Outlook 2013: Indian CEOs Optimistic Lot, Reveals Survey

Despite a new survey that shows that a lesser number of CEOS worldwide are less positive about growth this year, compared to last year, more than half of India’s corporate honchos have an opposite opinion: they expressed optimism about an uptick in business in 2013.

The survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, released at the World Economic Forum at Davos, an annual ritual prior to the start of the meet in Switzerland, which begins tomorrow, concluded that 62% Russian CEOs were gung ho about growth prospects this year, with more than half of the business leaders in India, Mexico, the Middle East and Africa, following behind in their positive sentiments about growth in their business, in their respective countries.

The survey made it clear that most of the CEOs surveyed were cautious in their approach to business, with strategy limited to a few investments in tried-and-true markets, and a quarter of the CEOs surveyed plan further job cuts. But more than half of them also posed the dilemma of trouble finding people with the right job skills, said the survey.

The new survey results by the global accounting firm showed a steady drop in the number of CEOs worldwide who are ‘very confident’ that their companies will grow this year, with the number down to 36% this year, compared to 48% in 2011.

The overall number of CEOS who gushed about growth this year is also in the teens, with only 18% of them in number, with more than a third of them worrying that a lack of trust in their industries puts their company’s growth at risk.

The Guardian lamented that the survey pinned British CEOs as the most negative in their outlook for this year, citing a flat-lining economy, the government’s austerity program, red tape and a lack of skilled workers about the future than their counterparts abroad.

The annual snapshot of the  mood of boardrooms to mark the start of the annual World Economic Forum, found that only 22% of the people running UK companies were very confident about growth prospects over the next 12 months, said the report.

The survey said its research showed that UK companies were planning to spend the next year cutting costs, improving efficiency, improving service to existing customers and concentrating on the domestic market.

Chief executives in the UK said the issues that gave them most concern included the coalition’s response to Britain’s budget deficit, uncertainty about growth prospects, and the lack of stability in financial markets. But they were also aware of risks to their business from a lack of skilled workers, the dearth of available finance, and high energy costs, said the Guardian.

Several countries, including Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Japan and France, registered even more pessimism than the UK.

In the attempt to keep organizations “resilient”, UK chief executives, said the survey, were looking at a number of growth areas. Of the executives, 38% see opportunities for organic growth in the home market, with 24% citing new products or services. The countries favored for overseas growth were the US, China, France and Germany.

The survey in a way substantiates what the U.N. labor agency said earlier this week that globally the jobs crisis has worsened; there were 197 million people who couldn’t find a job in 2012 and another 39 million who have given up on looking for one. (GIN-AmericanBazaarOnline.com)

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