The first phase of polling on Thursday saw business leaders from Hyderabad and Noida line up through the day at polling booths. Business Today spoke to a few and what stood out was their similar expectations from leaders they supported. Irrespective of the choice, a major link node was expectation of a stable government so that policymaking and not politics takes precedence. Geopolitical concerns, including trade war and a spike in tensions with Pakistan, also occupied their mind space.
S. Sivakumar, Group Head, Agri and IT businesses at ITC, hoped for "inclusive growth and strong India". He was among the early voters at the polling booth. C P Gurnani, CEO and Managing Director of Tech Mahindra, said corporate leaders should vote in an individual capacity and not with the perspective of business growth. "As an individual, I am looking at vision, growth, inclusiveness and an economy that will be the fifth largest in the world," he said.
Dodla Sunil Reddy, Managing Director, Dodla Dairy, reached to cast his vote at 7:20 am while poll officials were just settling down and testing their machines. He hoped for a stable government with one strong party and not a hung Parliament. "If this does not happen, policymaking will take a back seat and politics will occupy mind space of leaders. A stable government, irrespective of the political party, matters." For his sector -- the dairy industry -- he hoped that anomalies around GST (Goods and Services Tax) are sorted out. "What do I do with credit on books if I cannot claim it?" he wondered. Dodla expects the new government to address this challenge among other policy issues.