To say that we are at an interesting juncture in our business context in our country would be a big understatement. The mix of opportunity and challenge is as pronounced as it ever was. We have a combination of an appreciating dollar on the one side, and heightening trade tensions on the other. We also have a blossoming domestic market on the one hand, and healthy export prospects on the other. In all this uncertainty, India stands well positioned with its diplomacy and emerges as a preferred partner and destination for business. The importance of a fair judicial system, a regime that is conducive to upholding Intellectual Property Rights, a large English-speaking population, a consumer population of about half a billion affluent people in the median age bracket of 15-58 years are all demographics and factors that make India a special place today. Besides, the growth curve is at that interesting stage where we are not over-leveraged or saturated, and yet have a robust base to build upon.
This is the reason why we are looking at heightened interests on the part of global players to invest into India, allowing them to potentially capitalise on the next wave of growth over the next couple of decades. Indian players too are looking at ramping up capabilities and capacities to be able to service both the domestic and the global markets.
Given the dependence on crude imports, appreciating overseas currencies and also the fickle mindedness of global leaders in framing international policy, this is the best time for our industry to become self-sufficient in the supply chain. Especially in the context of our chemicals and coatings industry this is even more accentuated given the dependence on imports for crude and its derivatives per se, as also a variety of downstream raw materials on which it is reliant. Having witnessed the glory days of IT, Pharma and Automotive sectors in India in the recent past, many are of the opinion that the next phase of explosive growth is vested within the chemical industry, especially in specialty chemicals. The authorities have also realised this and we expect a chemicals-friendly policy framework to further plug into the Make-In-India parent campaign that is being aggressively promoted in our country currently.
Building plants and operations of significant scale and product differentiation leading to value-creation will be the name of the game going ahead. We must capitalise on this phase and thus do better for itself as individual players, collectively as an industry and in the larger context as a national economy. We must judiciously plan and invest in infrastructure, manpower and skills in this context. What a colossal missed opportunity it would be if we fail to do so.
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