India’s economic fortunes critical for global growth, its rise being welcomed by world: Kumar Mangalam Birla

India’s economic fortunes are critical for the world and its rise is being welcomed by all as it grows into a stabilizing and non-disruptive growth engine, billionaire businessman Kumar Mangalam Birla said, while penning his reflections of the year gone by and spelling out 5 trends that may have a multi-year impact on the country in the future.

The Chairman of Aditya Birla Group opines that the world’s approach towards a ‘China +1’ alternative augurs well for India and it remains a “clear choice” for the world.

He has summarized 5 broader trends that will hold India in good stead:     

1) India’s rise: Beyond ‘+1’ – Economic might, a large working age population, demographic dynamism, entrepreneurial energy, robust democracy and diversity and a pivotal position in current global geopolitics, puts India in a strong zone. “And I think even Chat GPT concurs,” he said.

 “India’s economic fortunes are critical for the world. But more interestingly, India’s rise is being welcomed by the world as it grows into a stabilizing and non-disruptive growth engine. In fact, the byline of India’s G20 presidency captures its foundational values— One Earth. One Family. One Future”.

“The latent economic potential of this country is being coupled with a newfound civilizational confidence born of our emergence as a strong third global growth pole. The next two-and-a-half decades undoubtedly represent an Amrit Kaal,” he added.

“A decadal reshaping of supply chains is underway. As global corporations start to look at countries across Asia as part of their China + 1 strategies, India is a clear choice,” he further said.

2) Clean energy at a tipping point: “Climate and sustainability have rightfully been called out as the defining challenges of the 21st century. India has made some bold bets and commitments behind this transition. As a nation, we aim to generate 50 per cent of our power requirements from renewable sources, or put another way, have 500GW of non-fossil fuel-based capacity by 2030. India is walking the talk as is evident from its pioneering leadership of the International Solar Alliance,” he said. 

The Chairman of Aditya Birla Group said that the group is making similar investments in green energy, the circular economy and sustainable materials, across a range of companies.

3) No shortcuts to business building: In his reflections, he wrote: “The availability of capital, coupled with young talent brimming with ideas, has meant that we have been witness to a unique explosion of new business building. At the same time, it’s also increasingly clear that there is a thin line between hustle and hubris. To manage this balance well, it is important to get 4 things right:

– Build great teams and be unafraid to bring in new talent
– Create a culture of values, where actions matter more than slogans
– Own the offensive moves: This is true for both incumbents and insurgents. Play out the patterns on the chess board three moves hence. Big bets need to be orchestrated based on your own fundamental strengths – better unit economics, massive scale, network advantages, speed etc. If you do not continuously reshape the terms of the industry based on these big bets, someone else definitely will be playing to theirs.
– Metrics still matter, even in the absence of perfect analogues: There is still value to investing in building a view to core metrics, operating profits, gross margins, and cash flows. These terms have enduring resonance across business cycles.”

4) Longevity = Reinvention: “Changes in technology, and evolving consumer needs, are creating ever shorter business cycles. For a group like ours, a unique challenge is to harness the trust and stability that comes from longevity, while ensuring that we can continuously reinvent ourselves,” he said.

5) Purpose as a talisman: “In 2022, we formally put to words our group’s purpose statement which has been an unspoken anchor over the years. At its heart is the aspiration to enrich lives by building dynamic and responsible businesses and institutions that inspire trust. In a world of increasing opportunity, and also accelerating uncertainty, our purpose statement is meant to act as a talisman and remain at the core of our business decisions. As we grow, we expand our capacity to receive. We enhance our absorption of talent, technology, and capital. This, in turn, enables us to increase our ability to give back, create impact, and enrich lives. This virtuous cycle is at the heart of being a successful purpose-driven organization,” he summed up.

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