Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
As the global economic turmoil rages on and shows no sign of abating, Genpact Chief Executive Pramod Bhasin believes “wait and watch” is the flavour of the season for business process outsourcing firms.
The flavour seems bitter for now.
Over the past few years, BPO services firms armed with competitive, English-speaking professionals working for relatively cheap wages have cashed in on an outsourcing boom. But they are now experiencing a lull in growth as the U.S. economy faces one of the worst crises in history.
Amid such grim conditions, CEO Bhasin doesn’t care to track his company’s stock price. “I don’t even know what my own share price was yesterday, for instance, and I don’t normally look,” he said. To hear the comment click here.
Genpact shares have lost almost half their value this year. Not a pretty sight.
But there’s still some hope for Bhasin on the flavour front. He hopes the company’s Moroccan venture is a success, because Morocco is a “great place to eat.” To hear the comment click here.
Nothing works in India, Bhasin said, and rattled off a list of public utilities from water and power to security and transportation.
India has seen 9 percent-plus economic growth for the past three years and many thought it would remain relatively immune to the global financial crisis and the subsequent slowdown. But its stock market has tumbled 50 percent this year and all the signs point to a sharper slowdown than most were anticipating.
Corporate expansion plans, capital raising and partial privatisations by the government have all had to go on hold as investors, foreign and domestic, have run scared before the storm which has ripped through financial markets worldwide. Politicians too face a tough year, with national elections due in early 2009 and millions of voters for whom a first car, apartment or refrigerator is once again moving out of reach.
What does all this mean for India’s transformation into an Asian powerhouse? Will it set the country’s infrastructure and commercial development back several years or is it just a blip?
Some of the country’s most influential figures will discuss these topics and their own firms’ plans to ride out the slowdown at the Reuters India Investment Summit, which will generate a package of exclusive stories, online videos, blogs and analysis.
Try the fact that in the youth-skewing software services industry, young people, fresh out of school, are leading entire teams of people.
You have dynamics where 18-year olds are managed by 19-year olds, are managed by 22-year olds, and they have an awful lot of power,? MphasiS Managing Director Deepak Patel said at the Reuters India Investment Summit.
The kind of investments one makes tells a lot about the risks one is willing to take. But do they also suggest something about the companies these individuals run?
At the Reuters India Investment Summit, two of Indias top IT executives shared how they would invest a $50 million bounty.
If Biocons Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw were handed $50 million to invest in India, she would put the money into an innovative diagnostics company.
Diagnostics is a huge opportunity for India,? Mazumdar-Shaw said at the Reuters India Investment Summit.
Ever wondered if one of Indias richest businesswomen has any regrets?
How about – no MBA!
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, who set up Biocon in her garage in Bangalore in 1978, says going to business school could have helped grow her company a lot faster. However, she ended up learning on the job.
I feel like Ive gone to lifes business school,? instead, Mazumdar-Shaw said at the Reuters India Investment Summit in Bangalore on Thursday.
Worried that Indian curbs on participatory notes will slow the influx of foreign capital into India? Relax, says Naina Lal Kidwai, Country Head of HSBC India. Overseas money will continue to chase rapidly growing Indian corporates, which the world regards as “safe heaven” bets amid global uncertainty, she said at the Reuters India Investment Summit in Mumbai on Thursday.
To hear Kidwais comment, please click hsbc-naina-lal-kidwai.mp3
Think you know what the future holds for big pharmaceutical firms and their generic counterparts? Think again, says Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd Chief Executive Malvinder Singh, who believes a sea change is underway that will blur those lines and reshape the industry.
To hear Singh’s comment, please click ranbaxy-malvinder-singh.mp3