Only one country’s companies are more optimistic than India about growth despite global slowdown

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Published: June 26, 2019 1:58:09 PM

Indian businesses have the second most optimistic outlook after Indonesia, as almost nine in ten (89 per cent) Indian firms expect to grow over the next two years, says an HSBC survey.

Indian companies are optimistic about growth despite global slowdown

Indian businesses have the second most optimistic outlook after Indonesia, as almost nine in ten (89 per cent) Indian firms expect to grow over the next two years, says an HSBC survey. The survey on more than 2,500 companies across 14 markets in the world showed that businesses in India are very optimistic about their growth prospects, despite subdued macro-economic conditions. In the last fiscal, Indian economy grew at a 5-year low pace of 6.8 per cent. The survey showed that Indian businesses have the greatest investment appetite across the 14 markets and none mentioned any plans to decrease their level of investment.

Moreover, just like Indonesia, the UK, the US and Mexico, Indian businesses are more likely to fund from their existing profits. Indian businesses, second only to Indonesia, intend to invest in activities ranging from skills and training to selling more products/ services online, enhancing customer experience and on research/innovation and sustainability. “The strength of the Indian economy and its demographic potential offer multiple opportunities for growth. We believe that innovation as well as effective utilisation of technology, will be critical in driving the next phase of growth for Indian businesses,” said Rajat Verma, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC India.

Besides being hopeful about the growth prospects, more than three quarters (77 per cent) of Indian firms are more optimistic than they were a year ago, the survey noted. This bullishness is seen in their export projections as well as almost half (44 per cent) of those exporters who expect their businesses to grow are looking at an increase of more than 5 per cent in exports. According to the survey, there is a shift to sustainable investing. A high proportion (59 per cent) of Indian businesses, second only to the level in mainland China (60 per cent), plans to increase their investment in sustainability.

“Around 33 per cent of Indian businesses feel the need to become environmentally sustainable in order to recruit and retain the best people. This is the highest across all markets,” it noted. Going forward, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and 5G are technologies that will provide the most opportunities for growth for Indian firms over the next two years. All these are at levels notably higher than global averages. The survey titled ‘Navigator: Made for the Future’ was conducted in Australia, Canada, mainland China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, the UAE, the UK and the US in May 2019.

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