The State of Business 2013

The state of business

An endless struggle for power, paucity of skilled labour and poor infrastructure is taking a heavy toll on industry

RA Chandroo

It is quite astonishing how the environment for business can change so dramatically in barely two years. When the Outlook Business team reported from eight industrial clusters across India in 2011, the mood was visibly shifting from business despondency to optimism. Entrepreneurs spoke passionately of investing more money on expansion plans and said business was clearly on the growth path. By last year, we could see some signs that all was not well, as issues such as shortage of power and escalating costs, especially labour, threatened to play party pooper. This year, all those worries have become a grim reality — across India, businessmen and entrepreneurs have a long list of cribs and complaints and distressingly few ways of tackling them.