CEOs and CFOs are confident in the potential to grow their business in the next five years, with an average anticipated rise in turnover of 54%, reveals a Standard Chartered survey
Mid-sized companies in Asia are highly confident in their ability to grow, and alongside domestic expansion are increasingly looking to international markets to build further momentum, finds a new independent study commissioned by Standard Chartered. The survey of 300 CEOs and CFOs of companies with an annual turnover of between USD30-USD100 million across four Asian markets – China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia – points to considerable optimism, despite slowing economies across the region.
According to the survey, 97% of the CEOs and CFOs of Indian businesses are confident in the potential to grow their business in the next five years, with an average anticipated rise in turnover of 54%. Confidence comes from increasing demand for products and services, much of this driven by a growing middle class. While overwhelmingly high, levels of optimism vary. Indian business leaders are the most optimistic, while Malaysian respondents have slightly more mixed views, with 78% confident in their growth prospects.
The findings are good news for India’s economy, as the companies here look to expand their workforce to meet increased demand for the products and services they provide. Eight in ten of the businesses who plan to grow also expect to take on more workers in the next five years, with headcount expected to increase by an average of one-third.
85% of the Indian companies are international, typically doing business with Europe, Middle East and China. Expanding internationally is a priority for most of the Indian mid-sized companies in the study, with 73% planning to increase their sales in existing foreign markets, and 71% expecting to expand the number of international markets in which they operate.
ASEAN is the most popular foreign market for business for Indonesia and Malaysia, with 74% of the Indonesian and 76% of the Malaysian companies currently doing business in other ASEAN markets. In India and China, companies also look to Europe as a key trading partner, with as many as 68% of Indian companies and 54% of Chinese companies considering Europe as their preferred foreign market.
The CEOs and CFOs cite becoming leaders in their respective industries as their top priority. Quality and consistency are also front of mind, as the companies plan to increase the scale of their operations while continuing to provide the quality of their products and services.
Commenting on the survey, Manish Jain, MD & Regional Head, Commercial Clients, South Asia at Standard Chartered, says “Mid-sized companies are crucial engines of economic growth and job creation across Asia, and increasingly active in global trade. They are the Tatas and Alibabas of tomorrow, and this study shows that slowing growth in the region has not dented their confidence in the future. Far from it, these dynamic companies are looking to take on more workers and expand into new markets, growing their turnover in the next five years.”