2012 - A Year of Great Challenges

A Year of Great Challenges… and Opportunity


Arun Koul

I wrote this title for 2012 based on a personal evaluation and gut-estimation. But when I probed further, it seemed to be a fair conclusion for much of the world. Most of the perceived challenge comes from one issue; “It is the economy, stupid”. The words of democratic strategist James Carville, famously uttered during the US Presidential elections of 1992 hold truer than ever.

There are other challenges that may overwhelm large parts of the world. The balance of power shift that is occurring from the United States to other power centers such as China could have far reaching consequences; particularly as the U.S.A is expected to look more at issues within. The uprisings and regime changes in much of the middle-east during 2011 have left room for more unrest. Consequent unsettling of the current temporary status there will significantly impact other parts of the world as well. Feared crisis in the Eurozone, North Korea, Pakistan and even unrest in China could cause instability in the world order. Difficulties due to degradation of the natural environment as well as the potential for large scale natural disasters continue to demand considerable attention and a state of preparedness. All of these risks are known and anticipated and hence there is also the opportunity to reach a stable state in each of the challenge areas. The question remains however, "Who is going to take charge, if the U.S.A prefers not to act unilaterally anymore?"

Within various industries such as IT, Healthcare, Travel, Agriculture, Environmental, Automotive, Mining, Financial Services,Biotechnology – and in sectors within, there will be newer and major technological, marketing and other business challenges. Competition will be tougher than ever and customers will have many choices. Speed of executing change to meet customer requirements will be the essence. Within this scenario, there will be increased opportunity for some to break from the pack and establish leadership position. Those with faster and better access to funds will more than ever establish themselves as the dominating group in their sector. It is essential for businesses to research their industry and niche and embark on a focused and targeted plan. A meandering approach will have terrible consequences for a business, given the pace of change and adoption.

India will continue to see growth but major challenges will come from the conflict in Kashmir, income and social inequality, lack of housing and issues of corruption. India is also likely to face more adversarial behavior from China. Risk of a significant military conflict due to the intervention of neighboring countries in Kashmir is higher. There will be opportunities for India to be recognized by the Western powers as a reliable friend in the region, and for its parliament to pass anti-corruption legislation. The youth can drive resolution in many areas of civilian conflict.

Kashmiri Hindu organizations are in a state of turmoil. Most lack direction and are faced with internecine conflicts. Rabble rousers are not any more likely to let real leadership emerge, to provide direction for the future. "King of the Hill" will be the most popular game for the self-aggrandizing leaders of motley crews. The challenge will also be at the ideological level. Some would like to explore the possibility of interaction and reintegration in the present day milieu of Kashmir, while most will want a much more guarded approach. The very few vested and corrupt interests within Kashmiri Hindus will continue to damage the Kashmiri Hindu cause with confusing and manufactured statements. Every attempt will be made so that the Kashmiri Hindus do not ideologically integrate.

Individually, we will all be faced with some of our most challenging times ever. This is quite likely to be the year when the wheat will be separated from the chaff. Thoughtful planning and quality execution will be the keys for those who sell the products of their learning.

Do I sound like a soothsayer? Maybe, because these predictions could be only as real! Let me also put a disclaimer here that these predictions are for entertainment value only.

While we at Shehjar wish your most meaningful wishes to come true in 2012, let us also conclude by saying, “God helps those who help themselves”.

Hari Om.
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An appropriate title and message for the New Year. I agree with your assessment that there will be increased opportunity to break from the pack and establish leadership position. God helps those who help themselves.
Added By Sunil Kaul
I hope that all the challenges in this year are met successfully. Happy New Year to all at Shehjar.
Added By Sanjay Dhar
It is a warning and a vision for which every member should watch and work for. This year, 2012 can usher in hope and fulfillment provided we will and strive for it.Happy New Year and Blessings to All.
Added By pushkar ganjoo
A comprehensive forecast. About ourselves, we have to remember that each KP is an institution; that is why so many leaders and groups. But KPs are intelligent enough to separate grain from the chaff. We will have to find a realistic, middle course between the extremes when planning our return strategies.
Added By K L Chowdhury
A well designed Cover Page indeed. The Arts deserves all the appreciations. It will remind all KPs' of their homeland.
Added By Prof. B.B. Dhar
I read your editorial 2012 with interest. Congratulations for a thoughtful and balanced overview. It is such a insightful assessment which will help our community to guide itself strategically. You closed your comments by qualifying it as entertainment. That disappointed me. Please do not belittle your thoughtful assessment out of modesty. I pray for your continued success.
Added By Dr. C Shaykher, MD