As the WEF’s annual meet draws to a close, Indian business leaders say their main takeaway would be cautious optimism about their country, even as the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and evolving political scene seemed to dominate India discussions at this global gathering.
This year’s World Economic Forum (WEF), which is being held against the backdrop of a slow global recovery, has a large Indian delegation in attendance.
Diversified group Mahindra & Mahindra’s senior executive Pawan Goenka said: “There is enough optimism about India. Therefore, I don’t think that India story is dead at Davos”.
“In fact when I talk about India, there is this whole feeling that India has taken a back seat at Davos. But I did not see that,” stated Goenka, who is Executive Director & President — Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors at the group.
Discussions about the outcome of upcoming polls and the advent of Aam Aadmi Party were major talking points. “Everyone is more positive about economic recovery in different markets and there is an increasingly positive mood in Davos this year. About India, everyone is waiting for the elections and people are in watch mode,” N Chandrasekaran, CEO & MD of TCS said.
“What I am telling the Indian ministers here is that they should use platform like Davos to tell the world about their showcase projects that they have delivered,” Hinduja Group’s Prakash Hinduja said.
According to Hinduja there is a perception the Indian government has done little, but that is far from the truth as government has indeed done many things.
Global real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle’s India head Anuj Puri said the mood about India is “something like subdued optimism or dissatisfied optimism”.
Participating at WEF, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma had said foreign investors continue to remain bullish on India and government’s steps to fast track project clearances have given a boost to the growth story.
India growth story looks better this year, says Uday Kotak
Davos: The Indian story is looking better this year but it is nowhere close to the exuberance seen at the WEF meet a few years ago, financial services conglomerate Kotak group’s chief Uday Kotak said today.
“This year’s Davos is without any major earth-shattering crisis on hand, unlike the recent years when we had global financial crisis, euro zone crisis, etc.” In the context of the calm right now, with some turbulence in currency markets over the last 24 hours, Kotak said US growth is likely to be slower than expected.
Euro zone is also continuing to be slow, but not in a crisis, and on the global scene there are challenges on China-Japan relationship and on Iran and Saudi Arabia, he added.