Indian mid-market CEOs less optimistic in H2 2019: report

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The level of optimism of Indian middle-market business leaders fell 10 percentage points in the second half of 2019 compared to the first half, but showed cautious optimism heading into 2020, according to a report.

Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) said that with the recent slowdown in real GDP growth to less than 5 percent, the level of optimism among Indian middle-market business leaders has declined. by 10 percentage points in the second half of 2019, from 79 percent to 69 percent. in H1 2019.

However, despite the challenges, optimism levels for the Indian economy remain well above global levels of 59%, he added.

“Mid-sized businesses are the backbone of the Indian economy. Contrary to popular belief, over 75% are positive about policy changes and EoDB (Ease of Doing Business) advancements, or at least that’s what they tell us! Vishesh said C Chandiok, CEO of Grant Thornton India LLP.

The report released Thursday also says that 79% of business leaders polled in India believe the government has taken enough political action to improve the “ease of doing business.”

“While 77% agree that GST has achieved its goal of simplifying the regulation of indirect taxes in India, 61% of business leaders believe that the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) was a step in the right direction and achieved its goal.

In addition, 79% of middle market business leaders surveyed believe the government has taken enough action to clarify the tax front for investors in India, ”he added.

Regarding growth forecasts, 72 percent of business leaders surveyed expect increased revenues and 64 percent believe profitability will increase in the coming year.

Grant Thornton’s IBR also said 66% of those polled expect employment to increase in the coming year.

“Business leaders’ expectations for investing in India remain high. India ranks 4th globally in terms of technology investment expectations, with 72% of business leaders expecting an increase in technology investment over the next year. 66% of business leaders also expect increased investment in R&D, ”according to the report.

Economic uncertainty, regulations and red tape, as well as a shortage of skilled labor remain a concern, with more than 60% of respondents seeing them as constraints to business expansion, he said. he adds.

The survey collects biannual responses from 10,000 business leaders from 32 economies, including the G20, and polls 250 respondents in India.

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