Please see below selected recent intelligence about India. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at corporates, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers.
- Real GDP growth in India accelerated to 7.9% year on year in January-March, the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015-16, according to data released by the Central Statistical Office. In 2015-16 GDP grew by 7.6% on an expenditure basis, up from 7.2% in the previous year. Although the latest statistics show robust growth momentum, scepticism over underlying growth components - particularly manufacturing - continues. Still, the Economist Intelligence Unit expects the rate of economic expansion to accelerate in India in 2016-17, thanks to rising private consumption.
- The Reserve Bank of India cut its benchmark interest rate from 6.75% to 6.5%, the lowest it has been in five years. Inflation has also eased.
- PwC published Make In India: Steering manufacturing growth. Over the last few years - especially since 2012, the manufacturing sector in India had witnessed a slowdown in its growth trajectory. After the new government came into power in 2014, the expectation and focus has been on reviving the manufacturing sector and creating a favourable environment to drive future growth. With this objective, the Indian government has now launched a large scale Make in India programme, where the aim is to increase the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP from around 16%-17% to 25% by 2020. Learn more about the overall Make In India programme in the GMC blog, along with insights on its potential impact on the automotive and defence sectors.
- In India, Business Standard reported that many companies are planning to change their auditors by the end of 2016, after a government-appointed panel rejected an industry request to remove a provision mandating auditor rotation by the end of 2016-17. 90% of major Indian companies have not yet rotated their auditors.
- The budget statement to be presented on 29 February will show the government has met its 3.9% of GDP budget deficit target in fiscal year 2015–2016, claimed Eurasia Group, but it will relax the target for fiscal year 2016–2017 from 3.5% of GDP to about 3.7% in order to accommodate higher infrastructure spending and to support programs in politically and economically important rural areas.
- The release of GDP figures in India for the last three months of 2015 raised more questions than it answered, warned The Economist. The economy officially grew by 7.3% compared with the same quarter a year earlier, making it the world’s fastest-growing large economy. But since last year’s rejig of GDP statistics, doubts have been raised about the accuracy of the data. Economists point to other numbers, such as weak exports and a lack of investment, which suggest a less rosy outlook.
- The Indian Central Statistics Office also offered an upbeat forecast for the financial year to end-March, predicting annual Indian growth of 7.6 per cent for the full year - the highest for five years.
- India is still the number one country for business process outsourcing, followed by China and Malaysia, according to A.T. Kearney’s Global Services Location Index. In its latest Index, the consultancy explored the best value for money, talented and business friendly locations for outsourcing services, allowing companies to reduce costs for often repetitive and costly services.
- KPMG said that its India subsidiary's incumbent chief executive Richard Rekhy had been unanimously elected for a second term. According to the firm, Rekhy was unanimously elected by KPMG India partners. His second term will last up to November 2020. KPMG said that its India subsidiary is the fastest growing member firm in it global network. Currently, KPMG in India employs more than 10,000 professionals, operating across 14 cities.
- Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen was announced as one of two vice chairs to the U.S.-India Business Council. “Renjen and Monser together represent over 60 years of experience and expertise in global manufacturing, business strategy, and business development, reflecting USIBC’s directive to maintain a diverse leadership,” said the organisation in a press announcement.