With the world battling the most terrifying pandemic of the century, a lot of business leaders and global organizations including Apple, Microsoft, Google are contemplating how to navigate through the crisis.
In a webinar organized by Harvard University, the faculty of Harvard Bussiness School and India Inc executives held rigorous discussions and brainstorming sessions on economic uncertainties that follow the pandemic and highlighted the fact that this could be an opportunity for countries like India.
The Make in India campaign by PM Modi might have received a little skeptical reviews at home but World bank President Jim Yong Kim sees it as a good idea.
Kim said with many industries leaving China, India could well be a big beneficiary when it came to the manufacturing sector, even as he suggested that the country’s vibrant services sector must not get the short shrift as it attempts to project itself as a global manufacturing hub.
“I think that the efforts that are being made right now to explore how competitive India can be and I think it is very important. There are a lot of industries that are leaving China right now and they very well may come to India… I don’t see any downside to it,” he told Economic Times, in an exclusive interview.
Kim spoke about how this could be a bright opportunity for India noting the “tremendous sense of optimism” about the country. Now at the 169th position in business, Indian PM Narendra Modi aims to bring it to the 50th position in the next few years and this could be a very important turning point in reaching the aim.
Ravi Venkatesan, former chairman of Microsoft India, who has created a social initiative called The Global Alliance, that is building a $100-million-plus SME Stabilisation Fund said “We need to act in cohesion and learn fast to make a difference. After this crisis, everyone needs to have an entrepreneur’s mindset. What is needed is leadership that can come from anywhere, everywhere and does not have a tittle.”
According to Narendran, CEO and Managing Director, Tata Steel, the de-risking of supply chains originating from China, which had started following heightened concerns of a US-China trade war, is likely to be accelerated on the back of concerns over the recent outbreak.
“I feel this virus could be an opportunity for India because it accelerates the de-risking of supply chains which originates from China. That journey had started with a trade war between the US and China and now with this (virus) there will be even more reason for people not to be over-dependent on any one country,” Narendran said.
Google is set to begin production of its latest low-cost smartphone — expected to be dubbed the Pixel 4A — with its partners in northern Vietnam as soon as April. Google also plans to manufacture its next-generation flagship smartphone — the Pixel 5, as it is expected to be called — in the second half of 2020 directly from the Southeast Asian nation, reported Nikkei Asian Review.
On the agricultural front, the sector is expected to do well post-monsoon. The construction of commercial property also continues to be strong. Automobile is the only sector that still has not been showing “great signs of recovery”; however, it is expected to start picking up post second half of FY-21.
Domestic steel prices have been on an uptrend since last November in line with international trends. After touching a low of ₹32,250 a tonne last November, domestic hot-rolled could prices have hit ₹37,000, implying an increase of 15 percent in the last three months.
Narendran speaking about reducing dependence on China also said, Tata Steel, which is dependent on China for consumables such as refractory, refractory compounds, steel mill rolls, electrodes and manganese as a metal, has already done a risk assessment in the first week of this month and is “pretty comfortable” till the end of April.