TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Scott Jagow: Fear has gripped India’s financial capital. Two luxury hotels have turned into a battleground where police are fighting terrorists. Those terrorists coordinated an attack on 10 locations around the city. An Islamic militant group has claimed responsibility, and so far, more than a hundred people are dead. Mumbai has seen this kind of thing before, but this time, the economic consequences could be much more severe, considering the global economy at the moment.
We’re joined now by Roopak Saluja. He’s a film producer based in Bombay. Roopak, what kind of fallout could India be facing here?
Roopak Saluja: Yes, it definitely will have an impact in foreign investor confidence on India’s international image. On people’s confidence within India as well — all the stakeholders involved are going to feel, especially when the stock market opens tomorrow, there’s going to be a lot of empty planes coming to India over the next few weeks and then some cancelled flights. But overall, I think there’s going to be a tendency towards resilience, and you’ll see that the effects are not going to be very long-lasting.
Jagow: And is there anything here to the timing of it with the global economy suffering the way it is?
Saluja: Yeah, it is definitely unfortunate. I mean it’s not like you need something like this happening at any point, but you really don’t need it happening now. Less than six months ago, the index on the Indian stock market was at about 20,000. We’re about . . . somewhere hovering around 8,000 right now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you see it flirting with five and a half, six in the next week.
Jagow: Roopak, you’re a film producer?
Saluja: That’s right.
Jagow: You know, India has made a name for itself in the movie business. I’m wondering if there might be some backlash on your industry because of attacks like this.
Saluja: Well, as far as my industry personally, we make TV commercials for international markets and we work with a lot of international directors. And I do expect our business to be affected in the short term, at least in terms of a lot of, you know, a lot of people not wanting to travel to India and festing.
Jagow: Film producer Roopak Saluja in Bombay. Thanks for joining us.
Saluja: Thank you very much.
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