159.99, today it is 60,000.
So, I think tens of thousands will be added, many zeros will be added—but it is going to take time.
UM: You have seen so many bull runs in the past and the biggest one that I remember is 2003-08—the one that just kept on going and the index multiplied several times. Could we be in for that kind of a run or do you see this one being somewhat different?
RJ: I feel we will see that kind of a bull run but it is going to take more time. It may not happen in the same time period, it may take five or even 10 years. We also had this kind of a bull run in 1989, when the Sensex went from 400 to 4,000. Of course, the last 1,000 points were Mr [Harshad] Mehta’s contribution and it didn’t last.
I believe India is progressively changing and the change gets more accentuated with time. Also, remember that in the last 10 years, we have really not gone anywhere. The Nifty did 12,000 in between 2012 and 2020, but always fell back and there was no breadth that time. Now we are seeing tremendous breadth in the market.
India has changed—in terms of the corporate sector, GST, and farm laws. For me, the farm law means that potatoes that are not saleable in West Bengal at ₹3 per kg, are available in Mumbai at ₹40 a kg! I guess nobody has read the Electricity Bill [Electricity Amendment Bill 2021 to delicense power distribution] and when that law passes, it is going to be bigger than even the 1991 reforms. Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi is pushing these economic reforms through because he knows if India does not change, his legacy cannot be changed.
What I find most appealing in India is that this change is coming with social needs being fulfilled. People do not appreciate what ‘Nal Se Jal’ means. Every household in India will have clean water. People walk six kilometers to get a bucket of water. The aim is that every Indian should get water in their house.
My domestic help is able to get a passport because of Jan Dhan. People can now send money to their hometown and do video calls with their children. I think we must be the most digitised society in the world.
With the help of Aadhaar, my help was able to get a passport.
Rajiv Gandhi [former Prime Minister] said only 15 paisa (out of a rupee) of social welfare funds actually reaches the poor, but now it is closer to 85 paisa.
People are not recognising the change that is underway.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Stock Market - 5 Companies That Recorded The Biggest Jumps And The Steepest Drops
India’s stock market has been on a tear over the past year, but the rising tide did not lift all companies. Here are the top gainers and losers on the BT500 list
Bringing Home The Sun
Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani pump in the big bucks, pushing India’s scattered renewable energy industry to the next level, and hyper-fuelling the country’s clean energy dreams for 2030. Nuance: India’s two richest businessmen are on the same page
The Best Advice I Ever Got
UNNIKRISHNAN A.R. I MANAGING DIRECTOR I SAINT-GOBAIN INDIA — GLASS BUSINESS
Factors You Should Consider Before Investing In Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies may be the rage now, but here are some Important Factors You Should Consider Before Trading
Music aficionado Ajay Bijli, Chairman and MD of PVR, often croons with his band Random Order, performing gigs in Delhi
Introduce yourself to an exquisite cup of artisanal coffee
YOU'VE BEEN WARNED
INDIAN RETAIL INVESTORS HAVE NEVER BEEN SO BULLISH ON STOCKS. THEY COME TO THE MARKET IN HORDES, AND TRY EVERY TRICK AND AVENUE—FROM PENNY STOCKS TO ALGOS—TO MAKE A QUICK BUCK. BUT EVEN WITH THE EUPHORIA, IT IS A GOOD TIME TO EXERCISE CAUTION
With significant user traction and investor interest, the cloud kitchen business is entering the inevitable phase of disruption, but with no clear winners yet
BEYOND THE SKIES
THE NASCENT SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY COULD PROPEL THE NEXT BIG REVOLUTION IN THE TELECOM SPACE. WHERE DOES INDIA STAND?
1, 2, 3, GO
THANKS TO A DRAMATIC RISE IN SUBSCRIPTION GAMING SERVICES AND CLOUD GAMING AMID THE PANDEMIC, INDIA IS NOW THE WORLD'S FASTEST-GROWING MOBILE GAMING MARKET, HELPING MANY ENTHUSIASTS TURN INTO PROFESSIONALS . WILL THE MOMENTUM SUSTAIN?
Love, Non-violence, and Truth
DR. PRAKASH TYAGI is the Executive Director of Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti (GRAVIS), an NGO dedicated to working in impoverished rural regions of India, including the Thar Desert, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Bundelkhand. In part 1 of this interview with KASHISH KALWANI, he speaks about applying the Gandhian principles of love, non-violence, and truth to support communities in need.
WISDOM FROM MY FATHER
The tempo 1 was ready to depart. It was a short 30-minute journey from Bhatkal to Uppunda, a sleepy village in coastal Karnataka, India. My father, sister, and I were traveling together.
GM's Exit From India Hits a Roadblock
The long-delayed sale of its plants to a Chinese company faces local labor and political opposition
ELIZABETH DENLEY has been a student of both science and spirituality all her life. Trained as a scientist, she turned her field of inquiry and research skills to the field of meditation and spirituality after starting the Heartfulness practices in the late 80s. Here she shares some thoughts on the importance of selfacceptance.
The New Storytelling:We Are All Indigenous Global Citizens
WAKANYI HOFFMAN is a Global Education Specialist and founder of the African Folktales Project. In Part 2 of her interview with SARA BUBBER, Wakanyi shares the value of storytelling, passing down wisdom through generations, her Kikuyu culture, and how we are all indigenous global citizens.
The Vaccine's Last Mile Problem
India is racing to vaccinate its villages, including many in remote and desperately poor areas where suspicion of the government’s motives runs deep
India's Fintech Boom
A government-backed system of digital payments has set offa wave of innovation
THE GAME CHANGER
INSIDE DHD’S RECORD-SETTING DURAMAX
Building Community Through Education
KIRAN BIR SETHI is changing the experience of childhood in Indian cities through her education curriculum and initiatives to build healthy relationships between students and their communities. Here she is interviewed by KASHISH KALWANI.
Granny Chic Galore!
A homeowner’s holiday décor is an homage to Christmas at her grandma’s house.