What a difference a year can make!

We started 2008 on a high… The BSE SENSEX was in excess of 20,000, we had received our clearances from SEBI and our IPO seemed imminent. We were coasting along with a steady month-on-month growth and everything appeared to be on track for a sustained period of stable growth.

But the high expectations at the beginning of the year were short-lived. Early in the year, post the Reliance Energy IPO, the stock market declined sharply and investor appetite for IPOs dried out. We too had to hold back on our IPO. During the year, the oil prices sky-rocketed and then crashed. The rupee-dollar exchange rate also took a sharp turn. About this time last year, the exchange rate was Rs. 40 per dollar and the rupee was expected to get stronger year on year. Just a few weeks back, the rupee was trading above Rs. 50 per dollar!

While we had excellent results for the Financial Year 2007-08 (ending in March 2008), the second half of the 2008 was certainly very turbulent and challenging. The stock markets lost nearly $7 trillion dollars of value and we have seen unprecedented bail-outs in the US and in the rest of the world. To add to the economic woes, we had the unfortunate events in Mumbai on 26/11. It is really sad to see how a bunch of anti-social elements have changed our lives forever!

2008 comes to an end today, and it’s time to welcome a new year with open arms. I’m hopeful of positive things to come in 2009.

– Anand