More than 31 per cent of the chief financial officers (CFOs) from various companies feel implementation of GST is challenging and manufacturing is the most affected sector, according to a recent survey. Further, over 54 per cent CFOs believe that the impact of demonetisation has been neutral, while 56 per cent are “highly optimistic” of the country’s macro-economic growth in the next 4-5 years, the Deloitte Annual CFO survey said. “The country remains optimistic about economic prospects, as it remains buoyant post demonetisation and amongst global uncertainties,” the survey report noted. Given the macro-economic trends that point to a possible global growth revival, there will be opportunities to increase exports and investment which have been a concern for the past few quarters, it said. Technological upgradation is among the key focus area of most CFOs, followed by analytical solutions.
Other focus areas include cyber risks, cloud solutions and social media marketing among others, the report noted. As far as investments are concerned a majority of the CFOs are focused on consumer and market expansion, followed by technology and innovations, the survey noted. With the Indian economy adopting GST, companies have shifted their focus to supply chain modification, inventory cost management which might disrupt their working cycles, the report observed. “This change could fuel inflation in the economy as the tax burden has risen. However, it is believed that better flow of input credit will negate the impact of higher rates on services,” it said.
Nearly 51 per cent of the CFOs said that there is high credit availability at cheaper cost, better than last year’s expectations of 28 per cent. The key focus area for 44 per cent of the CFOs is current geographies in lieu of entering new markets; of whom more than 50 per cent CFOs are from energy, manufacturing, technology, media and telecommunication sectors. The survey represents the view point of over 200 CFOs in India. The respondents include listed and unlisted companies, from both private sector and PSUs; Indian companies and the MNCs headquartered in India as well as overseas.