A day after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that sharp decline in the Indian economy pulled down the global growth forecasts for 2020, India Inc representatives at Davos said that it was important to look at medium and long term outlook and rally together as a country.
In conversation with India Today News Director Rahul Kanwal at the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), leading industrialists including Tech Mahindra's CEO CP Gurnani, CII's Director General Chandrajit Banerjee, Kirloskar Systems' Chairman and Managing Director Vikram Kirloskar and Serum's CEO Adar Poonawalla reacted to the IMF claim that falling Indian growth was bringing down global growth.
Gurnani said that it was very unusual that a growth rate which was running at 8-10 per cent was now at 4-5 per cent, impacting the global growth rate. He stressed that the focus should now be on the future course of action.
"More important is not what we are doing now, but what our outlook is in the medium and long term," Gurnani added.
When asked about perceptive lack of buzz around India growth story, Vikram Kirloskar said that India was going through a little bit of structural changes. He also spoke about consumer habit, saying: "People are looking for more competitive product which is more cost effective."
On automobile sector, Kirloskar said there were signs that the industry was on road to recovery. "I see a lot of optimism on the auto market going forward in the next two-three quarters."
On policy ecosystem, Gurnani said that everybody wants to do business in India. He said that global firms were looking to increase their footprints in India, but they were concerned about lack of judicial reforms. He also cited an example of Satyam legal dispute which was still pending in India, while it had been resolved globally.
"We inherited 60 international legal disputes when we took over Satyam and 40 domestic tangles. Within 18 months all international disputes got resolved while none of the major Indian disputes are resolved more than a decade later," said Gurnami.
Referring to recent Supreme Court verdict on telecom companies, he said that judicial reform has to become a priority this year.
In a massive blow to the telecom industry, the court on Thursday dismissed review petitions by the telecom companies and asked them to pay pending AGR (adjusted gross revenue) dues of nearly Rs 93,000 crore to the Department of Telecommunications by January 23.
The business leaders also raised concerns that India was not represented as 'one nation one team' at the WEF this year. Indian delegates at Davos included two chief ministers from the Congress and one chief minister from the BJP. From the central government Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Shipping and Chemicals and Fertiliser Mansukh Mandaviya attended the event.
"I wish India could rally together because the globe is connected and it is high time we need to be connected," said Gurnani.
"Story of India is really in States. I agree that we should come together. It will lead to a stronger projection of India," said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
By Chitranjan Kumar