Aadhaar and the Financial Revolution

Featuring Basudev Dass, Neeraj Gutgutia, Ritesh Vaidya

India presents the biggest investment opportunity in the world and in ‘The Big Story’, Raoul Pal uncovers how Aadhaar and the world’s first national digital infrastructure, will move masses out of poverty and could eclipse China’s development over the past 20 years. Find out how this biometric database and electronic payments system for India’s massive population will literally change the world, creating an amazing opportunity for investors.

Published on
11 August, 2017
Asia, Frontier Markets, Technology
34 minutes
Asset class
Crypto-currencies, Cash


  • NF

    N. F.

    5 1 2018 18:18

    0       0

    That didn't take long: "India’s national ID database is reportedly accessible for less than $10" https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/04/indias-national-id-database-is-reportedly-accessible-for-less-than-10/

  • DC

    Dave C.

    4 1 2018 20:00

    0       0

    Well... who would have thought this could happen - shocked !! https://www.buzzfeed.com/pranavdixit/indias-national-id-database-with-private-information-of

  • SS

    Steven S.

    8 12 2017 23:00

    1       0

    after watching this India pump - round out your views by watching this truly excellent piece: https://youtu.be/hzXZYVogffE

    Jason Burack of Wall St for Main St interviewed resource stock investor, Jayant Bhandari http://jayantbhandari.com/. It's an excellent piece in my opinion.

  • Hg

    Hed g.

    17 9 2017 05:03

    0       0

    Generally speaking, culture and people influence the outcome. Even if a country has the best infrastructure and state of the art technology to track every citizens and collect taxes, there are always loopholes and greedy corrupt people seeking to exploit the system. Just look around other asian countries....

  • JN

    Jill N.

    16 9 2017 11:22

    2       0

    Brilliant thank you Raoul, have gained an even deeper insight after hearing from you first at the SIC conference earlier this year.
    Instead of / in addition to, Amazon partnering with the Indian banks for small Ioans, Apple could partner with Amazon , AmazApp ? & deploy Apple's cash billions to its end user borrowers all duly identified & controlled within Aadhaar & be part of the Indian Stack.

  • JK

    John K.

    13 9 2017 00:54

    0       0
  • JK

    John K.

    13 9 2017 00:54

    0       0
  • fT

    forecast T.

    8 9 2017 20:58

    1       0

    $INFY employs over 200k people , and $TTM is ridiculously diversiefd like T and johnson and johnson combined.

  • DY

    Damian Y.

    20 8 2017 12:09

    12       0

    Very interesting interview.
    I spent four months traveling overland in years a while ago, and it is one of the most corrupt countries that I've been to, and I've been to over 60. It's a very interesting country to travel in.
    Corruption just isn't at the government level but runs through the whole of society. It's just the way that the Indian's do business, it's a part of their culture.
    Government and people can still corrupt computer systems and this is nothing more than big government control that can go very wrong. I do hope that it works out for them, as a lot of people need to get out of the terrible poverty that is so dominate in India
    The Indian government may raise more taxes but I find it very hard to believe that the government will do the right thing with the money, and invest it in infrastructure. Most of it will go into corrupt government bureaucrats who will use it to feather their own nest. Personally, I wouldn't trust any government and I really wouldn't trust the India government to do the right thing. They have never done the right thing to the people in the past, which make me think that they'll never do the right thing in the future.
    The comment the guy made that India has a big immigration problem, and that biometrics will help stop that.
    Imagine if Donald Trump said that he was bringing biometrics into law, and that all US citizens had to have it, so it would help stop immigration. Can you imagine all the names he would be called ending in ist?
    It's all sounding very Orwellian. Our wonderful forefathers fought very hard for our freedom, and I personally don't want to hand it over to the government.
    The reason why I like cash and gold, is because I haven't got some government or corporation watching every transaction I do, it gives me privacy.

  • GR

    Guido R.

    18 8 2017 15:09

    5       0

    It seems to me that this will obliterate corruption at the hands of the many just to institutionalize it in the hands of a few.

  • DY

    Dmytro Y.

