CFOs are now optimistic and willing to spend
Deloitte India CFO Survey 2015
• 65% of the CFOs positive about economic growth in the short run i.e. within a year's horizon • 71% of CFOs are likely to initiate or accelerate new investment plans • 53% expect hiring to pick up • Managing profits and price trends affected by increased competition are major challenges • Clarity on policies, taxation rates and shortage of skilled people emerge as major hindrances for 'Make in India'
Mumbai, 25 February, 2015: Along with the government’s promise of putting in more money towards investment, corporates in India are also likely to allocate a higher amount towards capital expenditure (capex).The year 2015 is likely to see some revival in the corporate capex cycle as according to Deloitte India’s CFO Survey, 54percent of respondents believe that their capex will be higher during the course of the year and 53percent expect hiring to pick up. 44.6percent of the CFOs revealed that they expect higher capex and higher hiring over the next one year.
|Projections||1 year||2-3 years||4-5 years|
In the short run CFOs are highly optimistic with around 65percent of them positive about economic growth prospects of the domestic economy. As the economy picks up pace, corporate profitability is also expected to show a meaningful uptick over the next one year. 78percent of the CFOs believe that they will experience an increase in revenue while 71percent expect higher earnings.
“Rise in CFO optimism in the short term is in line with other key developments such as inflation coming under control, current account deficit contracting to manageable levels and the likely hood of the government meeting its fiscal target”, said Deloitte spokesperson.
However, CFOs do not expect it to be a smooth ride. Even as growth has turned around and business confidence is on the rise, regulatory impediments and uncertainty in the tax environment continue to be one of the major concerns shared by the CFOs. Further, while inflation has moderated enough for the Reserve Bank of India to start the rate cutting cycle, it continues to be a concern shared by 25.8percent of the CFOs.
“The percentage of CFOs who are neutral to the current developments drops from by a whopping 33percent to 3.1percent as we move from the one year period to the two-three year medium term period. These findings therefore, clearly show that the CFOs are willing to give the government more time to bring about the structural change that would give growth a more sustainable and meaningful boost”, added Deloitte spokesperson.
Within the realm of industry, increased competition due to new entrants affecting profits, as well as price trends affected by increased competition are major challenges according to a majority of the CFOs.
Even as these issues prevail, there is renewed hope that the new government will address these issues. Another major theme that has emerged in the Deloitte CFO Survey has been the proactive role that the government has played in reigniting the growth process. As such, 37.1percent of the CFOs are very positive while another 58.8percent were positive that the new government will accelerate the pace of reforms. A minority of CFOs were neutral while none of the CFOs were negative.
Although well directed, according to the CFO’s, the ‘Make in India’ campaign faces several infrastructural and regulatory roadblocks. High investment risk and lack of clear policy framework is one of the main roadblocks according to 68% of CFOs. The other major factor highlighted by the survey is tax or other levies impacting cost competitiveness. Both these factors point to the uncertainty associated with unclear policy framework, acting as a major deterrent to the overall business confidence.
Among the major difficulties faced in doing business in India, the one of the most important was the productivity and employability of people. It is considered as one of the main impediments in India realizing its demographic dividend; availability of skilled workforce will pose a deterrent for doing business in India and the successful implementation of the ‘Make in India’ campaign, according to the CFO survey.
The Deloitte India CFO survey 2015, is based on responses of over 100 CFOs spanning across a plethora of sectors, from small scale to large scale companies with revenue spanning from INR less than 250 crores to higher than INR 2500 crores. Similarly, there are CFOs of Indian companies as well as MNC headquartered outside India as well as within India, with a workforce spanning from less than 500 employees to more than 20,000 employees. The survey tries to reflect the overall mood of corporate India with regards to the recent economic and political developments.
Notes to the editor for reference purposes only:
This press release has been given by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited
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Deloitte India herein refers to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India private Limited and its affiliate entities in India