The Indian economy is at a tipping point where it is slowly turning around after several dismal years, Aroon Purie, Chairman of the India Today Group, said on Friday at Business Today's second edition of MindRush conclave of the country's top corporate leaders.
Extending a warm welcome to the packed house of almost 150 CEOs from companies across industries, Purie highlighted the uptick in sentiment in corporate India and enumerated several points that indicate a turnaround may just be round the corner.
He said that GDP growth of 5.7 per cent for the first quarter of 2014/15 is the highest in two-and-a-half years. He also said that inflation has been easing, helped by a 30 per cent drop in crude oil prices in the past year, and that factory output is inching up. "There are encouraging signs that the worst may be behind us," he said.
Purie said that another measure of corporate leaders restoring faith in the Indian economy is deal-making picking up.
"The recent Kotak Mahindra Bank-ING Vysya merger, the Jaypee Power-JSW Energy deal and the Future group acquisition of Nilgiris are just an indicator of how corporate India has again found its deal appetite," he said.
FULL COVERAGE:MindRush 2014
Purie hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership capabilities in improving business sentiment. "He not only has the vision but has a track record as a doer. And has the clear mandate to do it," he said.
Hailing fresh initiatives taken by the new government, Purie called Modi's 'Make in India' campaign a step in the right direction.
"It addresses the fundamental distortion of our economy in which 50 per cent of our workforce in agriculture only contributes 14 per cent of GDP," he said, adding that 12 million young people enter the workforce every year and only manufacturing can provide these jobs.
Talking about the leadership challenges CEOs face, Purie said, "Leading a company is a complicated business. It is not only about getting financial returns to satisfy the shareholders but about strategic vision, customer engagement, employee satisfaction, company reputation and responsibility to the community in which you operate. A successful CEO, therefore, is multi-talented person to play all the roles he has to play and show a good profit."
Purie congratulated all the winners and said it all boils down to leadership. "You get good leadership and the course of history can be changed as we have seen so often. Unfortunately, the reverse is equally true. It can take decades to undo the sins of bad leadership," he said.