    17 8 2017 15:57

    1       0

    Somewhat light and bit shallow in tand one sided indeed this time. While this system can be good for India with 1.2 bln people in poverty the global and long term consequences might be questionnable.

  • SH

    Stephen H.

    17 8 2017 02:30

    0       0

    Very one sided - so many obvious unexplored issues - something fishy here..

  • TS

    Thomas S.

    15 8 2017 16:07

    15       3

    Beautifully produced and delivered mini-doc. But far too one sided with no perspective on the long term impact on the human condition. Everything is focused solely on making a profit within the next five to fifteen years. Mr. Pal is possibly the world's greatest global macro investor and correct on the investment thesis. But the far more important aspect of this development in India is the massive win it is for further centralization of power and control over mankind - technotronic enslavement according to the predictions of Brzezinski. I generally enjoy and benefit from the quality of information presented at RV, but this production is disappointingly one sided.

  • DC

    Dave C.

    15 8 2017 02:29

    19       0

    Thought provoking. A few information sources that may be of interest to those wanting to dig deeper

    1. Integrity of fingerprint as a unique identifier


    2. Competence of governments to securely manage identity databases


    3. Jan 2017 analysis of India demonitisation


    4. Biometrics around the world


    5. India and geopolitics



  • PW

    Phil W.

    14 8 2017 23:17

    0       3

    Great stuff as always. Any suggestions on India ETF trading on the Canadian exchanges?


  • LV

    Luís V.

    14 8 2017 23:10

    5       1

    Excellent format and information regarding future investments in India (and soon elsewhere).
    This installment from RPal is an investment research piece. Just that.
    I can see the economic prospects and consequences. For both the citizens and investors (domestic and foreign). Even to fight corruption this sounds like a great idea.
    Downplaying the negative sides of such a project is strange to say the least. It just need to be kept in mind that is mandatory. So good that has to be mandatory...hmmm.
    To a country that has a huge percentage of people without basic sanitation and clean water distribution infrastructures, this move looks like jumping ten steps up the ladder. In this regard RPal is right - it´s a big investment opportunity.
    If the issues regarding privacy and terrorism (!!!) were not addressed, it was morally neutral. But they were brought to the fore, so...

    It´s just natural that the forums get tough on some topics, but we should embrace this as a plus.
    So, Mr. Pal keep these challenges coming. Please.
    All the best to RVtv Crew and RV viewers.

  • Sv

    Sid v.

    14 8 2017 19:08

    0       0


  • GM

    Greg M.

    14 8 2017 17:04

    9       0

    But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

  • TM

    The-First-James M.

    14 8 2017 15:58

    0       1

    I've yet to see Bitcoin move hundreds of percent in a day this year...

  • AG

    Aidan G.

    14 8 2017 13:05

    9       2

    Aadhar in English means 'Base' (Noun). This card is therefore the base identification for all Indians. In a country of 1.2 billion where poverty is a real social and economic issue. Where corruption at all levels worsen the situation for the poor. The Aadhar card is like a 'knight in shining armour'. I applaud the Indian Govt for taking the bold step forward and pray that they are successful in bringing some much needed change and positively impact the lives of many who need a helping hand. There is a new startup that offers a free App to every Indian to buy, sell, promote their business, find work or look for workers - no fees, no commissions. It should appeal to all Indians - www.workappworld.in

  • KJ

    Kyle J.

    14 8 2017 11:27

    4       0

    Let's hope and pray that the Indian govt uses this development for the benefit of Indian society, rather than using it to impose their will, and to monitor and control their citizens.

  • KS

    Kashyap S.

    14 8 2017 11:19

    8       9

    One of the stupidest stories I have ever seen covered on RealVision, and I've been around since inception! Neeraj Gutgutia especially seems to be completely clueless. Having an Aadhar card cuts out terrorism? Expected better from RVTV. Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change does a far better job covering the demonetisation and aftermath than these so-called financial analysts. Analysts talking to other analysts creates an echo chamber divorced from reality and this story proves it.

  • GF

    Gordon F.

