The panel, comprised of executives from global companies, named India as the skills hub of the world. They also said the South Asian nation would benefit from the diversification of supply chains underway across the world.
“I’m super optimistic about India…there’s no other place in the world where we’ve invested more than India in the last 20 years. India is the epicenter of faster transformation, faster growth,” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire, President of Schneider Electric in Germany, which currently employs 35,000 people in India.
“I see a lot of potential here because if you look at the future of energy, it’s about digitalization, IoT, smart buildings,” he said, adding, “What other country better able to digitize everything than India?”
Ben Driggs, Managing Director of Global High Growth Regions at Honeywell, highlighted the growth of the aviation sector in India, underscored by Air India’s recent order of around 500 aircraft.
“I think it’s really exciting to see the growth of aviation in India. Whenever a country goes for around 500 commercial aircraft, when most projections are for a thousand in five years, that’s great,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for passengers, for people. It is an opportunity for business, obviously made possible by the infrastructure and other forms of growth in the country.
Driggs said the same goes for digitalization and sustainability opportunities in India. 8.7% in FY22, according to the World Bank. The global economy is expected to grow by 1.7% in 2023 and 2.7% in 2024. Growth in advanced economies is expected to slow to 0.5% in 2023 from 2.5% in 2022.
Hans-Paul Burkner, global chairman emeritus of the Boston Consulting Group, said India, along with other Southeast Asian countries, would benefit from companies’ decision to diversify their supply chain.
“What’s important is to make sure that you cover your risk and that you’re not trying to serve everyone from one source…we’ll see major changes coming,” Burkner said. .
“So I think it’s a chance for India to become a major source. But it also requires India to be open and confident, rather than trying to protect itself and trying to ensure that India’s position is not threatened, because it is not a threat “, he added.
India is poised to become the skills hub for the world, said Suneeta Reddy, group chief executive of Apollo Hospitals.
“India now has the opportunity to provide medical personnel for the rest of the world. So it’s not just about vaccines, but about creating a model of sustainable healthcare, not just for India, but for the world,” she said.
Other panelists included Bob Moritz, Global Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Jonathan Yap, CEO of CapitaLand Investment (funds raised). The discussion was moderated by Ajit Ranade, Economist and Vice Chancellor of the Gokhale Institute of Politics.