For India Inc, worst is over but recovery yet to start

June 12th, 2009 - 8:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, June 12 (IANS) A resilient India Inc is waiting for global recovery to start as the worst impact of the global meltdown seems to be over, an industry luminary said Friday.
“The consensus opinion is that the worst is behind us. But it does not mean the recovery has started. It means that we are at the bottom. So it will take some time for the recovery. Probably, the growth will pick up in 2010,” Infosys Technologies chief executive S. Gopalakrishnan told reporters on the margins of an innovation summit here.

As vice-chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) southern regional council, Gopalakrishnan said growth rates would vary in these tough times, as large firms with wider base would have different growth, while small companies could grow faster.

“We have to see what will be the average growth for the industry combining larger and smaller firms. Though I can’t say when the recovery will begin, I give 50-50 chance on returning to high growth soon,” Gopalakrishnan said at the fifth India Innovation Summit-2009, organised by the confederation.

Admitting that globalisation and competition have kept the Indian IT industry on its toes, the chief executive said the software services sector cannot be complacent about its leadership and innovation was extremely important for its survival.

“I completely agree with Wipro chairman Azim Premji that we can’t be complacent about our leadership in IT software and business process outsourcing (BPO) services. No company can sustain its leadership without innovation as a healthy paranoia,” Gopalakrishnan said, referring to the former’s emphasis on creativity and innovation in his theme address at the summit.

Explaining the pros and cons of globalisation, the summit chairman said since competition was inevitable in a globalised world, the IT industry was confident of facing it in future too as it had learnt how to compete over the last 15 years.

“We are against protection as it will take us back. We welcome competition as we will learn how to cope with it and do better,” he noted.

Asked if the downturn had become more conducive for M&A (mergers and acquisitions) activity, Gopalakrishnan said consolidation was happening at the leadership level rather than in the IT industry.

“We are seeing consolidation or re-ordering of leadership role despite downturn. Indian firms, however, are looking for cross-border acquisitions to expand their global footprint,” he added.

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