In a bid to gauge the “temperature of Corporate India”, Business Today has embarked on an exhaustive study called Business Confidence Index (BCI). The debut survey was published in Business Today’s May 1 edition. The magazine will conduct and publish BCI at the end of every quarter. The objective of the survey is to eventually become a benchmark for business confidence in India.
Business Today has partnered with market research agency Cfore for BCI. The initiative was undertaken immediately after the Union Budget 2011, and hence does not factor the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The first round of survey shows cautious optimism among 500 Indian CEOs/CFOs. Some top line results show that 75 per cent of respondents expect sales to be better in the coming six months. Also, 67 per cent believe the overall economy is in a better shape today than six months ago and 57 per cent of the respondents say profitability margins are moderately or substantially better.
In a prepared statement, Editor-in-Chief, Aroon Purie, said, “As the economy prospers and more Indian companies become global, Corporate India needs an independent survey to take its temperature and benchmark its confidence. Business Today’s Business Confidence Index fills that need.”
Respondents to Business Today’s Business Confidence Index believe the business environment is moderately better, despite high inflation and financing costs. Three-fourths of the 500 Chief Executive Officers and Chief Financial Officers surveyed expect sales to be substantially or moderately better in the next six months.
The overall business confidence index on a scale of 100 for the quarter January to March 2011 is 74.8. Some other findings show that 65 per cent of respondents predict hiring to moderately or substantially scale up hiring. Almost 70 per cent see order book positions improving in the next six months and nearly 80 per cent see profits rising moderately or substantially in the next six months.
The official note quoted Swati Piramal, Director, Piramal Healthcare: “The demand in the domestic – as well as international –market across urban, semirural and rural sectors is what is boosting the confidence index.”
Videocon Group Chairman V N Dhoot added: “The Rs 3 lakh crore a year the Centre is pumping into developing rural markets and infrastructure is a boost.”