    14 8 2017 04:27

    6       0

    I have a concern that no one has mentioned yet. How dependable is the digital infrastructure that supports all this? Especially in case of war, as China and India are going through another of their periodic border clashes. If things get hotter, might it be feasible for China to knock out India's digital network, and thus shut down this entire system?
    Cash is a form of infrastructure, as are all payment systems. India has moved very aggressively to demolish the old system, but I worry that what they have put in place is not as bulletproof as this video assumes.
    Where do the majority of India's routers come from? If the answer is China, or if other critical components have a Chinese source, then we can be almost certain that they have left themselves a back door.
    Of course, if the network goes down, cryptocurrencies will be just as useless as the Aadharr system. I hope my worries are unfounded, but I suspect that we are going to find out soon, either in India or elsewhere.

  • FC

    Fractal C.

    14 8 2017 02:11

    2       0

    @Raoul, the best places to be in India (IMHO) is to stay invested in the domestic consumption names in the listed equity space. For example, United Spirits. Aadhar and related innovations are going to spur consumption boom in India.

  • TD

    Tim D.

    13 8 2017 20:39

    3       3

    RV looks behind the horizon. Wonderful. You can call Raoul India-biased but can you blame him for that? No. When watching the testimonees in the street it felt like a socialist dream come true: "Yeah, we get our rice on time now, our pension, too, and our social benefits..." Ayn Rand would not be happy. But I want to believe that this Adahaar System will build much more trust inside the Indian economy resulting in some un-socialist side effects like entrepreneurship. Which should be the final goal of this operation, shan't it?

  • WM

    Will M.

    13 8 2017 18:14

    4       3

    Very interesting big brother development. I can see the benefits, especially for India in its particular circumstances. I agree with Raoul on the implications. The privacy argument is over used now. Its too late to be concerned about privacy. I'd prefer to have it and don't personally used Facebook, but with all the electronic data demands today individual privacy is dying.

  • JK

    Jon K.

    13 8 2017 18:04

    2       0

    I agree a more balanced coverage of Aadhaar would be beneficial, such as including those with negative opinions about the service.

    I also think the narrative regarding the currency is a separate story at the moment. Aadhaar has some very unique social benefits regardless of the cash ban. However, from people I have met traveling who are from India, I was told that shortly after they outlawed the 500 and 1000 rupee everyone went back to using these bills because cash is such a big part of how Indian culture functions.

    India and the Aadhaar system is interesting to watch for a lot of reasons and I am looking forward to future coverage from RVTV on these topics.

  • PB

    Pieter B.

    13 8 2017 15:23

    0       1

    Excellent video. Thanks Raul!

  • KK

    Kevin K.

    13 8 2017 13:08

    5       0

    I've read through the comments and there is a lot of talk re privacy issues, big brother, and the coming of an Orwellianesque state. I believe these comments originate primarily from Westerners using their own experiences as a backdrop.

    Having done business in India and spoken to friends of mine who live there, these issues aren't the main concern. You can sense there is a general enthusiasm and positive support towards the current government of Modi and the reforms he is trying to enact including GST and Aadhaar. This can be seen in the growing state and federal level backing of Modis ruling party.

    Whilst I believe the Aadhaar system and GST reforms are imperfect to say the least and have massive inefficiencies, I do believe that most Indians will see this as a move in the right direction. Especially since the majority still live below or around the poverty line and their primary concern are everyday basic needs, not the worries of privacy infringement.

  • ii

    ida i.

    13 8 2017 10:39

    1       1

    if people in India must now have a bank account, isn't this very negative for gold medium term? I remember a video few months back where it was explained that Gold has always been purchased by indian farmer who don't trust banking system, especially after a good crop....

  • SP

    Sat P.

    13 8 2017 07:43

    4       1

    Great piece because although I heard about Aadhaar some time ago, the additional details here such as the UPI, India Stack and PAN were extra pieces in the puzzle. Thanks for making this video.

  • EW

    Eric W.

    12 8 2017 18:29

    4       0

    Everyone in this program seemed to have a very positive picture about Adhaar. It would be interesting to hear from people in India with a different opinion.

    Percentage-wise, how large is the support for Adhaaar?

