Indian business leaders have emerged as the most optimistic lot in the Asian region in terms of their ability to grow and expanding internationally is a priority for most of them, says a report.
According to a new independent study commissioned by Standard Chartered, 97 per cent of the CEOs and CFOs of Indian businesses are confident in the potential to grow their business in the next five years, with an average anticipated rise in turnover of 54 per cent.
Indian business leaders are the most optimistic, while Malaysian respondents have slightly more mixed views, with 78 per cent confident in their growth prospects.
Moreover, the companies here look to expand their workforce to meet increased demand for the products and services they provide.
As many as eight in ten of the businesses who plan to grow also expect to take on more workers in the next five years, with headcount expected to increase by an average of one-third.
Expanding internationally is a priority for most of the Indian mid-sized companies in the study, with 73 per cent planning to increase their sales in existing foreign markets, and 71 per cent expecting to expand the number of international markets in which they operate.
Around 85 per cent of the Indian companies are international, typically doing business with Europe, the Middle East and China.
In India and China, companies also look to Europe as a key trading partner, with as many as 68 per cent of Indian companies and 54 per cent of Chinese companies considering Europe as their preferred foreign market.
The survey of 300 CEOs and CFOs of companies with an annual turnover of between $30 - 100 million across four of Standard Chartered's Asian markets-China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia said.
The survey said that there is considerable optimism, despite slowing economies across the Asian region.
"Mid-sized companies are crucial engines of economic growth and job creation across Asia, and increasingly active in global trade," Standard Chartered MD & Regional Head, Commercial Clients, South Asia Manish Jain said.
Jain added that "they (mid-size firms) are the Tatas and Alibabas of tomorrow, and this study shows that slowing growth in the region has not dented their confidence in the future."