CNBC's Managing Brainstorm V: topic triggers for growth

MUMBAI: CNBC India in association with Sun Microsystems and Wipro Infotech held the fifth session of its managing Brainstorm series in Mumbai yesterday.

Proceedings were coordinated by TV 18 promoter Raghav Bahl and the speakers included Godrej Group chairman Adi Godrej, Cummins chairman Ravi Venkatesan, Shipping Corporation of India CMD PK Srivastava, Essar Group chairman Shashi Ruia and Phillips vice chairman Ramachandran. The forum focussed on the barriers to economic growth by identifying problem areas.

One of the conclusions reached was that India will continue to operate in a narrow range. Therefore we see neither a sudden growth spurt nor a sharp downward spike.

Ruia said that developing the export market could be one of the triggers for growth. India should concentrate on labour intensive exports and for this to happen more broad based thinking was needed. The total world export market is $ 1.5 trillion notwithstanding the downslide in the international market conditions, he said.

Ramachandran said that industry needed to adopt a long-term outlook. In the last 10 years the best sustainable growth was seen in 91-92 and 95-96. Since 1996 manufacturing has seen a steady decline, he pointed out. Consistency has a trigger effect but it has been conspicuous by its absence. There is a need for companies to start benchmarking themselves against how the same industries are performing in other countries instead of comparing our performance to the previous year, he said.

The basic underlying theme was that though the last couple of quarters had been good for companies one swallow did not make a summer. The industry remains cautiously optimistic but has managed to fend off major crisis.

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