Why aren't Indian companies worried about technology disruption and innovation?

It seems that the rise of populist government, compliance to changing regulation and economic uncertainty trouble our attendees in India, while technological innovation and disruption was seen as the biggest threat by our Asia Pacific cohort. Perhaps this difference is because Indian companies believe they'll be on the winning side of technology innovation and disruption.

At our Doing Business Globally (DBG) India event earlier this year, we polled the audience of 450+ C-suite and Legal Heads on their biggest challenges to doing business globally. We then compared these results to the results of the same question asked across Asia Pacific in our Simplifying Business in a Complex World survey.

Indian companies see political, regulatory and economic factors as the biggest challenges

Of the 450 people we polled at our DBG India event, 25% identified populist governments as their biggest challenge, closely followed by the 23% who identified economic uncertainty as their biggest challenge, while compliance to changing regulations came in third with 18% of the vote. Competition from disruptive competitors came in as the fifth biggest challenge, while innovation came in a distant seventh.

This compares with Asia Pacific where internal technological innovation was identified as the biggest challenge, followed by cost pressure, with external disruption coming in third. So Asia Pacific companies are far more focused on the impact of technology and internal and external innovation on their business.

Indian companies think disruption and innovation is coming to their industry

Our DBG India group had a high number of companies from the Information Technology and Communications industry as well as the Manufacturing and Industrial industry and Financial Services. So we expected them to be much more concerned about technological innovation and disruption.

So we polled the 450 DBG India attendees about whether or not they thought technological disruption would be a challenge in the next two years. 92% said it was likely. So our attendees believe they will face technological innovation and disruption, they just don't think it will be their greatest challenge.

What might confound the rise of India's influence in Asia Pacific?

In our Simplifying Business in a Complex World survey, 95% of Asia pacific respondents believed India's influence would rise in five years time. It is likely that this would be due to activities by Indian companies, as 90% of our DBG India audience expect more cross-border M&A involving Indian companies.

However, China is also on the rise with 77% of our Asia Pacific respondents expecting China's influence to rise in the region over the same period.

Although Indian companies may be rightly focused on navigating their economic and political landscape. They need to make sure that they don't forget about innovation and disruption as this appears to be a key point of competition in Asia Pacific.

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If you want to discuss the implications of this for your business, then you are welcome to talk to us. We were recently named one of the top 10 international law firms in India by the India Business Law Journal and we're happy to give you insight into cross-border issues.

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