  • BJ

    Bryan J.

    12 8 2017 18:23

    4       1

    GREAT REPORT! Thank you for the great work on this. Love India and have traveled there for business in the past. This is really amazing what they are trying to do because it will transform their country. Yes, I hear the comments and concerns about privacy. But if you are a poor Indian who's life can be actually transformed by this, or an Indian who this helps move out of poverty, or helps others advance into the middle class AND moves a nation into the first world on the scale of the western nations and makes India an equal with China - what is more important to the Indian? It is easy for westerners to be concerned about privacy when you don't have to worry about putting rice on the table.

  • JK

    Jan K.

    12 8 2017 12:06

    6       0

    The future will not be centralised. What India is doing is an improvement but might turn out to be a very costly and dystopian development.

    Watch Naval Ravikant, founder of AngelList, talk about decentralisation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrSn3zx2GbM

  • PN

    Paul N.

    12 8 2017 12:04

    5       0

    [--Repost from an earlier video--]

    "The India/Bitcoin story is interesting because the arguments on both sides make a fair amount of sense. On one side, the introduction of a high tech, regulated, highly efficient, government-endorsed financial system means that a billion Indians can become banked without the need for Bitcoin. If the goal of Bitcoin was to serve the unbanked, this story took a massive chunk of that potential growth away from Bitcoin.

    On the other side, now that cash is banned, the demand for a censorship resistant, private, bearer form of money just skyrocketed. All of the black market and grey market money in India now needs somewhere to go where it can't be taxed or surveilled, and Bitcoin fulfills that niche. The fact that Bitcoin has been trading at a 5-25% premium in India ever since the cash ban occurred is strong evidence of this.

    My own view has always been that blockchain-based systems don't offer an efficiency over centralized regulated systems. They're less efficient by design because every node on the network has to process all of the transactions. The key benefit is the censorship resistance and privacy which is needed for many of the same reasons (good or bad) as cash.

    Also, India has recently decided to regulate and legalize bitcoin so I don't see any imminent regulatory threat to it. I think the most likely scenario is that it simply coexists with the Aadhaar system and even gets a boost in adoption because of it."

  • IO

    Igor O.

    12 8 2017 11:55

    2       0

    Would love to see follow up as the story unfolds. And opportunities in individual tech companies open up.

  • SR

    Steve R.

    12 8 2017 09:07

    32       0

    The concerns raised over privacy are real and valid, and you should definitely not ignore them. But for India, they are probably 5 to 10 years before this becomes a real issue. In the meantime India does offer some compelling opportunities, great piece Raoul!

    For western countries however data privacy IS a problem. Governments are using personal data to 'manage and control the population' through all available media channels. Entire populations are in effect being managed and 'brainwashed' into what they can think, how that can act, how they should view things, history (china is the perfect example of this). If you can't see this happening day in day out you must have your head buried deep in the sand. 'Fake news' is just one very visible example of this. Data privacy and security will be a big issue in the years ahead and I can personally see a massive backlash against it. As someone who's been in the IT sector for over 30 years I see these real issues every day. The big move to the cloud just centralizes data for the likes of the NSA and foreign bodies to trawl through. I'm now working with companies who are actively moving AWAY from the cloud to protect their data, privacy and IP. If you really believe the likes of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple etc don't provide back doors into their data centers for government authorities then you are seriously deluded. The NSA has incredible powers. A couple of famous quotes that encapsulate these issue for me; "Absolute power corrupts absolutely", and "This isn't a problem, until it becomes a problem". I see the issues every day and they're real. Concentrated power over personal data just won't end well.

  • TH

    Timo H.

    12 8 2017 08:59

    6       0

    This is indeed a big story nobody is talking about. It takes years to see the real benefits, but they will come. Zero-friction corruption-free trade is a huge step forward. However, the success ultimately depends on whether the government is able to resist the temptation to use the digital ID technology to oppressive purposes.

  • PN

    Paul N.

    12 8 2017 08:52

    8       0

    I think you can simultaneously believe that Aadhaar is both a huge step for bringing millions of people out of poverty AND a huge security & privacy risk for their population. I have little faith that even a well-intentioned government can secure their citizens' data on a live online network with a central repository.

