Captains of India Inc are less confident in the growth prospects of the country and their companies than they were in March this year, KPMG’s India CEO Outlook report reveals. However, despite the dip in confidence, Indian CEOs are gearing up for a digital transformation and preparing to combat all kinds of risks and disruptions to recover better from the pandemic. “At OYO, we used the last 18 months, to become a company that creates value for our patrons and customers by building first-class solutions aided by innovative technology,” said Ritesh Agarwal Founder and Group CEO OYO. He added that for OYO, the next phase of sustainable growth will come from enabling business recovery and a resurgence for hospitality entrepreneurs.
In the recent KPMG survey, 82% of CEOs in India have shown confidence in the growth prospects of their company, this is lower than 92% who were confident prior to the second wave in March 2021. This is also lower than the 87% CEO globally who are optimistic about growth prospects. “Keeping with the declining confidence in growth prospects, we also see a decline in confidence amongst 95 per cent CEOs in India when it comes to their organisation’s earnings outlook over the next three years,” KPMG said in the report.
Ready for digital edge
Although India Inc is behind on optimism it is going all guns blazing when it comes to the digital edge. “After taking successful strides in this aspect (digital transformation), business leaders in India are now moving beyond and focusing on building digital resilience along with agility,” KPMG said. The survey shows 48% of CEOs in India, higher than their global counterparts at 42%, state that they want to establish a strong digital and cyber risk culture in their organisation championed by senior leaders.
The survey further revealed that about 64% of CEOs in India stated that they have a plan to address a ransomware attack if faced with one. “Perhaps the more striking outcome of extreme digitalisation is the realisation and acceptance of cyber security as a real business issue. This is clearly evident in the survey findings, which show that 64% of CEOs in India have a plan to address a ransomware attack if faced with one,” said Akhilesh Tuteja, Global Cyber Security Leader and Head – Digital Consulting KPMG in India.
Apart from cyber security, India Inc is now looking to disrupt the sector they work in and technology is being seen as an enabler. The survey showed about 60% of Indian CEOs are more focused on buying new technology.
“In a world where hybrid work is becoming increasingly common, CEOs in India are also upskilling their employees for the ‘future of work’ with investment in digital tools,” KPMG noted. The survey highlighted that 51% of CEOs in India are investing in digital training, development and upskilling to ensure employees’ skills remain future-focused. This is higher than the 43% of global CEOs looking to do the same.