Managing Director, Times Network

With the outbreak of Covid-19 since January and the imposition of mandatory lockdown since March; both India and the World have witnessed dramatic changes. During this period, we have witnessed major economic and social loss which has left millions in the state of vulnerability. However, as we proceed into the unlocking phase, there is a glimmer of hope where it is expected that both individuals and firms would take bold steps to revive the entire economy. 

The Business Perception Survey launched along with our knowledge partner Institute for Competitiveness and as a part of the Times Network India Revival Mission; aims to assess the impact that the pandemic has had on Indian businesses. This includes the response from hundreds of top executives who describe the personnel and operational changes that had to be made to keep up with the dynamic domestic and global economies between five months (April-August 2020). Further, they also deliver the verdict as to how they foresee the future of their respective businesses and the overall economy.  

The Survey tendered some surprising insights which highlight the intrepid attitude of the Indian businesses and the approach they are willing to take to revive their prospects and the economy in general. The results show that an overwhelming majority of respondents believe that the emphasis should shift towards import substitution for relevant commodities. This sentiment aligns with the Honourable Prime Minister’s clarion call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.  

These businesses have firm faith in themselves and the Indian economy and through this survey have expressed their desire to be competitive in the global market. Through their responses, there has been an inclination towards reducing the dependency on Chinese supply chains.  

Since the beginning of the unlocking phase, businesses have gone through a gradual recovery, which has been highlighted in this survey report. Therefore, now is the time to transform this potential into credible and tangible results. All the responses coming from the Business Perception Survey points towards only one point and that is- amidst this setback, also comes a range of opportunities and India must be ready to make the most of them.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Institute for Competitiveness for developing this white-paper and highlighting the long-term effects of the pandemic on Indian businesses. I am sure that the findings of this survey will provide a better understanding of the long-term potential solutions that could be taken up to assist Indian businesses to tide over this crisis. 

© 2020 Institute for Competitiveness, India

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