On Monday, the domestic equity market took a tumble and the Sensex shed around 1,400 points in a single day. The media went bonkers, equating it to a cataclysmic event like the Indian cricket team being bowled out for 36 runs.

The headlines cited all sorts of reasons for the fall – from a new strain of coronavirus to the pace of recovery in global markets – all in a single day. If this continues for a few days, one is quite likely to see recently-blooded equity investors to wistfully look at the bull market and wonder – to paraphrase Shakespeare – Et tu, ‘Bull’-tus?

Well, that’s the beauty of bull markets. They race ahead of themselves most times, correct sharply, pause for some time and resume their upward journey. For the seasoned investor, this is the time to look at selectively investing more. For the recently initiated one, this is the time to observe and learn the irrationality of markets, from a very rational, non-ebullient perspective.

There are three basic reasons to believe that there is a longer-term play on the growth of India out there. They are:

1. The pandemic, if it re-surfaces through another strain of the virus (God forbid!), is something the world knows how to handle better. The last time around, we re-booted the world, in a manner of speaking, as we always do when we do not know how to handle things. This time around, the world and its populace are psychologically more adept at navigating a crisis than ever before. So, governments might calibrate lockdowns better, health workers may be able to pace themselves better and businesses might be able to adapt to changing dynamics with the benefit of hindsight.

India has performed better than most nations worldwide, and I see no reason to believe it might not do better if it is tested again.

2. Worldwide, central banks have a template of injecting sizeable flows into the system simultaneously – it is the equivalent of Remdesivir in a Covid patient which immediately halts the multiplication of the virus any further. While there might be long-term effects, which most of us are not aware of, in the short term, the world and its businesses will have their basic needs met and will tread along. Dr Central Bank may not have all the answers, but world analytics suggest businesses get enough time to recover and form their own antibody strategies to sustain.

The Finance Ministry and RBI have shown spine and stood up to pressure from armchair economists with their own template for revival. While one might argue that not everything was successful, the flow of money into a country like India, even when compared with its emerging market peers, over the last few months shows increasing confidence that the world has in our ability to navigate the crisis.

3. Over the last few months, there have been momentous announcements made by the government, the impact of which will be felt over the next few years as the world watches with interest. The agricultural bills reform promises to revitalise the agricultural sector. Today, 60 per cent of the country’s population is focused on a sector which generates only 15 per cent of its GDP. The agricultural bill could be the catalyst to correct this anomaly and raise agricultural yields and farmer incomes dramatically over the next few years.

Likewise, the PLI scheme is a bold initiative, which aggressively feeds into the world’s China + 1 paranoia and is spawning a mindset, which is cost-efficient, globally competitive and can be worked on mega scalability. This is across industries and the Indian entrepreneur has his animal spirits reviving in a big way.

The key thing here is that Indian businesses have learnt to get more with less. Barring a handful of industries and companies, every sector is “close to pre-Covid levels,” which in a span of nine calendar months, is a dramatic achievement

Lest I sound too bullish, here is a word of caution. Geopolitical factors play an increasingly important role in driving market sentiments globally, as we have seen in the recent past. When markets need an excuse to pause in the light of global liquidity, geopolitical factors tend to be the proverbial fly in the ointment.

Long-term investors should use such corrections as an opportunity to increase their investment with reputed investment managers, who have been able to identify winning opportunities in as deep a crisis as the recent one.