Davos 2023: Amid widespread fears of a global recession and its probable impact on the Indian economy, American multinational conglomerate Honeywell remains bullish about the growth prospects of the local economy. While developed economies like the US and the European nations are facing an imminent threat of slowing growth, India is well-positioned to drive global growth in 2023.
“We are very optimistic about India. We are present in India for a very long time and have a strong presence with well over 12,000 employees. What is more exciting about India for me in recent times is it has a convergence of a wonderful set of infrastructure projects, which are really helping the country move forward. India has many innovative companies - both big and small. The start-up environment is really strong. All of that leads to excellent economic output for the country in the long-term,” Ben Driggs, President of Global High Growth Regions, Honeywell said in a conversation with Siddharth Zarabi, Managing Editor of Business Today Television at the World Economic Forum, Davos.
"India is certainly a bright spot for growth, apart from South East Asia, Middle East and Latin America The reopening of China will open up some real opportunities there (too),” he said.
According to Driggs, across the globe, the macroeconomic circumstances are uncertain. But the couple of industries that Honeywell is involved in - aviation and energy - have excellent tailwinds in India. “When you look at trends like digitisation, which is very strong in India. So, we are very optimistic about India and about the sector that we serve in the economy.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns in China and in other major economies and the Ukraine war, have had servility impacted the global supply chain - impacting manufacturing and leading to steep inflations in the past several quarters.
Driggs Sais, while the supply side bottlenecks are getting cleared, and the situation is improving but there are a lot of paths to be still covered. “I don’t believe there are any easy fixes that can change things overnight. We have three manufacturing sites in India. In those sites and others across the globe, we are observing improvements (in terms of supplies),” he told Business Today.
“Our partners and supply base in India is incredibly strong. For example, in 2022 we announced an Indian company will produce Honeywell’s best environment-friendly refrigerator gas in India as we had confidence that Indian companies will be able to produce the same at a world-class level. Even in the aerospace sector, we have some phenomenal suppliers. HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.) - a government-owned company - but has done a phenomenal job building Honeywell’s engines, where we provide the core technology and they build the engines in India. These are just two examples in chemicals and aerospace sectors and, for us, India has tremendous potential,” Driggs added, stressing the improving prospects of the country in the global manufacturing landscape.
According to him, unlike believed earlier that China is the manufacturing hub for the globe, Honeywell has been in favour of having multiple manufacturing centres - a phenomenon that has gained steam since the COVID-related disruptions severely impacted supply chains due to prolonged lockdowns in China. “At Honeywell, we always had the philosophy that you need multiple regional hubs and not just one centre. We certainly are very happy with our India operations,” he said.
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