    Invest as if the entire database being leaked is a forgone conclusion. Invest as if a lot more 2nd/3rd world countries will go down the same path and become the new long term growth areas of the world. Invest as if the minority of people who do need/want financial privacy will move to alternatives (i.e. crypto) if cash is banned. Invest as if the centre of the world pivots east.

  • AE

    Alex E.

    12 8 2017 04:41

    15       0

    Thanks, Raoul for a great video. I can;t really add much more to the major points made by others here, I can only offer my own opinion. For India, this was a necessary step forward. I agree that bringing millions of people out of poverty is very needed. For India, privacy isn't all that important because survival is the overwhelming directive. For Indians, this was the best way forward. As a Westerner, what bothers me IS the funneling of all personal information into a central storage facility where your information can be used against you. ( Because the government controls the storage, it also has full access!) I try to use as much cash as possible. I do not have a smartphone. I do not keep my cellphone turned on unless I use it and that could be weeks between calls. I do not use social media. I may be left behind, but at least I make being tracked that much harder for nosy government types who have absolutely no business being in my business. Despite what you say, Raoul, a wise man once said "A government that is powerful enough to provide you with everything you need is powerful enough to take it all away.." Shades of Big Brother, anyone?

  • DJ

    Dhananjay J.

    12 8 2017 03:02

    6       2

    It is funny how many negative comments are made. This is simple matter not rocket science, is this a step forward - No it is not. This is a giant leap for India and combined with the leadership the country has today, India is like a rocket about to be launched. There will always be naysayers based on one off experience but that does not change the big picture, the countdown has started..... don't miss the voyage.

  • JV

    Jason V.

    12 8 2017 00:53

    7       3

    Raoul is not fresh out of college and green around the edges. He has spent decades successfully investing and personally dealing with the finest minds in the industry. When he speaks, the smart money listens. His idea development process is methodical, logical and extremely thorough. Of course he has investigated the pros and cons of this issue. And his view is that this is one of the very best investment opportunities available over the coming years. If Garry Kasparov gave you personal advice on improving your chess, would you question his ability? I think there are many vastly experienced and knowledgeable people in the financial industry that would consider Raoul Pal a 'grandmaster' of investing. Just my two cents' worth...

  • HK

    Hurshy K.

    12 8 2017 00:19

    2       2

    This is your best work RP

  • MA

    Melanie A.

    11 8 2017 23:50

    6       0

    Harinder Takhar (CEO of Paytm) is interviewed at CB Insight's recent Fintech conference here if anyone is interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYEkw9QxQYI

  • DG

    Detlef G.

    11 8 2017 22:28

    12       3

    I am also concerned about protection of privacy. Having lived through the abusive governments in Nazi Germany and Communist Soviet Union (both countries where I spent my youth) I do not trust government to do the right thing with data that is collected. This data can be used to control and persecute those who disagree with government policy. Should liberty and privacy be compromised for the convenience provided by Aadhaar ?
    I very much liked the report but I wonder if the people being interviewed aren't outliers in that they are the better educated and are wealthier than most of India. India is made up of tribes that are not only illiterate but have no understanding of morality and justice. My eyes were opened after I read a series of articles about India's problems since the British left by Jayant Bhandari on Acting-Man.com.

  • DB

    Douglas B.

    11 8 2017 22:04

    5       0

    Outside of ETFs, how does one invest in individual Indian companies while based in the US?

  • rr

    rlw r.

    11 8 2017 21:07

    1       1

    Outstanding research/documentary Raoul. Thank you.
    Outstanding humanitarian/investment opportunities - vs -
    Outstanding privacy/government risks.
    Fast implements will help show us all who most benefits, the people or governments.

  • WG

    Wade G.

