Technology adoption and innovation of new models of financing will help Indian businesses stay competitive and ahead of the curve vis-à-vis global peers, leading voices from India Inc. said during a panel discussion at the BT-MindRush 2022 event on Friday.
"Companies will have to get around to accepting the changing times. How we respond to those changes will be important as geopolitical events continue to have an impact," observed CEO & managing director Tata Steel, TV Narendran.
Managing director & CEO of CRISIL, Amish Mehta observed that as world economies struggled with inflationary pressure, central banks were tightening interest rates. "Due to the geopolitical uncertainty, things have gone awry," he said surmising the situation.
Chairman PwC India, Sanjeev Krishnan opined that as the world went through the next stage in globalisation the inflationary pressures were on account of supply-side challenges. "That is why many (entities) are looking at localising supply chains," he said.
There was, however, broad consensus on the fact that compared to many other economies India was well-placed to tide over the current economic uncertainty. "India is much better prepared than it was in 2008," asserted managing director & CEO NSDL, Padmaja Chunduru.
CRISIL's Mehta said that government investment in infrastructure would play a key role in driving growth in the Indian economy.
"But then India can't be built by government alone… You will have to find innovative structures. We are optimistic about growth in the next five to seven years," he remarked.
It was also important to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) at this time, and with support extended to the sector through various government schemes it had been able to meet challenges to a large extent. "Technology networks are being created by both central and state governments, which together with reskilling and upskilling of manpower MSMEs ride over the problems," averred NSDL's Chunduru.
The global uncertainty had also led to some retraction in foreign direct investment. However, that could largely be attributed to the global uncertainties, she added.
Tata Steel's Narendran pointed out that job creation was fundamental to economic growth. "India is different from Southeast Asian economies. It is not only a source (of production) but also a market. Jobs can't travel but goods and investments can. Therefore, we must get companies to make for India," he emphasised.
PwC's Krishnan said that the country could also play a prominent role in driving global energy transition through its participation in areas such as green hydrogen.
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