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Prioritise Ease Of Doing Business: Kris Gopalakrishnan

Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chairman, Axilor Ventures and co-founder, Infosys on politics and policies

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On the upcoming general elections
As a business person, one has have to work with all governments. We are awaiting the response on the mandate so that we have a stable government for the next five years. Businesses don’t like uncertainty. Second, we have to continue to work on the ease of doing business. This should be the highest priority. On the ground, there is still corruption which is a big issue and should be checked seriously. Third, we need encouragement for startups. There should be competition to encourage startups across all the States.

Further, we need to increase our funding on research from both government and the private sector. In the education sector, I am personally interested in tertiary education. The government has made some institutes of eminence. But we need to think big and try to build as many colleges as possible and provide them autonomy as well as the ability to manage their finances by raising more funds and develop well. We also need to work on economic reforms for the growth of our country.

On whether coalition governments can provide stability
Why not! Many States have coalition governments which have been long-lasting. A coalition can give stability as long it is based on certain agenda and programmes along with a determination to work in the next five years.

On political slugfest in elections
This a global phenomenon and it is happening not just in India. Globally we find similar things happening everywhere. Democracy is trying to figure out how to manage in the world of social media. But social media gives an opportunity to fake news.

On corporate India’s concerns in these elections
Corporate India definitely looks for stability. Corporates want the reform system to be continued along with a focus on ease of doing business while keeping the cost of doing business as low as possible.

On whether India is witnessing an era of jobless growth
I see the challenges but I don’t have the data to corroborate it. We have a large population of young people coming out for jobs. The IT industry is growing at around 6-8 per cent.
The other challenge could be of moving people from agriculture to other areas because of agriculture not being a lucrative job. We need to address issues of joblessness under agriculture and rural economy as well as the educated youth. It is a complicated challenge that we are facing. So, it is not related to automation or anything but to the size of the working population and the complexity of the development process. Growth is happening but is it happening in the right direction? Agriculture comprises 40 per cent of the jobs and productivity is very low.

On the economy’s overall direction

We are the fastest growing large economy. There may be ups and down. But it is about managing the growth efficiently and allocating resources properly.

On whether data is being fudged in the Modi era
I don’t think  so. We need credible sources to publish data directly from the primary resources along with deep research on it.

On the interface between political class and Corporate India
For election funding, we need to make a transparent mechanism. The CII had made some recommendations in the past. I would recommend those suggestions.  

The high points of Modi years
The reforms that have been brought in about in terms of bankruptcy law is a gesture of trying to clean up the banking system. Ease of doing business has also significantly improved.

The lows of Modi years
The political environment should be in a way wherein people work collectively to bring in change. We require more effort in this area.

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