If we are growing, we are always going to be out of our comfort zone – John Maxwell
India, until about a year back, showed remarkable resilience in the light of global financial crisis. Despite the global economic slowdown, the country grew by around 8% per annum during 2004-05 until 2010-11, and was a key interest region for foreign investors. However, India’s economic growth has currently slowed down due a variety of reasons. In such a gloomy economic scenario, risks to business establishments can prove to be a serious obstacle to recovery and growth. While the popular discourse focuses on economic issues, the nation currently faces risks that expand beyond the economic realm to include information and cyber insecurity, terrorism, fire, crime, natural hazards, strikes, IPR theft, political stability, accidents, diseases, and workplace violence. In this new age, risks have assumed a completely different shape and proportion, and our future success largely depends on our preparedness against such risks.
Last year FICCI & Pinkerton Corporate Risk Management for the first time launched India Risk Survey 2012 – a unique and a novel initiative to analyse and quantify ‘potentially destructive’ risks to business enterprises in the country. The report distinctly prioritizes risks to enable appropriate allocation of resources for risk mitigation. It was also an attempt to sensitize the government about emerging risks and the other associated dangers so that well planned strategic policy decisions could be formulated and implemented.
The India Risk Survey 2012 pointed out that in the overall risk scoring, information & cyber insecurity emerged as the most critical of all risks to business establishments in India. This is mainly due to enhanced use of computing and burgeoning levels of digital crime. Further, information & cyber insecurity figured in the top three risks for most of the industry sectors. Traditional risks of terrorism, fire and crime were rated at number two, three and four respectively. The surging menaces of India – strikes and IPR were rated at number six and seven respectively. Strikes emerged as a fashion declaration, and were extensively used across political, social and apolitical spheres. The impact of loses due to strikes was calculated though it is yet to be appreciated by policymakers.
India Risk Survey Perception – Geographically
The northern region of India indicated terrorism as the top risk and crime and IPR in the list of top 6 risks. The southern region on the other hand, with a huge concentration of IT and ITES industries rated information & cyber insecurity as their prime concern. The southern region also rated political instability at number three. The fear of political instability may have been due to movements such as Telangana and political instability in some of the state governments in 2012. South is the only region that has not rated the risk of crime among the top 6 risks. Besides, southern India, the western region, also rates information & cyber insecurity as the number one risk. Further, despite numerous terrorism related incidents, western region placed the risk of terrorism at number two. Eastern India, however, rated terrorism as their biggest risk and interestingly, did not consider strikes even among the top 6 risks. The risk of natural hazards was rated at number two due to losses suffered in the hands of cyclones and floods. With limited number of IT companies in the region, eastern India rated the risk information & cyber insecurity at number three.
India Risk Survey 2013
FICCI & Pinkerton Corporate Risk Management are now working on the India Risk Survey 2013. The survey aims to assess various kinds of risks that could thwart businesses across sectors. In order to be broad-based, the India Risk Survey 2013 aims to cover all management levels across industries and regions of the country. The findings of the survey will be useful for an accurate and holistic view of risks involved in business establishments, and will help better plan growth and future development. The survey will be released on March 22, 2013, at FICCI, Federation House.