Grant Thornton’s latest International Business Report (IBR) shows that 68% of Indian mid-market firms expect increased revenue from international markets, especially the United States, which is India’s largest trading partner. Focusing on a well-established market highlights their strategic efforts to enhance global presence and profitability.

To support this international expansion, about 63% of Indian mid-market firms plan to increase the number of employees dedicated to international growth, significantly higher than the global average of 35%.

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Indian mid-market firms are demonstrating incredible resilience and optimism as they chart ambitious paths for global expansion. While supply chain complexities and skilled labor shortages persist, their solution-centric approach is commendable, with 70% planning to focus on innovative logistics and procurement processes. By prioritising research and development, Indian businesses are positioning themselves for sustained success. At this juncture, these firms need the best counsel and advisory to ensure these investments get the best results
Siddhartha Nigam Partner and National Global Delivery Leader, Grant Thornton Bharat

India tops the list of globally ambitious countries in Q1 2024

Upbeat forecast for revenue, profitability and exports

Despite global uncertainties, Indian firms maintain a remarkably positive outlook on their export, profit, and revenue prospects. Three out of four anticipate higher exports, with substantial opportunities identified in Australia, the UAE, and Germany. 85% of companies expect profits to rise in the coming year, surpassing the global average of 62%. Similarly, 81% anticipate revenue growth. These projections mirror the prevailing optimism, with an overwhelming majority expecting the Indian economy to grow.

Investment intentions of Indian mid-market businesses

For international expansion and product differentiation, firms need to invest in R&D and technology. Investing in advanced technology streamlines operations, reduces costs, and enhances quality, enabling firms to adapt quickly to market changes and stay ahead of competitors.

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Embracing the future, 81% of firms are looking to invest in technology with an intention to not just compete, but lead. R&D drives innovation and tailored solutions while investing in technology improves the quality of products, allowing firms to swiftly respond to market dynamics. By leveraging these investments, firms work on continuous improvement, ensuring long-term success and resilience
Kalpana B CEO and Chief Thinker, dGTL, Grant Thornton Bharat

As mid-market firms expand globally, 64% anticipate increased job opportunities and are actively enhancing workforce capabilities through investments in employee development.

To retain the talent they hire, 93% of these firms are open to providing salary increases, with 37% aiming to offer raises above the inflation rate.

Indian firms are prioritising sustainability as they expand, with nearly 71% investing in sustainable initiatives. This reflects a growing recognition of sustainability’s importance driven by consumer, investor, and regulatory demands.

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Employee development is not just an investment in individuals; it’s an investment in the future success and sustainability of any company. Particularly for firms eyeing global expansion, nurturing talent ensures a capable workforce capable of adapting to diverse markets and driving innovation.
Priyanka Gulati Partner, Human Capital Consulting, Grant Thornton Bharat

Key challenges faced by Indian mid-market firms

Indian firms are committed to global expansion despite facing intense competition and other challenges

Top three takeaways for business leaders

International Business Report (IBR)

The International Business Report (IBR) is the world’s leading survey of mid-market companies. Launched in 1992, the IBR now provides insights into the views and expectations of around 10,000 businesses across 28 economies.

The research takes place twice a year and involves interviews with chief executive officers, managing directors, chairpersons, or other senior executives from all industry sectors. Questionnaires are translated into local languages, and fieldwork is undertaken through both online and telephone interviews.

The IBR data is referenced extensively in thought leadership by the Grant Thornton network and serves as the basis for our Global Business Pulse, the first index to track the health of mid-sized companies at global, regional, country, and sector levels. Find out more about the index methodology here or explore the unique content that we create with the help of our many experts.

Click here to view Global IBR insights