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India growth story intact: PwC
January 24, 2007 19:26 IST
Business chiefs across the world are getting more confident about their ability to grow businesses and take advantage of opportunities provided by globalisation, a new study released by PriceWaterHouseCoopers shows.
According to PwC's 10th annual global CEO survey released on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, CEOs' confidence has reached a record level. Nearly twice as many CEOs now feel very confident about revenue growth over the next 12 months compared to five years ago, it said.
Geographically, CEOs expect growth to continue in the widely-recognised BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations, as well as other emerging and developed economies.
Beyond the BRICs, top five countries cited for major growth opportunities are Mexico, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea and Turkey, with CEOs generally favouring the nearest developing country as providing the largest growth opportunities.
More than 90 per cent of the 1,100 CEOs surveyed across 50 countries are upbeat about revenue growth in the next 12 months. This confidence is even better with 93 per cent CEOs confident of revenue growth over the next three years.
However, CEOs are cautious about the funds to meet their expected growth. Nearly 80 per cent prefer to fund growth from internal cash flow and less than 20 per cent anticipate calling on the equity markets for support. Only 10 per cent are mulling private equity or venture capital financing.
Despite their optimism, CEOs foresee potential barriers to growth, with 73 per cent citing over-regulation as a concern, up from 64 per cent last year. In Asia Pacific, concerns are particularly acute about a looming scarcity of key skills, cited by 88 per cent of CEOs in the region,
compared to 72 per cent overall.
The survey said non-business risks such as terrorism, scarcity of oil and natural resources, political instability and climate change, were seen as less threatening and about half the CEOs are not spending any resources to combat them.
However, the current debate about global warming and climate change is beginning to bite, with 40 per cent of CEOs expressing concern about the threat posed by climate change.
This figure rises to 58 per cent for Asia Pacific CEOs but drops to only 18 per cent of North American CEOs.
Asia Pacific CEOs were generally much more worried about threats to their business than their counterparts elsewhere in the world with 83 per cent concerned about over-regulation, and 80 per cent worried about low-cost competition.
As the trend towards globalisation continues, CEOs expect this business expansion would be fuelled by improved market penetration, geographic expansion, and mergers and acquisitions, often across borders, the survey found.
While nearly three quarters of CEOs agree that continued globalisation is beneficial for both developed and emerging markets, the biggest growth opportunity cited by CEOs is better penetration of existing markets for existing products (23 per cent) with access to new markets via geographic expansion a close second (21 per cent).
To help drive business growth, about half of the CEOs say they have completed or are planning a cross-border merger or acquisition in the next 12 months. Gaining access to new markets and customers is the main purpose given for cross border M&A, cited by nearly two-thirds of CEOs.
On outsourcing, the study says this was originally a way of lowering operational costs, but only 15 per cent of CEOs cite this as underpinning their relationship with suppliers and collaboration to achieve competitive advantage is now a strategic imperative, the survey said.