    11 8 2017 19:55

    27       3

    Don't get me wrong, I like this site and Principals running it, including Mr. Pal. And I confess I can't pretend to understand India... it's corruption, frictions in transactions, etc. But this piece celebrates a radical government intervention disturbing historic use and definition of money, devised by government and in consultation with very large banking and tech companies, without any cogent discussion of privacy implications or the rake provided to banks and telecom, etc., that will follow. Even a stone cold investment thesis would benefit from the exploration of those issues. Call me cynical, but I'm more worried than excited for India. I confess I don't have sufficient detailed knowledge to advance a cogent thesis myself. I just felt like the piece was one-sided.

  • GM

    Gerald M.

    11 8 2017 19:20

    10       1

    The production quality of this report is amazing. MSM can't do any better. Well done RVTV!
    The content of the report is also amazing and I am excited for how India will change. People will have concerns about privacy and Big Brother but the reality is that we are already well past the point of no return (would you give up your personal tracker - I mean cell phone?). People will move past their concerns and embrace the technology. I think financial middlemen should be very concerned. That include Visa, Mastercard and others. Peer-to-peer lending and payments will disrupt the entire industry.

  • VK

    Viresh K.

    11 8 2017 18:08

    4       1

    First point, look at all of these guys who are getting interviewed. Almost all of them have modern smart phones in their pocket. I've commented about this a few times, they value mobile phones over upgrading their house or other more basic upgrades in life.

  • JH

    Jonathan H.

    11 8 2017 16:41

    3       0

    Seems like the time horizon on this type of trade would be 5+ years easy, correct?

  • AF

    Andrew F.

    11 8 2017 16:21

    6       2

    India is a huge economy and the benefits can be endless. It's really going to boost the technology/financial sector related to fintech.
    Thanks for another great insight on your travels and discoveries.
    Thanks Raoul

  • DI

    Dabangg I.

    11 8 2017 16:16

    23       2

    I cAn tell you nothing has changed. Corruption still exists and my father is still struggling to get his pension 5 years after getting aadhar. Its just a state propaganda and big brother syndrome. Don

  • BG

    Balraj G.

    11 8 2017 15:55

    4       3

    I was expecting some Bollywood dancers with that intro music. Balleh!! Balleh!!

  • DK

    Daniel K.

    11 8 2017 15:28

    17       0

    I'm worried the rest of the world is moving in this direction too.

  • TS

    Tyler S.

    11 8 2017 15:10

    3       4

    I want to work and travel with you guys, you guys really need to bring me on board.

  • km

    kenneth m.

    11 8 2017 14:26

    20       0

    Don't get me wrong. This is definitely investable and therefore thanks to RealVision for identifying that. Just don't know that it should be celebrated.

  • km

    kenneth m.

    11 8 2017 14:20

    43       2

    The problem is that you can never trust governments in the long run. Of couse, they talk about terrorism and corruption and those are issues. But, power will always lead to abuse and people are becoming inured to the complete loss of privacy and the ultimate threat that poses. They are correct to point out Google and FB. But, at the same time they say Aadhaar is safer, they talk about linking it to everything else and when all of your data is in one place, what happens when your government simply freezes the data in that place, perhaps because you are of the wrong party, etc.

  • TH

    Thomas H.

    11 8 2017 14:02

    8       0

    My concern is that there will be a cost for these transactions. Will the government allow certain companies to benefit as they have allowed the health insurance companies to consume part of the health care dollar?

  • AE

    Aleksey E.

    11 8 2017 12:09

    1       0

    Sounds like they are trying to catch up with China re digital payments, ease of transfer/financing/services etc although my concern with investing in sensex for example is that it is currently just heavily correlated with the S&P

  • RM

    Richard M.

    11 8 2017 11:57

    7       3

    Wow Raoul, fantastic report! As an American who grew up on Hollywood movies and best seller novels about how big gov't can abuse the system I have a healthy skepticism regarding the dangers of gov't collection of data. BUT, for India, this seems like a fantastic solution to bring their country and economy leap frogging into the 21st Century. It seems as if benefits are already being seen by the adoption of this technology but the full scale of the improvements to everyday life for Indian citizens will probably not be seen for another 5-10 years. It will be very exciting to watch how this develops and unfolds. I wish the Indian people and country the best of luck in rolling out this enterprise!

  • DH

    Daniel H.

    11 8 2017 11:19

    1       1