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Deloitte India 2012 CFO Survey

Taking Stock


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The Indian economy showed promising signs in the beginning of 2012, the time-frame of the inaugural CFO survey. During that time, inflation had dipped to 6.55%, consumer demand and industrial output were on the rise and industrial production numbers were positive. The survey demonstrated general optimism from the respondents with 67% of them expecting their industries to perform better than 2011. CFOs were confident in their organization?s resilience to external factors in spite of 50% of them expressing concerns over competition, pricing trends and availability of skilled people.

This “CFO Survey” (July 2012) was conducted when the Indian economy is going through challenging times with the government and the policy makers wedged in a “balancing act”. Caught between the need to curb inflation and the necessity to spur economic growth, the government is indeed on a tight-rope walk over economic dilemmas:

  • Control inflation by maintaining the current interest level or ease lending to fuel growth
  • Increase subsidies for necessary commodities such as oil, fertilizers etc. or cut back on spending to curb fiscal deficit
  • Continue leveraging capital account to strengthen the rupee or allow a weakening rupee to increase exports
  • Tax corporations to reduce budget deficit or provide corporate incentives to spur employment

    The situation is worsened due to events, such as continued financial worries in the U.S. and Europe and domestic problems such as lack of rainfall, widening fiscal deficit, and rating downgrade of “India Inc.” by credit rating agencies. It needs to be observed how the government formulates policy decisions in the coming months and, consequently reinforces confidence in the Indian economy. In light of this, the survey shows CFO concerns for India's macroeconomic outlook and its impact on future industrial growth and organizational sustenance.

The survey provides a perspective on how CFO opinions are evolving with the changing economic and global scenario, slowing industrial growth and increased organizational pressures to maintain margins and profitability. In this report, data on ranks were based on actual responses and reflect CFO views on the relative importance of a given set of issues/concerns.

The findings and analysis are intended to provide CFOs with information on their peers' thinking on a variety of topics including how they are preparing themselves for an uncertain business environment. This report is based on responses from 136 CFOs, spanning listed and unlisted companies, across sectors, with revenues of less than Rs. 500 crores to larger companies with revenues greater than Rs. 5,000 crores.