N Srinivasan, vice-chairman of India Cements Limited, one of the country’s leading cement manufacturers, has said that the overall policy paralysis was affecting India Inc.
Srinivasan, who rarely speaks about the cement industry or the Indian economy in the public, surprised the audience and more so the media in his speech at the Madras Management Association’s award function recently.
He started by tracing the history of India Inc from the days of the Licence Raj when setting up of factories meant getting a plethora of permissions.
Speaking about the current economic environment he said, “The policy paralysis is affecting the Indian industry. When people say paralysis ... they are right ... nothing is happening.” The political environment in the country is not good and corporates are thinking twice on expansion, he said.
“Managerial excellence is ultimately all about hard work and constant application of mind,” Srinivasan said, who presented India Cements’ case study on how the company struggled to rope in distributors and how its brand was built over the years, especially using Chennai Super Kings, an IPL team owned by the company.
Speaking about the cement industry, he said that the sector had slowed down. “Consumption of cement was growing at double digits. Now it is single digit and in some states it is even negative.”
As far as the industry is concerned, the problem, he felt, was high cost of money due to which corporates were thinking twice about expanding. But India has done well in tiding over the current crisis due to high demand from within the country, he said.
“When the environment is like this, we in India have been unaffected due to good domestic demand,” Srinivasan said.