Corporate India believes cooperation between players in every industry and job creation alongside will increase productivity and put the economy back on track.
The Business Today CEO lunch meet held at ITC Maurya's rooftop restaurant 'My Humble House' in Delhi on Friday (October 25), was attended by a host of leading CEOs from diverse sectors - telecom, real estate, human resource, public policy organisations and private equity. They talked of ways to promote inclusive growth through collaboration between players in industries or what they called 'coalition within industries'. They dwelt at length on how to increase employment through skill development programmes. Business Today Editor Chaitanya Kalbag and Managing Editor Josey Puliyenthuruthel moderated the discussion.
Companies should not sit back simply because the next general election was less than a year away as there was work to be done, said Som Mittal, President, NASSCOM. "Coalition (government) at the centre is here to stay, though states may have different ruling parties," he added. "Each of us has a job to do now rather wait for a coalition economy."
Dilip Chenoy, MD & CEO, National Skill Development Corporation, said the focus should be on employment and job creation. "A mechanism must also be in place to move out goods from the hinterland of India to the mainland of the country and abroad," Chenoy added.
"We attach so much importance to the government," said Debjani Ghosh, Managing Director, Sales and Marketing Group, Intel South Asia. "That needs to be balanced out. Corporate India needs to grow up and have its own way. No matter who comes to power, the situation will not change overnight."
Dmitry Shukov, Chief Executive Officer, Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd (which operates under the brand name MTS), said serious changes needed to be made to bring about a stable and fair regulatory regime in India. "India is good for telecom operators as it has a huge population that, in turn, is the main source of revenue generation in the telecom industry," he said.
Yogesh Malik, CEO, Uninor, said he had no quarrel with the system of spectrum allocation but affordable pricing of the telecom services was more important. "It's all about how do you become innovative in giving that per minute pricing," he added.
CEOs were asked to list two things each they expected from the new government that will be take charge after the elections. "Public-private partnership in agri-infrastructure such as irrigation, and decontrol of a few controlled sectors like sugar," said Rajesh Srivastava, Chairman and Managing Director, Rabo Equity Advisors.
"The country needs to encourage more young people to study politics as part of their curriculum as the average age of politician is somewhere around 60 in India," said Amar Sinha, Executive Director, Wave Infratech.. "We also need to take the GDP numbers which are currently pretty low to eight per cent and that can only happen with a lot of investment flowing in."
Among those who attended the lunch were Som Mittal, President, NASSCOM; Sunil Lalvani, MD, BlackBerry India; Dilip Chenoy, MD & CEO, National Skill Development Corporation; Manish Tiwari, CEO, Biltech; Debjani Ghosh, MD (Sales and Marketing Group), Intel South Asia; P. Balaji, MD, Nokia India; Rajiv Srivastava, President (Printing and Personal Systems), HP India; Dmitry Shukov, CEO, Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited; Rajesh Janey, President-India and SAARC, EMC; Achal Khanna, CEO, SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) India and Manasije Mishra, Chief Executive, Max Bupa Health Insurance Company Limited; Yogesh Malik, CEO, Uninor; Rajesh Srivastava, CMD, Rabo Equity Advisors and Amar Sinha, Executive Director, Wave Infratech.
The event was sponsored by Wave Group, which owns businesses ranging from real estate to film distribution. ITC Maurya hosted it.