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BW Businessworld

BW Corporate India Survey : Industry Gives A Thumbs Up To Modi

At 70, India rests on a bedrock of optimism and a clear vision for a more evolved business climate for the thirty years ahead

As India turned 70, BW Businessworld peered into the corporate boardrooms across India and found optimism reigning high. In a survey conducted by Traverse Strategy Consultants for BW among 440 chief executives and directors of companies spanning varied sectors in 12 cities across the country, Narendra Modi got rated as the most important Prime Minister India has had in the last seven decades.

Corporate India ranked Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Rajiv Gandhi as the second and third most important prime ministers of India. Among the most crucial political leaders of the 70 years gone by, Indian industry chose former Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao, followed by Narendra Modi and Rajiv Gandhi. Modi remained the most crucial current political leader, followed by Union minister for finance, defence and corporate affairs, Arun Jaitley and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president, Amit Shah.

The business and entrepreneurs’ community chose Maharashtra chief minister,DevendraFadnavis, as the most promising political leader. Lok Sabha member from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, Anurag Thakur, who also happens to be former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal’s son, was the corporate pick as the next most promising political leader. Union minister of state (independent charge) for power, coal, new and renewable energy and mines, Piyush Goyal, was third in that list.

Among the three most crucial financial leaders in a span of 70 years were former Prime Minister (and Narasimha Rao’s finance minister when the 1991 economic reforms were announced) Manmohan Singh, followed by P. Chidambaram, who has had two stints as Union finance minister under different regimes. Finance minister of the day, Arun Jaitley, was third in the list.

Corporate India

Industry leaders chose former Tata Sons chairman and Tata group helmsman, Ratan Tata as the most crucial business leader of the past 70 years. Infosys co-founder N. R. Narayana Murthy was next in the list, followed by Biocon chairperson and managing director, Kiran Majumdar-Shaw.

Founder of the mobile payments app, Paytm, Vijay Shekhar Sharma (estimated to be worth $1.3 billion) was corporate India’s choice as the most crucial current business leader, followed by Mahindra Group chairman and managing director, Anand Mahindra. Reliance Industries Limited chairman and managing director,MukeshAmbani, was the third favourite in the list.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma topped the list of the most promising business leaders too, followed by the present-day chairman of Tata Sons, N. Chandrasekaran. Founders of the ecommerce platform, Flipkart, Sachin and Binny Bansal, got rated as the third most promising business leaders of the day.

The Traverse Strategy survey across corporate India picked the minds of industry honchos on policies and strategies that have impacted business and commerce, along with industry’s priorities and concerns for the years ahead. 


The Mood of the Nation Survey and The Corporate India Survey were done for BW Businessworld and News X by Traverse. The BW-News X-Traverse Survey will be telecast on News X, 8 pm, 15th Aug.


We offer some nuggets from the survey. 

Looking back across 70 years:

Which period was the best for India’s development?

1991 liberalisation

Areas in which the country has shown least progress:

  • Corruption
  • Healthcare
  • Education

The most impactful government programmes in recent years:

(On a scale of 5 – 1)

  • Digital India ---------- 4.20 ---------- Highly effective
  • Startup India ---------- 3.80 --------- Effective
  • Jan-Dhan Yojana ------3.60 ---------Effective
  • Swachh Bharat ---------3.60 --------- Effective
  • Demonetisation -------- 3.60 -------- Effective

How would you rate overall change in the business landscape?

(on a scale of 5 – 1)

71.82% ---------------------- 5 ----------------- Excellent

14.09 % --------------------- 4 ----------------- Very good

10 % ------------------------- 3 ----------------- Good

2.05 % ----------------------- 2 ----------------- Fair

2.05 % ----------------------- 1 ----------------- Poor

How would you rate the business landscape and the government being in line with changing priorities and expectations of the young workforce in the last 70 years?

(on a scale of 5 – 1)

73.86% ---------------- 5 ------------------ Excellent

7.95% ----------------- 4 ------------------ Very Good

7.95% ----------------- 3 ------------------ Good

3.86% ----------------- 2 ------------------ Fair

6.36% ----------------- 1 ------------------ Poor

And the years ahead:

Corporate India’s major areas of focus in the next 30 years

  • Generation of jobs
  • Healthcare
  • Diversity at the workplace

What are the major trends in business that will positively impact India in the coming years?

  • Emergence of startups has made established businesses more competitive
  • Use of technology will increase and improve customer interface
  • Skill set improvement of employees

What are the major trends in business that can possibly adversely impact India in the coming years?

  • Data privacy and security
  • Anti-business laws
  • Attrition/ job hopping

How should corporate India leverage technology in the next 30 years?

  • Increase job creation
  • Develop skills in current workforce
  • Improve customer relationship management

How would you rate the role of emergence of startups to India’s growth story?

  • Increasing job opportunities
  • India becoming an innovation hub
  • Creation of an entrepreneurial mindset inside the organisation




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