Davos 2023: India, Southeast Asia 'Shining Light' Of The World, Says BCG's Neeraj Aggarwal

BCG's Asia Pacific Chairman Neeraj Aggarwal pegged India, Southeast nations as 'shining light' in the world. 

<div class="paragraphs"><p>India Gate in New Delhi.&nbsp;(Image by wirestock on Freepik)</p></div>
India Gate in New Delhi. (Image by wirestock on Freepik)

Calling 2023 a "topsy-turvy" year, Boston Consulting Group's Asia Pacific Chairman, Neeraj Aggarwal, pegged India as a "shining light" along with Southeast nations amongst global economies.

"As the way the world shifts geopolitically, I think these parts of the world are very well positioned. So it's up to them to grab the opportunity," Aggarwal told BQ Prime while attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

A Decadal Opportunity

Aggarwal highlighted that businesses have manufacturing and supply chain diversification high on their minds. So, if India takes hold of these opportunities, it could witness a great decade ahead.

"If we are strong and take a longer-term view, this can be a great decade for India as well as Southeast Asia."

Aggarwal said that trade flows, capital flows, and talent flows are all favoured in this part of the world.

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Where Is The Challenge?

India needs to fix the fundamental issues it has related to ease of doing business, depth of talent, and the need for cities to be more livable, Aggarwal said.

Clients love the opportunity of India, he said, but they find it's still a tough market to get into. India is harder to figure out and takes a longer time, Aggarwal said, citing the firm's clients. Still, investment interest in the country thrives.

"If we can reduce the hardness a little bit, I think we can go much further along," he said.

Aggarwal said that the one point where India loses out is "we get complacent and arrogant too fast". He said we need to "put head down and work for a decade" and leverage the tailwinds to a position that is unparallel.

Production-Linked Incentives Exciting

Expressing his own excitement about the production-linked incentive scheme, Aggarwal said that clients have been more "positive" about the initiative in a long time than ever before.

"I feel the 17–18% of GDP that comes from manufacturing is finally inching upward."

The manufacturing sector in India looks positive as hi-tech manufacturing firms talk about opportunities in India, Aggarwal said, citing examples of Apple Inc. manufacturing in India, semiconductor manufacturing, and the push for electric vehicles in the country.

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