Personal Finance

The existential philosopher Søren Kierkegaard said, “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” This insight raises a profound paradox — and challenge — for those who lead. Focusing on the constant demands of the present moment and the future can keep you from fully learning from what you’ve done in the past. An inability to reflect wastes experience, leaving its value only partially harvested.

As I write, there have been more than 11.4 million COVID-19 cases worldwide, causing more than 534,000 deaths. Unlike most crises that arise and fade away quickly, COVID-19 is persisting and is expected to resurge later in the year. And many experts think the second wave could be more severe than the first. It’s important for leaders to take the time now to contemplate what has and hasn’t worked during this first series of outbreaks in order to lessen the


Mutual fund (MF) distributors have seen shrinking incomes with the gross amount paid by fund houses slipping to a three-year low of Rs 6,134 crore in 2019-2020 (FY20). The payouts were 22 per cent lower than previous year’s tally of Rs 7,938 crore.


Market participants attribute this to a combination of factors.


“Fund houses are looking to control costs by rationalising the commission-linked structures. As more fund houses get listed, the commissions could fall further, as MFs would look to further optimise their overall costs,” said Srikanth Matrubai, chief executive officer of Sri Kavi Wealth.


“There has been a nudge towards direct channels and value of assets have also seen an impact amid the market correction,” said Dhirendra Kumar, founder and chief executive officer of MF tracker Value Research.


Assets under direct plans accounted for 47 per cent of the

Illustration by Peter Stark

When disruption strikes a business, it is natural for its leaders to try to defend it by focusing on core business activities and improving current products and practices, even while creating a sense of urgency to bring about change. In a survey of 486 global CEOs PwC undertook in 2019, a significant majority said this was a good response to disruptive new entrants.

On the face of it, this reaction appears to be a no-brainer. And there are numerous examples of companies whose defense succeeded. Take Sky, a European media and entertainment company that responded to disruption by digitizing its existing processes and at the same time developing new digital products for its customers — all of which aimed to improve Sky’s core business. Similarly, Walmart invested heavily in robotics to improve the efficiency of its retailing operations while also leveraging its 4,789 physical stores in


You can now buy a cover of more than Rs 5 lakh under Arogya Sanjeevani, the standard policy, with the regulator removing the cap on maximum sum insured.


The Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has also removed the mandate on minimum sum insured of Rs 1 lakh under the policy, allowing customers to buy a basic cover of Rs 50,000.


In January, had mandated all general and health insurers to offer a standardised health cover with minimum sum insured of Rs 1 lakh and maximum Rs 5 lakh.


“To further facilitate the general public, insurers are hereby allowed to offer minimum sum insured less than Rs 1 lakh and maximum sum insured greater than Rs 5 lakh, subject to the underwriting policy of the insurers. The sum insured options shall be offered in the multiples of

Leading in the Digital World: How to Foster Creativity, Collaboration, and Inclusivity

by Amit S. Mukherjee, MIT Press, 2020

From Herodotus and Machiavelli to Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis, most leadership writers have followed the same basic approach: They study successful leaders and try to derive practices from their lives and careers that aspiring leaders can adopt. Amit Mukherjee, a professor of leadership and strategy at Hult International Business School, rejects this approach in his intriguing new book, Leading in the Digital World.

In a variation on the theme of contextual leadership championed by Harvard Business School’s Anthony Mayo and Nitin Nohria, Mukherjee contends that the practices of business leaders must evolve with and from the technological context of their times. “Periodically, technologies appear that have long arcs of impact into the future,” he writes. “When introduced, they require dramatic changes in the nature of work, which, in


With the Covid-19 crisis yet to abate, the Income (I-T) department has extended several deadlines for taxpayers. With so many extensions and deadline changes, it’s easy to lose track and this could pose challenges while filing I-T returns.


Archit Gupta, chief executive officer, Cleartax, says: “Estimation poses practical challenges. People may not be able to proceed with completion of tax-saving until July 31 due to the lockdown extension. Also, taxpayers do not have Form 16, TDS (deducted at source) or TCS (collected at source) certificates until August 15, 2020, to correctly calculate their self-assessment tax liability.”



The new changes include:


Tax filing for FY19


If you are someone who did not file returns until March 2020, you will now get additional time until July 31, 2020, to finish the same for the