Mumbai: The Indian fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry has seen a reasonable turnaround from the economic downturn of the past 18 months, a top industry official said on Wednesday.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd, chief executive officer and managing director, Nitin Paranjape said the green shoots of recovery were being reflected in “good” demand from consumers, even as he termed the rising cost of raw materials as a “short-term blip”.
“The markets have reversed reasonably. Demand (in the Indian FMCG industry) is good,” he told PTI on the sidelines of a function at Mumbai.
He was addressing students of the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) on “Managing Turbulence: The Innovation Imperative”.
Paranjape said the turbulent events of the past year-and-half that engulfed economies all over the world will keep recurring with greater intensity and frequency.
“The turbulent events which we have seen weren’t the first and are not going to be the last. We will see several more such events and these will happen with increasing intensity and greater frequency... (because) we are living in a world, which in significantly more interconnected today than it ever was,” he said.
He recounted the Middle East oil shock of 1973, India’s sovereign default in the early 90s, the South East Asian currency scare in 1997 as well as the more recent Dubai property crisis that raised concerns among bankers and analysts across the world.
Nations and governments need to be ready to face such turbulences, which will dramatically alter assumptions and cause an upheaval in the position that one takes for granted, Paranjape said.
These upheavals, he added, would be driven by innovation and the rapid pace of technology changes.
Quoting a report compiled by various industry bodies, Paranjape said, India will need 300 million skilled workmen in the future if it wants to sustain a nine per cent rate of annual growth.
“We may face a shortage of 300 million skilled people to drive that 9 per cent growth we are talking about. The task for us is to find a way to drive all round development,” he said.
“The belief that there will be a trickle down of growth, we have to challenge. Trickle down will be too slow. We have to find innovative models that will involve early on people who are currenly not in the financial economy and the consumption economny and the drivers of growth in this country,” Paranjape said.