India’s economy is poised to grow between 6.1 per cent and 6.5 per cent, despite recent projections leaning towards the lower end of that spectrum at 6.1 per cent, says B. Thiagarajan
India, a country renowned for its resilience and adaptability, finds itself at the cusp of a significant economic transformation. In this era of global challenges and opportunities, the nation is redefining its role on the world stage. B. Thiagarajan, Managing Director of Blue Star, recently shared his insights on India’s evolving economic landscape at the BW CFO World Future of Finance Summit 2023 in Mumbai. His keynote address, titled “New Frontiers: Scale, Speed, Smart, Sustainable,” encapsulated the essential elements guiding India’s economic destiny. With optimism in economic growth, the challenges of deglobalisation and a renewed focus on manufacturing, Thiagarajan’s discourse provided a compass for India’s journey towards self-reliance and global competitiveness.
One of the highlights of Thiagarajan’s keynote was his optimistic outlook for India’s GDP growth. He said, “India’s economy is poised to grow between 6.1 per cent and 6.5 per cent, despite recent projections leaning towards the lower end of that spectrum at 6.1 per cent.” The consensus among various stakeholders, including government bodies and corporate leaders, underscores the belief that India is primed for significant economic growth, he added.
Thiagarajan addressed the profound shift to deglobalisation, which is challenging conventional notions of globalisation. While not a universal phenomenon, it demands that Indian businesses, particularly CFOs, adapt and unlearn established practices to navigate this changing landscape.
The MD highlighted the resurgence of manufacturing in India, marking the end of an era characterised by heavy reliance on the service sector. This shift presents both opportunities and challenges for businesses, with CFOs playing a central role in this transformation.
Thiagarajan emphasised the need for businesses to find a delicate balance between self-reliance, as promoted by the “Make in India” initiative and international trade agreements. “The ongoing debate centres on the business case for this approach, given the presence of tariffs and non-tariff barriers from trading partners,” he said.
The keynote session recognised that India’s future growth hinges on consumption, primarily driven by the aspirational middle class residing in Tier 3, 4 and 5 cities, as well as rural areas. To thrive in this new landscape, businesses must pivot toward providing affordable products and services tailored to this evolving consumer base. In the context of innovation, research and development and breakthrough technologies, Thiagarajan urged businesses to differentiate themselves and compete on a global scale.
The session acknowledged a significant shortage of finance professionals, with Thiagarajan projecting a substantial demand-supply gap. He encouraged finance professionals to embrace versatility by rotating roles to meet the evolving demands of the market.
As businesses experience rapid growth, maintaining high governance standards is imperative. Governance issues often accompany expansion, making it crucial for companies to prepare for such situations.