Budget proposals augur well for the education sector

Dhiraj Mathur, Leader, Education, PwC India

Clearly stating that elementary education is a priority for the government is a public good and therefore a primary responsibility. The launch of the New Teacher Training Programme with an initial sum of 500 crore INR allocation is important for addressing the issue of teacher training and quality. The FM has announced a new Beti padhaao, beti badhaao yojana and has also made provision for drinking water and toilets in all girl schools.

The launch of the new Skill India programme is welcome, subject to its ability to achieve convergence of the plethora of programmes being run by multiple departments and ministries.

IT can provide vital support in delivering education and hence the new programme that leverages IT in setting up virtual classrooms, as Communication Linked Interface for Cultivating Knowledge (CLICK) and online courses is also an important decision that could potentially improve the quality of education in schools.

Setting up five IITs and IIMs is a welcome step. However, there is no mention of involving private sector participation in providing higher education. This is a departure from the recommendation made in the Economic Survey that government spending must focus on providing public goods. Higher education does not fall under that category.

Investment in new cities is a must

Neel Ratan, Executive Director, Government and Public Sector, PwC India

With the urban migration trend, the only way for us to sustain as a society is to invest in new cities, cities that need to focus on leveraging technology to improve service delivery, quality of life and at the same time optimise the usage of resources. Although the actual creation of 100 new cities will require large financial outlays, the current Budget allocation is a step in the right direction.

This announcement will definitely excite stakeholders including urban planners, city administrators and industry to come together and create sustainable models for new cities. It is essential to focus on the right governance and regulatory frameworks to ensure speedy execution and benefits realisation. Since the smart city concept is a nascent development, it will be prudent for stakeholders to gain insights from the planners of similar initiatives such as GIFT, DMIC and Naya Raipur. Conceptualising and developing new cities is a time-consuming process. This announcement therefore will give the required thrust to fast-track the planning of new cities.

It has been seen in the recent past that technology companies have become wary of government contracts, leading to their reduced participation. To reinforce the level of confidence in the investor community, it is pertinent for the government to work out measures that help in the 'ease of doing business' with the government.

The retailer steps into a new age

Rachna Nath, Leader, Retail and Consumer

As boundaries merge and customers interact with retailers and brands anytime, anywhere, the world is truly flattening. Technology is no longer an inhibitor and has truly evolved into a partner. In fact, technology has developed faster than its adoption. The dilemma facing today's retailer is to understand how to deploy these technologies to drive revenue, customer engagement or operations excellence.

Today’s consumer expects much more. The retailer needs to not only provide her home shopping, but also via her devices of choice. The consumer expects to pay using digital wallets, mCommerce, online, via cash on delivery. She expects to buy online, return in store or vice versa, check online, buy in store or check in store and order online. And that's not all. Right through the experience, the consumer expects the retailer to stay engaged with her via text messaging, social media and other communication, updating her with the latest trends and offers.

The consumer will settle for nothing less than a seamless experience across channels.

PwC’s multi-channel report from earlier this year, Total Retail discussed how these consumer expectations are driving the retailer’s business model. It is no longer just important to be present across channels and expect the consumer to ‘walk in’. Today, a customer-focussed organisation, supported by an optimised supply chain, a seamlessly integrated technology across functions and an analytical engine to provide personalised services, are critical.

This is a radical change from a decade ago in India, when the most important aspect in retail was ‘location, location, location’. The emphasis was on opening stores and technology was all about supporting the point of sale, managing inventory and providing MIS to the ‘central’ management team. Customer experience was largely ignored.

A volte face to a new era brings with it challenges as well as opportunities. How have India's retailers performed?

Fit for the future: Retail

K Venkataraman, CEO, Mahindra Retail

 

K Venkataraman talks about the key takeaways from the PwC CEO Summit 2014 and how the discourse on skill and leadership development will help him make important investment decisions.

To view the Global CEO Survey report, click here: http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ceo-survey/index.jhtml

For the India cut, click here: https://www.pwc.in/global-ceo-survey-2014/index.jhtml

Fit for the future: Consulting

Sanjay Kumar, CEO and MD, Altran India

 

Sanjay Kumar says that in order to overcome the current gloom and doom, structural reforms are needed to stimulate growth within the domestic environment.

To view the Global CEO Survey report, click here: http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ceo-survey/index.jhtml

For the India cut, click here: https://www.pwc.in/global-ceo-survey-2014/index.jhtml

Fit for the future: Financial services

Vimal Bhandari, MD and CEO, Indostar Capital Finance Ltd

 

Vimal Bhandari talks about the survey findings regarding the level of despondency among Indian CEOs and hopes that the situation gets better.

To view the Global CEO Survey report, click here: http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ceo-survey/index.jhtml

For the India cut, click here: https://www.pwc.in/global-ceo-survey-2014/index.jhtml

Fit for the future: Logistics

Shashi Kiran Shetty, Executive Chairman, All Cargo Logistics Ltd

 

Shashi Kiran Shetty says that in order for imports and exports to grow, India needs better and more stable policies.

To view the Global CEO Survey report, click here: http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ceo-survey/index.jhtml

For the India cut, click here: https://www.pwc.in/global-ceo-survey-2014/index.jhtml

Fit for the future: Electronics

Sanjay Johri, Managing Director, Voltas Ltd

 

Sanjay Johri looks at the growing business confidence in the West, particularly the US, found in PwC's CEO Survey Report as a promising sign for the future.

To view the Global CEO Survey report, click here: http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ceo-survey/index.jhtml

For the India cut, click here: https://www.pwc.in/global-ceo-survey-2014/index.jhtml

Fit for the future: Technology

Rahul Kanodia, CEO, Datamatics Global Services Ltd 

Rahul Kanodia tells us that he finds the increased focus on technology extremely reassuring. He insists that the technology sector needs to ride the SMAC wave in order to not be left behind.

To view the Global CEO Survey report, click here: http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ceo-survey/index.jhtml

For the India cut, click here: https://www.pwc.in/global-ceo-survey-2014/index.jhtml

Fit for the future: IT

Ninad Karpe, MD and CEO, Aptech Ltd

 

Ninad Karpe says that the most important aspect about being fit for the future is to have the right workforce.

To view the Global CEO Survey report, click here: http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ceo-survey/index.jhtml

For the India cut, click here: https://www.pwc.in/global-ceo-survey-2014/index.jhtml

The opinions expressed in the blogs are personal.


 

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