Driven by positive economic sentiment, 77 percent of senior finance executives of Indian companies surveyed expect moderate to substantial economic expansion in 2017, according to the Global Business and Spending Outlook survey released on 27 April.
The survey, commissioned by American Express and conducted by the Institutional Investor Custom Research Lab, states that Indian companies are expected to increase their spending and investment in the market place with 67 percent of Indian companies looking at focusing on spending and investment to support top-line growth while improving profitability this year.
The survey further revealed that about 37 percent Indian finance executives expect their company's level of spending and investment to increase by over 10 percent as compared to only 24 percent global executives, pointing towards Indian executives' better preparedness at increasing their spending and investment as compared to their global counterparts.
"Indian companies are expected to increase their spending and investment this year which is backed by positive economic sentiment. With focus on optimising resources and efficiently managing spends across categories, India Inc. is headed towards a conducive growth chart," said Saru Kaushal, Vice President and General Manager, Global Corporate Payments, American Express.
"It is our constant endeavor to facilitate finance executives around the world with business expenditure management and empower them with innovative tools for resource optimisation hence positively impacting profitability," she added.
Indian executives are twice as likely to cite hardware and infrastructure as their top IT priority, compared with their global counterparts. According to 30 percent of executives from India, compared to 13 percent global and 14 percent executives in Asia and Australia, hardware and infrastructure will be top most priority for companies.
This clearly indicates that companies are realising the need and importance of digitisation and therefore making a conscious effort in this direction. Another 10 percent of Indian executives want to concentrate on business intelligence and data analysis capabilities.
According to nearly half of the Indian executives surveyed (47 percent), exports are expected to become important for their company's growth in 2017. With the consistent growth of business in the domestic market, companies want to gradually secure their business in the foreign market as well and invest more in exports.
The survey further revealed that according to 67 percent financial executives from India, pressure on their company to compete on the quality of its customer service has increased substantially. Indian companies are concentrating on enhancing customer services.
According to 40 percent executives from India, in comparison to 18 percent globally and 22 percent in Asia and Australia, dedicated relationship management is a company's most valued attribution for its vendors and suppliers.
60 percent of Indian executives feel that improving cash and working capital management (including payables, receivables, and inventories) will be more important for their company this year, compared to last year.
The survey highlights that 61 percent of Indian respondents, in comparison with 46 percent global and 43 percent executives in Asia and Australia will make greater use of non-secured short-term financing such as overdraft and credit cards to manage their cash and working capital more effectively.