New Delhi: Confidence level of business leaders have plunged to its lowest level since 2003 but Indian CEOs are still optimistic with 70% of them having a bullish outlook for the short term as well as long term growth, global consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers says.
“As CEOs watched the damage spread, short-term confidence reached its lowest point in six years. Only 21% of respondents remain very confident about the prospects for growth over the next 12 months, with the exception of Indian CEOs, 70% of whom were still remarkably positive,” according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers Global CEO Survey.
The survey, which covered 1,124 CEOs from more than 50 countries pointed out that the financial crisis has shattered short-term confidence level, which is deteriorating day by day and there is still uncertainty about the future.
However, Indian CEOs expect their businesses to be less affected by recent problems in the global banking system, with only 50% of the respondents saying that they were likely to be affected by the credit crisis, as compared to 70% globally, PwC said.
Indian CEOs’ perspective differed from that of their global peers in various spheres including their business growth strategies.
For Indian CEOs M&A (merger and acquisition) activities were likely to play a greater role in the growth of their businesses than JVs, in contrast with the global trend. Besides, 60% of Indian respondents would like to grow their businesses by penetrating existing markets better, compared to 37% globally.
“In the next 12 months 89% of Indian respondents expect to make a return on investment in products or services provided, compared to 69% globally, the report said.
Globally, confidence level witnessed significant decline as this year 21% of CEOs said they were confident of revenue growth in the next 12 months, down from 50% in last year’s survey. Besides, the number of CEOs who said that they were very confident about the short-term prospects for revenue growth plummeted from 42% to 11%.
In a bid to sustain their businesses in the current economic scenario, more than 80% said they were taking steps to reduce power costs through more energy-efficient operations, and more than half said they were seeking alternative energy sources.
Though the financial crisis spurred unprecedented levels of government intervention, more than 45% of CEOs do not believe government efforts were effective, creating a skilled workforce or formulating clear and consistent long-term environmental policies.
However, PwC said despite their criticisms “CEOs still accept the need to work with government on central issues, particularly where regulation is a business enabler”.