Sunday, August 10, 2014

Winner takes all (and much more)

Newspapers headlines recently bought to notice of readers how the market capitalisation of TCS was more than the combined market capitalisation of the next 4 largest IT companies.

The same stories were repeated 6 months back when it was pointed out that the market capitalisation of Sun Pharma was more than the combined market capitalisation of the next 4 Pharma companies. This gap will only increase when Sun completes the Ranbaxy acquisition in the next 9 months.

Flipkart is valued 5 times the entire listed retail space in India (although none of them are in online retail).

Salman Khan and other superstars make more money in one movie than what the next rung of actors make in their entire careers.

Indias 100 richest are worth 25% of the Indian GDP. The top 1% of the world’s population holds 50% of the world’s wealth.

Look at any profession – the successful are getting super successful. The payoffs of success are now very disproportionate. This is particularly true of recent times and the new economy. The world seems to be moving towards monopolies – Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google – the online market seems to be “all or nothing” play for its participants.

Earlier for every Coke there was Pepsi. For every Boeing there was an Airbus. For every Visa there was a Mastercard. For every Nike there was a Reebok. Not that duopolies are good, but they are definitely better than monopolies.

What is the net result of all this - the world seems to be getting prosperous but not happy. As this trend gets more pronounced “success at any cost” may become the non negotiable philosophy that everyone will believe in.

 It will take a big effort from those who “have it all” to share their spoils with those who are less fortunate than them and in turn make the world a better place.  I am very sure that the effort will be worth it.