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99% Indian CEOs see economic growth improving over the next 12 months: PwC

99% Indian CEOs see economic growth improving over the next 12 months: PwC

According to PwC 25th Annual Global CEO Survey, despite the ongoing uncertainty over the Covid-19 pandemic, CEOs in India are optimistic about the prospects for a stronger economy going ahead.

While for the most part, CEOs globally are at least as optimistic as they were last year about the prospects for economic growth in 2022, the optimism of India CEOs – up from 88 per cent last year – stands out at 94 per cent. While for the most part, CEOs globally are at least as optimistic as they were last year about the prospects for economic growth in 2022, the optimism of India CEOs – up from 88 per cent last year – stands out at 94 per cent.

Despite the ongoing uncertainty over the Covid-19 pandemic, chief executive officers (CEOs) in India are optimistic about the prospects for a stronger economy going ahead. According to PwC 25th Annual Global CEO Survey, 99 per cent of CEOs in India believe the country’s economic growth will improve over the next 12 months.

On the other hand, 94 per cent of India CEOs are optimistic about global economic growth for the next 12 months as against 77 per cent of global CEOs.

The survey polled 4,446 CEOs in 89 countries and territories between October–November 2021. This also includes insights from 77 CEOs from India.

While for the most part, CEOs globally are at least as optimistic as they were last year about the prospects for economic growth in 2022, the optimism of India CEOs – up from 88 per cent last year – stands out at 94 per cent.

Sanjeev Krishan, Chairman, PwC in India said, “While Omicron has cast a shadow and CEOs are focused on the health and safety of their employees at the moment, CEO confidence and optimism over the past one year is testimony to the resilience of Indian companies. The vigour with which most Indian business leaders took the challenges brought in by the pandemic head-on, coupled with the will to emerge stronger in the face of adversity, has led to sustained growth for businesses in India. Perhaps owing to the futuristic groundwork done during the difficult times, 97 per cent of India CEOs are confident about their own company’s prospects for revenue growth not only in the near term but also over the next three years.”

Threats

As the pandemic persists, the threats that CEOs are most worried about and the impact they foresee on their businesses in the next 12 months reveal that leaders are under pressure to deliver top-line results.

Global CEOs are concerned about the global health situation and macroeconomic volatility, including fluctuations in GDP, unemployment, and inflation. For Indian CEOs, health risks (89 per cent), geopolitical conflict (77 per cent) and cyber risks (77 per cent) are the primary concerns that they feel are likely to have a near-term impact on their top-line, thereby inhibiting their ability to sell products and services.

Krishan added that after a challenging year, business leaders are under pressure to deliver top-line results. It will require them to take proactive steps to mitigate current and future risks – be they around technology, cyber security, talent or health.

“Focusing on long-term challenges and issues around climate change and social inequality also becomes extremely crucial given the highly uncertain, volatile environment we are in and [that] will define what sort of world we live in and hand down to the next generation,” he said.

Strategy

Despite rising interest in ESG, strategy is still primarily driven by business metrics, both globally and in India. Most CEOs have goals related to non-financial outcomes such as customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and automation or digitisation included in their long-term strategy.

The survey highlighted that 81 per cent and 75 per cent of India CEOs, as against 71 per cent and 62 per cent of global CEOs, include customer satisfaction and employee engagement metrics, respectively, in their company’s long-term corporate strategy.

In addition to this, 78 per cent of India CEOs, as against 54 per cent of global CEOs, include automation and digitisation goals in their company’s strategy.