Business Foresight For 2019

Ashwajit Singh, Managing Director, IPE GlobalAn alumnus of the London School of Economics, Ashwajit is a Chartered Accountant & Company Secretary. He holds more than 25 years of extensive experience in corporate & financial advisory.

2019 is going to be a crucial year for business in the world and India. The Brexit fallout, suppressed European markets, and the budget standoff in America foretell a cautious and limited growth possibility. India too, with a credit squeeze and pos-demonetisation base, is likely to record a lower growth rate in 2019.

However, India is likely to emerge as the fifth largest economy-overtaking United Kingdom during the year. Over the last few years, several parts of the economy have been aligned in India the improvement in EoDB is remarkable and an ecosystem for startups is emerging slowly, but surely. Government's spending, especially in rural areas,is increasing manifold which would fuel consumption. The depreciating rupee, teething GST, limited foreign investments and uncertain crude prices will pose challenges for India in the current year. In addition,the general elections are due in early 2019.
Be that as it will, I look forward to the year with great optimism. This is drawn from the four areas below:

1.Finding Innovative Solutions

I see 2019 as a year where slowing growth will spawn newer ideas & options. Technology, logistics and customization would continue to be the main stay of our innovation journey. The startup and angel funding ecosystem should also be able to encourage and main stream these initiatives. I also feel that the e-Commerce marketplace and mobile platform are maturing and will play an important role in this.

2.Meaningful CSR

The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) should become more attractive and meaningful in the next year. Although a recent phenomenon in Indian corporate culture, CSRs have the capacity to generate synergistic Public Private Partnerships(PPPs)for improved access to the poor.

3.An Empowered Workplace

I see a more empowered and an inclusive workplace, especially in terms of women safety & rights. Recent legal & regulatory changes are welcoming and are likely to strengthen further. I also feel that this will help to recognize and encourage better talent and merit to find their place in corporate boardrooms. The proverbial glass ceiling has to and should go.

4.Responsive to the Market

As compared to earlier times, I think businesses will need to adopt a market linked model to deal with the uncertain future. The power of the market will be seen in asking for solutions, testing prototypes and even in funding. The future is about a realtime, direct market connect for corporates, and technology is making this interface possible and economical. I remain an optimist and will hope to see these and even more better changes in the coming year.