86% of CEOs in India believe the Indian economy will improve over the next 12 months, according to PwC's 27th Annual Global CEO Survey.

Indian business leaders' optimism about the country's economic growth has seen a nearly 30% increase over the last year, the survey shows.

While global leaders are hopeful about the future too, they are still somewhat cautious in their predictions for the year, with 44% of global CEOs believing the economy would improve in their respective territories.

62% of CEOs in India are confident about their company’s growth over the next 12 months as against 37% of global CEOs, the survey finds. 70% of CEOs in India – as against 49% of global CEOs – said they were confident of their company’s prospects for revenue growth over the next three years, the survey shows.

While most CEOs are confident about the future, a sizable section is concerned about the need to embrace change to keep pace with future trends. While 59% of India CEOs – as against 53% of global CEOs – said their companies would remain economically viable for more than 10 years if they continued on their current trajectory, 38% said their companies would remain economically viable for less than 10 years in this scenario.

CEOs in India saw inflation and cyber risks as the biggest threats to their businesses in the next 12 months. India’s annual retail inflation hit a 15-month high of 7.44% in July 2023 but had cooled to around 5.5% in November 2023. The perceived risk from cyber threats saw a jump of 10% from last year, with 28% of India CEOs – as against 18% last year – expecting extreme/high exposure to it.

Around 71% of CEOs in India expected GenAI to increase employee efficiency over the next 12 months, while 70% believed it would improve their own performance. They also believe it is likely to increase revenue (48%) and profitability (46%). On the impact of the growing use of GenAI, around 30% of India CEOs felt it would lead to the shrinking of jobs, but there was broader acknowledgment of its potential to create new job opportunities, with 48% saying it would have little or no impact on headcount and 13% seeing an increase. About 71% saw it as increasing cybersecurity risk, and 53% thought it would increase legal liabilities and reputational risks.

CEOs are increasingly looking to reinvent their businesses to deal with regulatory, internal and supply chain constraints. 61% said customer preferences had led to changes in how their companies created, delivered and captured value in the last five years. India’s business leaders felt technological change (57%) and government regulations (47%) were also prominent triggers of reinvention.

The CEO Survey shows that India has reclaimed the fifth position as an investment destination for global CEOs, up from the ninth position it held in 2023.

The survey polled 4,702 CEOs in 105 countries and territories, including 79 from India.

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