<p>Policy gridlock of the central government had shaken the confidence of investors and affected foreign direct investment in the insurance sector, Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the diversified business conglomerate, Aditya Birla Group, said on Friday.
“Confidence in the Indian economy has gone down and investments have fallen. Investments are now moving out of the country,” he said in response to a query from a delegate at the national conference of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Taking a swipe at the Centre, Birla said, “Policy making can be changed here with retrospective effect. Rarely, elsewhere, this has been done.”
Admitting the economy was battling a slowdown, Birla said, “The country's gross domestic product can grow a little above five per cent this financial year.”
He said the industry needs to tighten its belt and become leaner during this period of slowdown. “We have to focus more on customer service and quality. Industries in the manufacturing space need to focus on value added products. But when growth rate is contracting and investments are not happening, there is hardly anything the industry can do.”
Commenting on organised retail, he said, “Organised retail has a bright future. But the challenges lie in handling people and forming teams. In fact, organised retailing is a more difficult. It will take us longer to get back money from this business.”