Odgers Berndtson: Leadership in Indian Automotive sector
The Indian Automotive sector is facing a period of unprecedented opportunity. However, the complexities of the regulatory landscape, a volatile market and constantly evolving global market & technological forces present probing questions before the sector. Perhaps the most critical is – “What kind of leader is needed tomorrow to help companies navigate this complex maze and emerge as winners?"
Manish Varghese, Head of India Automotive practice for Odgers Berndtson, writes about the changing face of leadership in the sector. This paper has been influenced by a recent automotive business leaders’ survey and a round-table discussion on the subject hosted by Odgers Berndtson. It shares the industry perspective on the essential attributes that the leaders of tomorrow must possess to help organisations achieve success.
The Indian automotive sector accounts for almost 7% of the country’s GDP and employs, directly and indirectly, about 19 million people. However, the sector has yet to realise its full potential and there is ample room to grow further as it enters a period of unprecedented opportunity.
Growth in the sector also provides opportunities for India’s economy as a whole. Through the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Indian government aims to create jobs for the 13 million young people entering the employment market every year. The automotive sector is expected to be at the forefront of this drive, as an increase in labour-intensive manufacturing will ensure inclusive growth.
Still, it must be acknowledged that the sector has been experiencing a sluggish phase over the last few years. The slow pace of growth in the market is persisting and it is not clear when sustainable growth will return. The industry is looking to the government to drive infrastructure development, improve the ease of doing business and implement essential policy reforms relating to the goods and services tax (GST), land acquisition and labour laws. But business leaders are well aware that such changes won’t happen overnight in the world’s biggest democracy.
In contrast to the pace of reform in India, global industry dynamics are constantly changing and at an ever-increasing rate. Technological advances are making a huge impact on the sector from connected cars and autonomous vehicles becoming a reality to many more disruptive innovations on the horizon.
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