Industry should gear up for further rupee appreciation: Kamath

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New Delhi, Nov 19 (UNI) ICICI Chief K V Kamath today urged the Indian industry to be ready to face the challenge of further rupee appreciation which is likely get stronger by at least a rupee or two every year for the next three years.

''This will be one of the major challenges for industry,'' Mr Kamath said while speaking at the sixth Manufacturing Summit.

Contrary to popular perception, availability of financial capital is no longer a challenge as industry is currently operating on a debt equity ratio of 25:75, he added.

The other major challenge for industry will be that of people and skill upgradation.

Talking about economic growth, Mr Kamath said competitiveness is the permanent factor driving the 10 per cent growth, which is again determined by the growth of the financial services sector and the increase in demand in rural areas, among others.

Mr Kamath also informed that ICICI Bank will require about 10,000 people per annum over the next five years.

Growth in services and capital goods has led Indian firms to become more cost effective and competitive, said Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary Ajay Shankar said.

Mr Shankar emphasised on the need for 'quality' to spread across industry and said that government would be more than willing to partner with industry to nurture quality, innovation and design.

The manufacturing sector needs to shake off its conditioned state to notice the signs of future growth of industry.

Busting a few myths about the manufacturing sector, Boston Consulting Group (I) Pvt Ltd Chairman Arun Maira said that in India, it is the manufacturing companies that are the real 'stars', not the services as commonly perceived.

About the need for 'scale' to compete, Mr Maira urged that the industry needs to innovate and not merely recycle and reproduce.

UNI

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