MUMBAI: For the first time since the start of the pandemic, 74% mid-market business leaders, surveyed in India, are optimistic about the Indian economy compared with 69% globally, according to a Grant Thornton survey.

This biannual Grant Thornton Global Survey gathers responses from nearly 5,000 business leaders in 29 economies, including the G20.

The outlook remains more-or-less the same compared with H2 2020 survey results, but one can see a tremendous improvement in mid-market businesses outlook, pointing towards a wider economic recovery.

“Indian economy is on a steady path of recovery. India’s long-term fundamentals remain strong and supported by various policy reforms, the investment and business activity are likely to gain full steam ahead as things open further in India and overseas,” said Vikas Vasal, National Managing Partner, Tax, Grant Thornton Bharat, adding that living with the pandemic is inevitable, however, businesses are now better equipped than before in ensuring that the recovery remains stable.

At the heart of this recovery is a much stronger outlook by the mid-market business. 69% are expecting to grow their turnover in the next 12 months, while 68% are expecting an increase in profitability.

The improved outlook chimes with the World Bank’s forecast of a 5.6% growth in the world economy in 2021 and what it terms as ‘its strongest post-recession pace in 80 years’. Also, investment sentiments by these businesses, are tilting towards technology (70%), R&D (68%), staff skills (66%) and physical plants and machinery (65%).

“Initiatives such as Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, Production-Linked Incentive Scheme, have opened several avenues for business in the country to expand their horizons and compete globally,” said Vasal.

The survey has tracked shifts in attitudes towards internationalisation during this pandemic. With 57% of companies looking to expand their geographic sales footprint this year–the third highest in the sample–international sales and a larger global footprint appear to be a real priority for businesses.

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