Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Indian Rupee Getting Cheaper: Opportunity or Curse?

The day has come where the Indian rupee bagged the title "Asia's worst performing currency" when it hit rock bottom of 52.73, a 16.8 percent weaker than its 2011 high reached in late July. Probably India is showing consistency in only two things- inflation and currency decline. Question arises who is actually in crisis. Is it U.S. or India? Is it some gain and just lots of pain? Let's take an areal view of the situation. The rupee suffered its second biggest fall in history.

The opportunities if rupee gets cheaper:
1. More rupees for dollars:

Families of those working overseas will get more rupees for the dollars remitted by them. If you have been working for long time away from India and want to come back and settle down then 'Make hay while the Sun Shines'. The Indian rupee will fetch you fortunes if you have someone from abroad sending you lucky charm notes. For example, One euro can get you 70 now, which is 16.5 percent more than what it did at the beginning of this year. The British pound brings 81.40 rupees now, up nearly 17 percent, and the Australian dollar can get you 51.47 rupees, 12.5 percent higher than the start of this year. The Kuwaiti dinar is worth nearly 17 percent more at 187 for every dinar. On an individual level, however, the rupee's losses can be good for some and bad for others depending on the situation.

2. Medical Tourism in India will get a boost:
Fall in Indian currency value has created an opportunity for Medical Tourism to India as overse as patients have benefits of already low cost of treatment in India compared to U.S. and falling Indian Rupee is giving extra edge to Dollar paying patients. Calculation of packages in Rupee value has given a double bonanza to the overseas visitors visiting India for Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery, as Indian packages were already 60-70 percent less than those in US and on top of that a further 20 percent reduction due to Indian currency depreciation is an icing on cake for patients from USA and Europe.

3. Diamonds and Gems makers look to capitalize:

For the diamonds and gems industry, the falling rupee coincides with the peaking demand during the Christmas-New Year season. Diamantaires in Surat, the world's biggest diamond cutting and polishing centre, are hoping to cash in on the weakening rupee. Diamond companies import rough diamonds, paying cash and the rupee depreciation helps the industry pay out lower on imports than what it earns through export.

"The dipping rupee helps the industry in all the merchandize and non-merchandize jewellery export as it hedges its risk against raw material well in advance," said Rajiv Jain, chairman of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).