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International Business Report - H1 2020

The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) provides insights into the views and expectations of approximately 5,000 businesses across 29 economies. 265 Indian business leaders were surveyed through online and telephone interviews with Chief Executive Officers, Managing Directors, Chairpersons and other senior executives from all industry sectors.

Optimism and growth sentiments impacted in H1 2020

The challenging economic condition is reflected in the optimism and growth sentiment of mid-market leaders. Amongst the mid-market business leaders interviewed globally, around 43% are optimistic about the economic outlook for the next 12 months, compared to 59%, as reported in our inaugural IBR report early in the year – a sharp decline of 16 percentage points.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Indian economy has also witnessed weaker economic activity, aggravated by extended lockdowns. On the positive side, although there is a decline in growth expectation and optimism levels in India, mid-market growth expectations have outperformed the global average.

Business leaders in India are cautiously optimistic from mid-to-long term perspective

The latest International Business Report findings show that 58% of Indian mid-market leaders expect to increase turnover and 56% expect to increase profitability in the next 12 months. This is a decline from H2 2019, where 72% of business leaders surveyed expected to increase in revenue and 64% expected to increase profitability.

Key findings from the survey

  • 51% of the firms in India have already adjusted their business strategy in response to the COVID-19 crisis
  • 50% mid-market businesses are optimistic about key outlook indicators
  • 81% of respondents cited economic uncertainty as a constraint
  • 57% of firms have implemented flexible working arrangements, while around 42% of the firms have reduced labour costs through cutting pay or staff or both.
  • Access to finance is also a concern, and over half of the firms (54%) surveyed have started to plan for the financial resources that will be needed during the recovery phase.

and more…