Vice-President Hamid Ansari today expressed concern over many Indian companies finding it hard to sustain growth in a “competitive” global business environment. The vice-president also mentioned that the Indian corporate sector had some inherent weaknesses, including risk aversion, debt-addiction and low R&D spending. He said the Indian corporate sector today is faced with the challenge of sustaining growth even as the global economy is witnessing slow growth. “The challenge before the Indian corporate sector today in the face of continuing low level of growth and rapid changes in technology and preferences of the end consumer is how to sustain their growth in times of recession,” he said at the AIMA-JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award.
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He added that while domestic consumption is growing, making quick and deeper inroads in international markets will help accelerate growth. Ansari said manufacturing sector needs to be a significant part of the GDP to ensure higher employment and prosperity. “For profitable growth, we have to strive for a premium that will accrue only if we target products that need high quality design, engineering and manufacturing,” Ansari said. He added that the corporate sector has to invest, and heavily, in R&D and innovation.
He further said that merely offering incentives to industries may not be enough to spur innovative growth. “We need to eventually work towards inculcating the ‘culture and attitudes’ needed to foster innovation and entrepreneurship,” Ansari said. The AIMA-JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award was conferred on Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran. Accepting the award, Chandrasekaran reminisced how he had the opportunity of seeing JRD Tata once. “I just had one opportunity to see him from a distance. I was in total awe and little did I know then that I’ll have the opportunity to steer this group thirty years later,” he said. He further said: “I just want to say that I hope I am able to live up to the kind of values and excellence in leadership that were very close to JRD Tata’s heart.”