Industry should gear up for further rupee appreciation: Kamath

November 19th, 2007 - 6:30 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, Nov.19 (ANI): K V Kamath, Vice-PresidentCII and MD and CEO, ICICI Bank, today urged Indian industry to be ready to face the challenge of further rupee appreciation.
Speaking at the Sixth Manufacturing Summit organized by Confederation of Indian Industry here, Kamath said that the rupee would appreciate by at least a rupee or two every year for the next three years, and added that this would be one of the major challenges for industry.
Contrary to popular perception, availability of financial capital is no longer a challenge as industry is currently operating on a debt equity ratio of 25:75. However, the appreciation of the rupee is a factor that the industry would have to contend with, he said.
The other major challenge for industry is that of people and skills upgradation where Mr. Kamath highlighted that ICICI Bank itself required about 10,000 people per annum for the next five years. Talking about economic growth, Kamath said, competitiveness is the permanent factor driving the 10 percent growth, which is again determined by the growth of the financial services sector and the increase in demand in rural areas, among others.
Ajay Shankar , Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said that growth in services and capital goods had led Indian firms to become more cost effective and competitive. He emphasized on the need for ‘quality’ to spread across industry and said that government would be more than willing to partner with industry to nurture quality, innovation and design. He also said that the skills development programme undertaken by industry should cover all ITIs.
Delivering the keynote address, Arun Maira, Chairman, Boston Consulting Group (I) Pvt. Ltd, said that the manufacturing sector needs to shake off its conditioned state to notice the signs of future growth of industry.
Busting a few myths about the manufacturing sector, he said that in India, it is the manufacturing companies that are the real ’stars’, not the services as commonly perceived.
He added that actual manufacturing takes place beyond the factory walls. With the inclusion of intelligence in every step of manufacturing, manufacturing is more about people rather than machines. About the need for ’scale’ to compete, Maira urged that industry needs to innovate and not merely recycle and reproduce.
In his welcome address, Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman, CII - Manufacturing Summit said that the right people are crucial for business. Quoting the success story of the capital goods sector, he said that Indian companies now have international opportunities. The future of M and A in India is bright and it would lead to higher value creation, he concluded. (ANI)

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