Rising Global Uncertainties and Its Implications

22 Mar 2019

Today, we live in an increasingly uncertain world. The global economy is witnessing a whirlwind of events with significant implications for economies and businesses across the world. Volatility is at an all-time high with an impending Brexit and rise of protectionist tendencies in several advanced and emerging markets.

An increasing focus towards discriminatory measures and inward-looking policies have rendered an uncertain outlook to the global trade situation. These in turn have heightened trade tensions and increased fears of retaliatory measures by countries.

In the last decade, cross-border data flows have increased tremendously, giving rise to an era of digital globalization. The rapid spread of internet and digital technologies and the emergence of new business models are constantly reshaping the global economy and its impact can be felt across sectors. These events together have fundamentally altered the global scenario giving rise to a new economic paradigm.

The influx of new age technologies such as digital platforms, Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, blockchain, and 3D printing, among others will substantially influence global trade flows, change labor costs and will have far reaching consequences on job creation. The rise of digital technologies will demand new skills and as nature of jobs will change, the skill ecosystems will need to be upgraded tailored to current needs.

Emerging technologies will also impact sectors such as manufacturing and services and will transform products across these sectors while creating new ones, significantly altering global value chains. For example, the next few years could see a sea change in the automobile industry with the rise of electric vehicles as one of the key antidotes to combat climate change, another phenomenon contributing to the increasingly complex environment.

The present overall situation is popularly defined in the business context as VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) to represent the various dimensions of such a complex and ambiguous environment. While the current situation provides both opportunities and challenges, navigating through such an environment is no easy task. Dynamic strategies and interventions are required to solve challenges and plan forward, with a focus on quick adaptability and flexibility to changing conditions.

Where does India stand?
India today is the fastest growing major economy in the world, projected to grow at the rates of 7.5% and 7.7% during 2019 and 2020 respectively as per IMF’s World Economic Outlook January update. The country grew at the rate of 7% annually during FY 2019-20 as per CSO’s second advance estimates.

While the projected growth rates are pegged at higher levels than global growth rates, the primary challenge for the Indian economy would be sustaining such high growth rates in the face of major changes in the global economic environment.

Current global trends also present many opportunities wherein countries can benefit by developing comparative advantages in newer areas. Greater use of digitally connected products will lead to greater ‘servitization’ of businesses, driving growth and job creation.

The ubiquitous use of digitally connected products would also foster the growth of start-ups and micro-entrepreneurs by driving innovation and would improve the overall efficiency of businesses. The expanding e-commerce market in India will also present opportunities for the small and mid-sized enterprises by helping them interact with global customers.

CII Annual Session 2019: India 5.0: India@75 and beyond
Although India is on a solid growth track, the new wave of globalization presents many opportunities and challenges that would require the attention of policy experts, industry leaders, academics and citizens alike. Taking note of the various issues at large, the Confederation of Indian Industry is organizing the CII Annual Session 2019 to be held during 4-5 April 2019.

With the theme of “India 5.0: India@ 75 and beyond”, the two-day event would bring together some of the brightest minds in the country to discuss and deliberate on diverse issues of national importance, with a focus on the changes in the current global environment and its implications for India.  

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