The southern Indian states are now 4-5x richer than their northern Indian counterparts and each year this gap in widening. [A decade ago, when we wrote on this topic for the first time, the multiple was 2x.] A fortnight ago, Minnu Mani became the first tribal woman from Kerala to represent India in international cricket. Sandip G’s beautifully written story on Ms Mani’s ascent captures several elements of what southern India has got right over the last 3-4 decades as it leaves the rest of the country behind and achieves second world status.
Firstly, women – including girls living in remote rural hamlets like Ms Mani (Sandip G’s description of the village dwelling in Kerela’s Wayanad district in which Ms Mani lives with her parents will make most Marcellus clients die with envy) – can travel long distances by themselves in southern India without having to fear for their lives or their possessions. To quote the Indian Express, “There are two paths, rather than roads, to reach Minnu’s house. The shortest is from Ondayangandi, the nearest bus stop, a couple of kilometres from her house. From the stop an untarred road slopes steeply to the backyard of a house that breaks into a column of paddy fields….[To reach the stadium] From her home, it takes barely 40 km one way but it required walking, often running, two km and then catching four buses, the from Ondayangadi to Mananthavady, from there to Kalapetta, then to….
The neighbours rememner a pony-tailed girl leaping over pu
ddles of water and running through slopes….to reach the bust stop in time.” [Brackets are ours]
Secondly, southern India states like Kerela and have put together extensive talent spotting and training structures and practice facilities: “She was so athletic that she excelled in long jump and sprints before a teacher in the government school she studied, rerouted her to cricket. She, thus, is as much a product of her system, as she is a design of fate. From plus-two, she moved to KCA’s residential academy in Thodapuzh in Idukki district…” [KCA stands for the Kerela Cricket Association.]
Thirdly, the women’s IPL has made it possible for ladies like Ms Mani to earn significant sums of money and thus invest more time & effort in training. These two paragraphs from Sandip G’s piece – which describes Ms Mani’s parents’ lives – captures the financial earthquake that is transforming Indian cricket: “Mani and his forefathers have been farmers for generations, like most in their community. There have been times when the fields have betrayed him, when the yield has been so negligible that he took odd jobs to keep the fire burning in the kitchen and to fuel the cricketing ambitions of his daughter. But he never forsook the fields.
After Minnu fetched a Women’s Premier League contract for Rs 30 lakh, a relative asked him why he is bothering about the field….”
South India’s transformation over the past 40 years is something that we have witnessed firsthand. This is change we can believe in as we travel around the interiors of Kerala, Tamilnadu and Karnataka signing up new clients for Marcellus. This is the change that the rest of India will benefit from over the next 40 years.
If you want to read our other published material, please visit https://marcellus.in/blog/
Note: the above material is neither investment research, nor financial advice. Marcellus does not seek payment for or business from this publication in any shape or form. Marcellus Investment Managers is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India as a provider of Portfolio Management Services. Marcellus Investment Managers is also regulated in the United States as an Investment Advisor.
Copyright © 2022 Marcellus Investment Managers Pvt Ltd, All rights reserved.