Leaders deliberate on enablers of the India growth story at the INSEAD Annual India Business Dialogue 2017

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Mumbai: The 6th edition of the Annual India Business Dialogue, an exclusive conference spearheaded by the INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute and held in conjunction with the INSEAD Leadership Programme for Senior Executives – India (ILPSE), was held recently on the theme ‘The Indian Growth Story – How soon will India bounce back?’.
The conference examined the challenges and opportunities on the policy front through government initiatives, on the corporate front through the repercussions of changes in consumption and productivity and through opportunities presented by digital transformation across sectors on the disruption front.

Distinguished speakers and experienced delegates such as Jaideep Khanna, Co-Head of Barclays Asia Pacific, Chief Executive and Country Head of Barclays India, Ajay Srinivasan, CEO, Aditya Birla Financial Services, Suresh Narayanan, Chairman and Managing Director, Nestle India Ltd, Shubhada Rao, Group President and Chief Economist, YES BANK Limited and Wilfried Aulbur, Managing Partner, Roland Berger, India, Jaspreet Bindra, Senior Vice President – Digital Transformation, Mahindra Group, among others, presented intelligent, insightful and relevant discussions on varied facets of the India story.

Vinika D. Rao, Executive Director, INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute gave the welcome address and the closing address was by V. (Paddy) Padmanabhan, Academic Director, INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute and Unilever Chaired Professor of Marketing at INSEAD.

Ajay Srinivasan, CEO, Aditya Birla Financial Services spoke about the ‘Growth Story with the Financial Services Consumer’ and shared the changing landscape of Financial Services in India. Ajay spent some time talking about how India is predominantly a cash based economy, illustrated by the fact that the usage of credit and debit cards shot up during demonetization and then came down once the availability of cash in the form of new currency notes improved. He also spoke on the massive opportunity of growth in financial services due to the low penetration and how digital transformation is becoming increasingly critical in the financial services space.

On the topic of Building Great and Enduring Consumer Brands in India, Chairman and Managing Director, Nestle India Ltd. Suresh Narayanan, said, “Consumerism is thriving and the consumer is spoilt for choice. Brands are under pressure, the turf may change, however the formula doesn’t”. He further added, “It’s the most exciting time to be in consumer marketing with the huge number of new brand launches – 17,000 in a year, 10 million FMCG stores from 8 million in 2011, 56% increase in FMCG SKUs since 2011, 45% YOY growth of cafes in India, etc. It is imperative that brands should have the following elements to endure – good genes, contemporary connect and future fitness.”

The discussion titled ‘Gender Diversity for the Growth Story. Is India Getting it Right?’ threw up interesting insights on gender parity in the corporate world and a shift from maternity leave to parental leave.

The panellists discussing the topic ‘Digital Disruption’ were of the opinion that digital disruption has already started to impact different sectors like automobiles, entertainment, and retail and will continue to further disrupt all sectors in the future.
As the Business School for the World, INSEAD is at the heart of the dialogue around growth and development, advocating on business and employment creation as the platform for sustainable, long-term prosperity. Each year, we bring together distinguished speakers and experienced delegates from India and around the globe for a few hours of intelligent, insightful and relevant discussions on varied facets of the India story. The Annual Business Dialogue is an invitation-only conference, where a distinguished group of policy makers, business leaders, investors and INSEAD faculty will share their perspectives.