Mid-market Indian biz leaders less optimistic in H2 2019: Report

New Delhi: Optimism level of mid-market Indian business leaders have seen a dip of 10 percentage points in the second half of 2019 as compared to the first half but have displayed cautious optimism while entering 2020, says a report. Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR) said with recent slowdown in real GDP growth to below 5 per cent, optimism level of mid-market Indian business leaders has seen a dip of 10 percentage points in H2 2019 to 69 per cent from 79 per cent in H1 2019.

However, despite the challenges, optimism levels for the Indian economy remain well above global levels of 59 per cent, it added.

“Mid-sized businesses are the cornerstone of India’s economy. Contrary to popular belief over 75 per cent are positive about the policy changes and progress on EoDB (Ease of Doing Business), or at least that’s what they are telling us!,” Vishesh C Chandiok, CEO, Grant Thornton India LLP said.

The report released on Thursday also said 79 per cent of business leaders surveyed in India believe the government has taken enough measures on the policy front to enhance ‘Ease of Doing Business’.

“While 77 per cent agree that GST has achieved its objective of simplifying indirect tax regulations in India, 61 per cent of business leaders feel IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code) was a step in the right direction and has achieved its purpose.

Further, 79 per cent of mid-market business leaders surveyed believe the government had taken enough measures to provide clarity on the tax front for investors in India,” it added.

On growth expectations, 72 per cent of the business leaders surveyed expect an increase in revenue and 64 per cent feel profitability will increase in the coming year.

Grant Thornton’s IBR also said 66 per cent of those surveyed expect an increase in employment in the coming year.

“Business leaders expectations for investment in India remains strong. India ranks 4th globally in terms of investment expectation in technology, with 72 per cent of business leaders expecting an increase in technology investment over the next year. 66 per cent of business leaders also expecting an increase in R&D investment,” according to the report.

Economic uncertainty, regulations and red tape, and shortage of skilled manpower remains a concern with over 60 per cent of respondents considering these as constraints to expanding business, it added.

The survey gathers responses bi-annually from 10,000 business leaders in 32 economies including the G20 and surveys 250 respondents in India.
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