Person of the Year 2015

By Guest |  28-12-15

Will Hillary trump everyone to enter the White House or will Trump have the last hilarious word. My American friends, make your political debates serious, not religious.

Given the world we are in, a lot is at stake in the 2016 elections. I almost awarded John Kerry for the historic Iran deal but for his ill-informed comments on India's stand on climate change.

Djokovic and Andy Murray rule the court but Serena Williams is the greatest star. India's Saina and Sania shined this year. While praising Lewis Hamilton, we pray Schumi wins his race for life. FIFA got blotted again with Blatter episode. The intertwining of sports, money and politics has made for a dirty game in India also.

Volkswagen scam emits an important lesson for all – integrity means doing the right thing when nobody is watching.

Other contenders were interesting concoctions like Pfizer-Allergen, Dow-Du Pont and AB InBev - SabMiller.

Japan post IPO created history.

Cheaper oil blew smoke in credit markets, but airlines accumulated frequently flying profits.

Geopolitical risk isn't leading to a glittering gold or boiling oil. Something else is at play.

Hedge funds are falling like a 'house of cards' as evaporating liquidity and beast of volatility made many its prey.

Beta products (ETFs) are growing while those betting on quality stocks turned out to be the only 'alpha' male (and females).

A savings revolution has begun in India, akin to the 401 (K) moment in the U.S.

I thought of Patanjali for becoming one of the largest brands. Afflicted with pollution and lifestyle diseases, Indians may rediscover alternative medicine like ayurveda, naturopathy, organic food and spiritual tourism. With India's increasing 'soft power', they may become fastest growing export avenues. I bet.

Zuckerberg got “likes” for showing a spiritual Face and marking his entire Book for charity. Notwithstanding the obsession with selfies, the defining characteristic of this generation is caring and sharing. I hope Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and virtual reality don't make it a tearing economy as businesses get Uber’ed, Airbnb’ed, and Netflix’ed.

In 1830s, the invention of steam engine, electric motor and cheap iron led to the industrial revolution which changed the way humanity lived. We are witnessing the eruption of pervasive forces born of the union of cognitive intelligence, computing power and ubiquitous broadband. With a bank branch in every mobile phone, the branch on the corner might go the way of Phone booths. Real estate agents may soon be endangered like travel agents with advances in Virtual Reality (VR). Driverless cars, battery technology and ride sharing will change the face of transportation. Watch Silicon Valley and not Detroit to get glimpses of its future.

Will coal-fired mega power plants be replaced by solar farms in every neighbourhood? Will A.I. powered drones supplant delivery boys? Maybe. Mega factories in China may have to worry about local stores using 3D-printers and nano-particles to produce custom toys on-demand.

Look beyond the price chart of Bitcoin, the crypto currency, and you would realize how the concept of the blockchain can lead to unthinkable solutions for a complex world. Take my byte, its one of the biggest inventions of this century.

With exponential power of computing and connectivity, we are entering a period of Extreme Transformation. Shape up or ship out.

DIET (Distributed, Intelligent, Empowering Technology) is my person of the year. A Standing Ovation!

Navneet Munot

Chief Investment Officer, SBI Funds Management Pvt Ltd

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