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WEF 2022: Recent geopolitical events have led to profound changes, says Deloitte boss Punit Renjen

Business Today

The past two years of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine had profoundly changed the world, something that could be compared to what happened towards the end of World War II, fall of the Berlin Wall or the coming of the Internet, CEO of the global consulting firm Deloitte, Punit Renjen has said.

“What do I mean by that? The way that we work, the way we interact with each other – I am carrying a mask around – it has profoundly impacted the way business is conducted. For instance, there was more digitisation in the last two years than there was in the last ten years,” observed Renjen.

Renjen shared these insights during an exclusive interaction with Business Today’s managing editor Siddharth Zarabi on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

This turn of events had also changed the relationship between companies and their employees with hybrid work model here to stay, he added. He felt that the transformation had created opportunities particularly for India and that the country must leverage this inflection point.

Speaking on India Inc.’s efforts at acquiring manufacturing competitiveness, Renjen said that the realigning of global supply chains from a ‘just in time’ to ‘just in case’ scenario presented an opportunity that was up for grabs.

“It is important for India, both the central and state governments as well as businesses, to step up and seize the moment. By the way, China is going to be a potent competitor. I am not going to downplay that. But I think, India can compete,” the Deloitte chief said.

Renjen pointed out that Deloitte would be adding another 75,000 individuals to its existing pool of 90,000 professionals based in India as part of their global expansion plans. Although the new hires would be serving multinationals from India, the large Indian companies also presented a huge business opportunity for the consulting major.

Talking about the pressing issue of climate change, Renjen was of the view that India must take the lead on this by coming up with nature-based outcomes for the world.

Elaborating on Deloitte’s own engagement in this area, he informed, “We are working with the government of Haryana on stubble burning. What we are trying to do is come up with an ecosystem of players with an answer to incent the farmer to not take a one cent match and light the paddy stubble but to reuse that stubble.”
As part of another programme with the Haryana government — called ‘Climate Sakhi’ — Deloitte was incentivising rural women to help with increasing the state’s forest cover, he added.

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