GBS Online Edition 2.0: Moving the wheels of economy again
After the resounding response from the first edition of The Economic Times Global Business Summit, the largest media conglomerate in the country set out to ensure that the wheels of the economy were moving again.
India had experienced one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. Closing down the country was relatively easily done in a single stroke but opening up the economy needed a calibrated approach. Government’s declaration of the Rs 20 Lakh Crore financial package was a much appreciated first step to restore liquidity; however, several subsequent steps were required to get the wheels in motion.
Eminent speakers such as the Executive Chairperson of Biocon, Kiran Mazundar Shaw; Founder and Executive Chairman, S4Capital and Founder WPP , Sir Martin Sorrell and Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy responded to the platform’s call in order to show the path to growth for businesses along with leaders such as Bharat Puri, MD, Pidilite Industries; Piyush Singh, Senior MD & Lead India Market Unit, Accenture; Rashesh Shah, Chairman & CEO, Edelweiss Group; RS Sodhi, MD, Amul; and Umang Vohra, MD & Global CEO, Cipla.
These speakers highlighted that the present situation then was unique, and the nation was witnessing supply shock and demand shock simultaneously. While the government had started opening up the supply chain, there was no surge in demand.
This posed the challenge of aggregating demand and further businesses were not opening up properly due to lockdown extensions.
To drive consumer demand, the speakers said that it was imperative to put money back in the hands of the people alongside the ongoing efforts of the government. One solution, they said was to offer more jobs.
Other solutions included examples of smart economies recommending incentivization of multiple sectors to pave the way back to normalcy. For instance, a sector like construction, apart from being a large employer, is connected with multiple other sectors like cement, steel, furnishing, lighting, décor, etc. and is capable of providing a monumental thrust to jumpstart the economy.
In conclusion, the platform not only showed the road back to economic prosperity but the steps needed for economic prudence.