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Insead India Business Dialogue 2016: Decoding India Growth Story

Business leaders talk about changes, challenges and opportunities in India's economy and how its growth story can become better

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In view of India's changing economic and socio-political environment, Insead, the emerging markets institute, organised the India Business Dialogue 2016 on the subject "Will India Deliver on Her Promise?" on May 14, 2016 at the Taj Santa Cruz in Mumbai.

The event was attended by the captains of industry from aviation, media, defence and policy. They shared their perspectives on India's growth story.

A number of alumni from Insead also participated in the event which highlighted some important insights on what the world thinks of India from the macroeconomics perspective, the biggest barriers and opportunities for her next stage of growth as well as Insead's research on India.

Setting the tone for the event, V. Padmanabhan highlighted how Insead was promoting a learning environment that brings together people, cultures and ideas from around the world to promote management education. He said it is helping in developing leaders and entrepreneurs who create value for their organisations and their communities to expand the frontiers of academic thought and influence business practice through research.

Cultural Shift

The session began with a discussion on "Will India Deliver on Her Promise?" Sharing his thoughts on the subject, Pierre de Bausset, President and MD, Airbus Group, said, "While India's growth story is commendable on many fronts, there are still areas of improvement. There is the need for a cultural shift that would inculcate initiative and self-drive amongst professionals who otherwise like to be micro-managed, and this I believe is crucial for India's growth."

He also spoke about the risk averse culture that is prevalent among Indian business establishments and also about the need for building up a bottom up growth story.

Speaking at the session, Anurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld, talked about the need for a mindset shift that would enable Indian professionals to compete at the global level.

He said, "We have a lot to do if we have to compete at the global stage. Firstly, we need to make cultural shifts to compete with the world. We need to change our mindset and start celebrating failure, which is important. We are only told to celebrate success and this needs to change."

Highlighting the pre-requisites that can take the Indian growth story forward, Batra added, "We are unduly obsessed with China; instead we need to focus on providing quality products and services instead of just cheap and cost effective ones."

Echoing similar views, Subhanu Saxena, Global CEO, Cipla Limited, said, "There is a need for course correction in the India growth story and it needs to happen now. Though the Indian growth story is beset by a number of challenges, I believe by focusing on driving business growth, we can deal with those challenges in a better way."

"We need to ask ourselves what we have delivered at an individual and collective level before asking the government," added Saxena.

Role of Media

When asked about the role of media in supporting India's business growth, Batra explained, "The role of the media is increasingly becoming that of a curator and to bring together the collective conscience of the nation. The other important role played by media, when it comes to supporting India's growth story, is by taking the India story forward and presenting it to the world."

Praising the government's 'Start-Up India' initiative, Batra further added, "This initiative is about changing the prevalent mindset and promoting an entrepreneurial spirit, it defies the traditional belief that we should only opt for safer career options."

"If India has to deliver on her promise, all of us; at the government, the private sector and the individual levels have to contribute to this growth story to make it happen," commented Batra.

Taking the discussion forward, Abhishek Agnihotri, Advisor & Consultant, Defence/Aerospace/Security, CII, said, "We have immense talent and resources to make world class products when it comes to the defence sector, however, we need to rethink our approach to unleash its full potential."

Greater Transparency

Speaking about the need for greater transparency to fast track the Indian growth story, Dhiren Kanwar, Area Director, South Asia & MD India, Purators Food Ingredients, said, "The government needs to further facilitate the ease of doing business if India has to deliver. I have seen many instances where states are yet to come up with business friendly solutions and that needs to happen fast."

Highlighting the importance of redefining the growth perspective of India's business story, Siddharth Roy, Economic Advisor, Tata Group, added, "We have to look at the broader perspective while talking about the India growth story. It cannot be limited to the confines of its territory. I think Tata Group presents the scope of the India growth story by pushing it beyond its frontiers and by being the biggest Indian MNC known today."

Sharing his views at the session, Wang Weixiang, Regional Director, India, Economic Development Board, said, "We need to look at learning beyond the academic institutions. It is a lifelong process and constant learning ensures that we are better equipped to deliver results."

As one of the world's leading and largest graduate business schools, Insead offers participants a truly global educational experience.

With campuses in France,  Singapore and Abu Dhabi, and alliances with top institutions, Insead's business education and research spans around the globe with 148 renowned faculty members from 40 countries inspiring more than 1,300 students in degree and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 9,500 executives participate in Insead's executive education programmes each year.

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