National Outlook India – 2023
India’s G20 Presidency: Forging global solidarity
India will host its maiden G20 summit in 2023, at a juncture best described in the Charles Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” Therein lies the paradox of the opportunities and challenges for India as it steers this powerful global group of 19 countries plus the European Union.
The 200 events that the G20 presidency will encounter and the spotlight on India Inc for a year will no doubt encourage a quantum leap in trade, FDI, technology transfer and tourism, thus accelerating India’s already-roaring economic growth.
The following key macroeconomic indicators will underline the improvement in industrial and commercial activity:
- GST collection at a record high
- Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index): 26-month high at 57.8 in December 2022
- Services PMI: sharp growth surged to 58.5 in December 2022
- automobile sales: up 26%
- power consumption, bank credit growth: at 17.2%
- stock market return: outperformed most global markets in 2022
According to the global brokerage firm Morgan Stanley, the Indian economy in 2023 is likely to continue its growth momentum on the back of sustained domestic demand. A World Bank report also discloses that India is better positioned to navigate global headwinds than other major emerging economies. The nation’s economy has demonstrated resilience despite a challenging external environment.
However geopolitical headwinds, including global inflation, slowdown, and the likely recessions that many developed nations, including India’s export destinations such as US and EU will experience, could affect India’s export demand and impact CAD (cash against document financing.) According to economist Nouriel Roubini the global recession, which will begin by the end of 2022 and last through the entire year 2023, will not leave India unscathed. Even though India’s economy is not fully integrated with the global economy, policymakers cannot ignore the global headwinds.
Non-tech industries: Demand for C-level executives continues unabated in 2023. In the October-December 2022 quarter, there was a 20-25% increase in top leadership mandates from large conglomerates as well as traditional Indian companies. These mandates materialized in sectors such as manufacturing, engineering, Infrastructure, electric vehicles, metals, cement, chemicals, FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), financial services, and retail. We expect this top-management hiring momentum to continue in 2023. It will be driven by a range of stimuli: government measures to boost the infrastructure sector, companies’ capacity expansion, investment into digital, and new & emerging businesses fuelled by investments from VC & PE (venture capital & private equity) funds.
PE/VC funds: 2022 saw India add 22 unicorns (privately held billion-dollar companies), down from the 46 it had added in 2021. India currently has 105 unicorns, and despite the funding winter, this number is expected to increase by 140% in the next three years. This is essentially due to significant reserves available in funds as they could not close deals due to astronomical valuations.
White-collar and blue-collar jobs are likely to be in demand in traditional businesses such as hospitality and tourism, as well as in emerging sectors such as e-commerce, last
–mile delivery etc.
Technology sector: 2022 saw unprecedented demand for tech talent with sharp increases in compensation; nevertheless, the year saw candidates walking with multiple offers and huge dropouts post-offer. That said, as inflation recessionary fears deepened across the US and European markets and a funding crunch hit many start-ups and emerging companies, the second half of 2022 witnessed a sharp deceleration in new job openings across edtech, fintech, health tech, media and e-commerce. Though hiring is still relatively strong, we expect demand and supply to balance out.
Diversity hiring: many leading organizations are doubling down their efforts to improve gender diversity in the workplace. Initiatives taken include, among others, offering flexible work arrangements, improving the intake of women at trainee and campus levels, providing access to mentoring & coaching and employer resource groups, hiring more women at the leadership level, and initiating programs to attract second-career women.
Investments in Future Industries
The following Industries in India are attracting huge investments. Many projects in these industries are at the drawing board and implementation phases.
- Renewable energy- solar equipment manufacturing, including solar cells and modules
- Electric Vehicles and batteries
- The semiconductor sector
- The drone industry
- Digital – Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) sector
- The Digital Payment Ecosystem
- China plus manufacturing supply chains
Despite headwinds, the long-term prospects for India are bright. According to Bibek Debroy, Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, India’s GDP will be close to US$20 trillion by 2047(when the country celebrates 100 years of Independence.) Per capita GDP may reach US$10,000 (at current value)
For detailed insights on India vis-à-vis the world, please refer to the following two interesting interviews with Ruchir Sharma, an investor, author, fund manager and columnist for the Financial Times. He is the Chairman of Rockefeller International and was an emerging markets investor at Morgan Stanley Investment Management.
- Top-10-trends-of-2023 with Ruchir Sharma
- India @ 75 With Ruchir Sharma