Asian history—in the aftermath of World War II
They came, did business, conquered but were...
The stock markets have rallied strongly for the past eight consecutive weeks. The historical trend favours a continuation of the rally, but will the market prove it wrong?
The Sensex has been on a rally for eight consecutive weeks now. From 16,153 on 11 February 2010, it has rallied to a high of 17,692 for the week ending 1st April. Will this rally continue or is it finally time for the index to shed some of its gains? The study done by Moneylife looking into the past performance of the Sensex when the index had rallied similarly for weeks has fairly accurately indicated that the rally would continue into the sixth, seventh and eight week. The study is based on weekly market data from 5 January 1990. Although the study showed that the chances of the index continuing its momentum in the eight week are exactly 50%, the markets did go on to register a marginal rise (0.30%).
Will the market sustain its upswing into the ninth week also? During this period of 21 years, there have been seven instances (excluding this year) of a sustained rally in the Sensex for eight straight weeks. What happened in the 9th week in these seven cases? In as many as five instances, the subsequent week has reported a continuation in the Sensex rally. That translates into a meaty 71% positive outcome.
On these occasions, the Sensex has risen by an average of 2.69%. The index has seen a maximum gain of 4.30% and a minimum gain of 0.90%. However, in the two instances where the index has reversed its upward climb, it has witnessed an average fall of 2.5%, with a maximum fall of 4.70%.
Historical data definitely suggests that the Sensex winning streak will roll onto the 9th week. However, it would be wise to note that liquidity will play a key role in supporting this rally from here onwards.
The sustained rally in the markets so far has been fuelled by strong inflows from foreign investors and rising global indices. Reducing unemployment figures in the US and positive developments in the Greece debt situation have aided the global markets. For the Sensex to continue its upswing, a lot will depend on what the central bankers around the world choose to do with monetary policies.
Most brands have now realised that the consumer lives in a virtual world which has helped him discover his voice; trying to throttle him is just not the right solution. It will only backfire
I’m no film buff, I admit. I rarely go to the movies but those that impress me linger on in the mind for long.
I’m reminded of a Bollywood movie, Mashaal. Dilip Kumar is a strong, conscientious newspaper editor who writes against Amrish Puri, a liquor baron. Incensed by the former’s scathing attacks in print, Puri leaves no stone unturned to destroy Kumar. These were the good old days of Bollywood when drama was in-your-face and the battle of good-versus-evil was all-encompassing. I distinctly remember Amrish Puri being hung to death on reams of paper. Journalistic justice!
The moral of the story was very simple for me. You do not mess with the printed word; if you do, you end up smudged.
Now the question is, why am I reminded of this Hindi movie years later?
A few days ago, I received an email from a member of MouthShut.com. He was distraught. His email contained a few nervous lines. He had written a review against a leading hospital. The hospital got in touch with him. Initially they were polite, then gruff… you know how it is, the pattern. When the member did not yield to “polite and humble requests,” the hospital asked a local police officer who I assume must have been a “friend” of the hospital authorities to intervene. The member, unsurprisingly, buckled under pressure. He wrote to our support platform several times and marked every copy to me also. He wanted us to delete his review.
I am surprised that there are some naïve brand managers in this day and age who feel that they can get away by pressurising their customers into taking back anything negative they may have written about their brands. Can someone tell them that harassing your customers does not work in the long run? You can harass one customer with your bullying ways but you cannot overlook what is being said about your brand.
Mashaal was just a movie but it probably was prescient in nature. Dilip Kumar has now been replaced by an average consumer who is honest with his opinions but yes, there are the Amrish Puris who do not want the truth of their substandard products being exposed. These guys in my opinion are not brand managers but big villains who still believe in the autocratic style of handling consumer grievances.
They do not want to listen to the consumer, who is more like a citizen journalist now, prepared to voice his opinion on anything and everything under the sun.
The good news is that the good guys outnumber the big villains in the market. In this era of globalisation, most brand managers are listening to what their consumers are saying. True brand managers are out there, listening to consumers, engaging them and even winning them over. Most brands have now realised that the consumer now lives in a virtual world which has helped him discover his voice and trying to throttle him is just not the right solution; it will only backfire.
Antagonistic approaches do not help anyone. It’s a democratic society where brand building has gone beyond the first screen (television) phase to the second (computers) and third screen (mobiles).
In the first screen phase, brands were cocooned in the safety of one-sided information dissemination. The second and third screens are so interactive that brands have no option but to allow consumers to participate equally and if this means listening to criticism, so be it.
In the movie, Amrish Puri had a morbid end—villains are always vanquished in reel life and I believe in real life too. Getting too aggressive on one consumer might help the big villains for once. In the long run, it does not help. The second and third screens have made possible the resurgence of several Dilip Kumars.
Big villains beware!
(Faisal Farooqui is the Founder-CEO of MouthShut.com, a leading product review and social media website)