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The Changing Formula of Business Success in India

Sujith Vasudevan, Managing Editor | Wednesday, 10 February, 2021

The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming a part of lives across the globe. People are learning to live with it and in the business realm, entrepreneurs are already perceiving a future beyond it. The changing role of CIOs points right into this critical fact. CIOs, especially newly appointed CIOs, need to comprehend the fact that the skill sets and traits you require have changed dramatically over the past year alone; not to mention the constant change in harmony with the dynamic technology industry. This in turn is the major context behind the changing formulas in the business realm.

According to a new IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study, the majority of CEOs surveyed in India perceive that the major external factors influencing their business in the successive years will be technological factors, market factors and regulatory concerns. The study also reveals that the global CEOs of outperforming organizations – those who were in the top 20 percent for revenue growth of those surveyed – are prioritizing talent, technology and partnerships to position their companies for success post-COVID-19 pandemic.

Investment Hotspots
It’s not surprising that the study points in the direction of more dependency on futuristic technologies. The surveyed CEOs in India put a lot of belief and investment in technologies like IoT, Cloud, AI/Machine Learning, robotic process automation and advanced analytics. This goes in line with the stat that many global surveyed CEOs also placed the CIO and CTO in their post-pandemic inner circle of most crucial C-Suite members. “We are living in an all-pervasive digital world - and enterprises must transform with speed to remain relevant and win,” said Sandip Patel, Managing Director, IBM India/South Asia, while commenting on the survey insights.

In truth, the companies now recognize other important areas that need investment as employee experience and virtual workplace. It has become a fragmented, but whopping $300 billion market, which made Microsoft even launch a new platform recently. Microsoft Viva became the first employee experience platform to bring tools for employee engagement, learning, wellbeing and knowledge discovery, directly into the workplace. Viva is designed to help employees learn, grow and thrive, with new experiences that integrate with the productivity and collaboration capabilities in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams. “We have participated in the largest at-scale remote work experiment the world has seen, and it has had a dramatic impact on the employee experience,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, while launching the platform.

The Money Challenges
Well, still the companies need to plan and invest in these areas. While enterprises and often SMBs can go running into their nest eggs, it’s startups that are in a more severe survival battle. While the same level of technology vision is inevitable for anything future, the lack of financial streams dent their future path.

The 5G rollout in the country will also play an instrumental role in startups as well enterprises tapping into the digital economy

But, they need to pick up the pieces and build again; leveraging various schemes in favor of startups is a good start. Recently, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced one more year of Tax Holiday for startups.

“The existing provisions of Section 80-IAC of Companies Act, 2013, provide for a deduction of an amount equal to 100% of the profits and gains derived from an eligible business by an eligible startup for three consecutive assessment years out of 10 years at the option of the assessed subject to the condition that the total turnover of its business does not exceed Rs.100 crore for an eligible startup incorporated on or after the 1 April 2016 but before 1 April 2021,” said the Finance Minister.

Countless Opportunities
The 5G rollout in the country will also play an instrumental role in startups as well enterprises tapping into the digital economy. Internet penetration rate in India went up to nearly around 50 percent in 2020 and the trend is a sure bet to continue. The number of internet subscribers in the country increased at a CAGR of 21.36 percent from FY16 to FY20 to reach 743.19 million in FY20. According to IBEF, over the next five years, rise in mobile-phone penetration and decline in data costs are poised to add 500 million new internet users in India, creating new avenues for businesses. India is definitely taking a full swing at it this time. With latency coming down and internet speed flaring up, the digital markets will present countless opportunities and the winning business formulas will largely revolve around technology investments, employee experience, and customer experience.

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