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Fear as a business model

india Updated: Oct 13, 2008 22:29 IST

Fear and panic are gripping not only stock markets but also the quotidian lives of high net worth individuals in India. While the global financial crisis has savaged their stock portfolios, they are sparing no expense in keeping life and limb away from harm’s way.

Banish the image of seeing only bulletproof government vehicles snaking their way through crowded traffic. Thanks to booming crime rates and terror blasts, the fortunes of the nascent local industry of armour-plating vehicles has reached an inflection point. In urban India, the growing number of those who are bulletproofing their vehicles now includes liquor barons, builders, real estate developers, industrialists, film stars, PSU heads, even MNC executives and of course, politicians. One would have thought that many of them would be licking their wounds with vastly diminished paper wealth. But instead they are contributing handsomely to an industry providing security and security equipment that is growing at a rapid of clip of 10 per cent every month.

The upshot is that fear is as good as greed, and it is triggering a different sort of industrial upsurge. While the government frets over declining foreign direct investments, a score of security equipment firms have set up shop. This has multiplier effects on employment as it generates thousands of jobs. Fear and insecurity, thus, contribute to the country’s overall growth. So, here’s to living through fearful times!