- The Hinduja family name is known for stability and reliability, says Gopichand P. Hinduja, Co-Chairman, Hinduja Group of Companies
The Hindujas are the trendsetters who represent a strong family culture in the global business arena. How important is the family and the concept of dynasty in creating a sustainable and equitable business model — one that is seeing a renaissance in present days? What is the motivation behind it and why is it important?
I believe the Hinduja name is known more for stability and reliability rather than trendsetting. We believe in hard work, systemic pursuit and control, and non-stop growth. Throughout the years, we have been able to lay a solid foundation, which allows flexibility for adapting to change and initiating change. In that sense maybe we can be considered as trendsetters.
The ABLF is fast becoming the WEF for Asia and has a critical role to promote Asia in the rest of the world. With the ABLF in Dubai, it is at the crossroads between Asia and Africa, and best placed to reap the benefits from Indo-Africa’s future growth curve.
We are a joint family and live and work together. We have found that the way we lead our life and manage our global multinational Group, has stood the test of time since our father Parmanand D. Hinduja, who established the Group when he moved to Bombay in 1914 at aged fourteen.
Our father was our teacher and inspiration and he laid down the principle of Family Ownership whereby ‘Everything belongs to everyone and nothing belongs to anyone’. This structure along with our guiding principles has kept our businesses sustainable.
How do you foresee the role of India, the world’s fastest growing major economy in driving global progress?
India, with its huge demographic dividend, will remain the pole star of growth in the world for long time. India now contributes, in purchasing power parity measures, 15 per cent of the growth in the global economy, which is substantial. India has three decades before it hits the point where the working age population starts to decline, which is a long time. This is India’s window of opportunity in Asia, according to the IMF, which is also of the view that India is benefiting from good macroeconomic and stability-oriented policies, as well as some important reforms such as the GST, the insolvency and bankruptcy code and the inflation targeting framework. Some other steps such as ease of doing business and further liberalising FDI are beneficial. Labour reforms, improving the business climate, and enhancing infrastructure are key areas for continued reforms that include the cleanup of bank and corporate sector balance sheets.
Why are leadership platforms such as the ABLF important to bring the various regions of Asia together and showcase the energy of the region to the rest of the world?
Over many years we have witnessed the growing influence and importance of business forums. Last month, the World Economic Forum (WEF) held its annual meeting in Davos. The WEF provides an excellent platform for dialogue and interaction between international businesses, governments, NGOs and international organisations.
I have had the honour to witness the growing success and eminence of the Asian Business Leadership Forum, which was established by my dear friend, Malini N. Menon 12 years ago. It is fast becoming the WEF for Asia and has a critical role to promote Asia in the rest of the world. With the ABLF in Dubai, it is at the crossroads between Asia and Africa, and best placed to reap the benefits from Indo-Africa’s future growth curve.
Furthermore with President Trump’s American First and Brexit looming large over Europe, Dubai can take the pole position as an important business and financial centre, away from London as many billionaires and businesses are moving out.
The Asian edge
Asia remains the engine of the global economy, says Ashok P. Hinduja, Chairman, Hinduja Group of Companies (India) and the recipient of the ABLF Global Asian Award in 2018.
“However, there are challenges. Continued trade tensions between Washington and Beijing could further undermine business confidence, hurt financial markets, disrupt supply chains, and discourage investment and trade in the region. If all this happens, Asian GDP could fall by 0.9 per cent over the next couple of years, according to the IMF. Greater protectionism could also make tradable consumer goods, such as electronics, less affordable, hurting consumers and adding to inflationary pressures.”
Asia has good prospects for staying at the forefront of global growth over the coming decade and platforms like the ABLF bring this region together.
To maintain the region’s economic vibrancy, flexible exchange rates, keeping monetary policy accommodative, ensuring financial stability, reducing excessive external imbalances, and adopting structural reforms that boost labour force participation and enhance productivity are policies to be pursued, says Hinduja.
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