Investment in IT could rise despite growing protectionism: Survey

By: | Updated: April 26, 2017 6:51 AM

At a time when rising protectionism in the US and some other developed markets is threatening to disrupt the Indian IT industry, as many as 52% of respondents in a survey commissioned by industry body Ficci said they would be stepping up investments in the IT sector over the next one year—a remarkable jump from just 21% last year. Similarly, 66% of the people surveyed said they would be focusing on introducing new products/services in the coming year, against 51% last year.

As many as 63% of people were “somewhat optimistic” about the prospects of the Indian economy over the next one year, compared with 58% earlier, with a very large section of respondents believe the country could grow in the range of 7-8%, according to the survey released on Tuesday. Around 25% of the respondents were “very optimistic” about the future prospects of the economy.

On the contrary, as many as 62% people surveyed believed in uncertainties surrounding the global economy over the next one year, representing an eight percentage point jump from last year. The survey, conducted by PwC for Ficci, covers companies in eight key sectors: automotive and auto components, cables and transformers, capital goods, cement, chemicals, downstream metals, packaging, and plastics and polymers.

The survey, titled India Manufacturing Barometre, suggested that almost 66% of the respondents believe the Indian economy has witnessed moderate economic growth over the past one year, compared with 58% in an earlier survey. As many as 55% said growth of their own organisations exceeded that of the industry group, against 46% last year. Close to a half of respondents believed that their margins could rise over the next one year, while 35% expected their businesses to operate at the same margins.

As many as 86% of the people surveyed said they are expecting investments in the ambitious Industry 4.0, to increase over the next 3-5 years.

Addressing the conference, principal economic advisor with the finance ministry, Sanjeev Sanyal, said the Indian economy has witnessed some degree of imbalance due to the fact that the services sector alone accounts for around 60% of the country’s GDP, with the agriculture and manufacturing sectors trailing considerably.

He added that there was a need to engage in meaningful debates towards building a responsive and simple policy environment.

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