There are three reasons why Indian CEOs have put global expansion plans on hold

India CEOs are looking to expand into more mature markets in North America and EuropeUnsplash

  • Indian CEOs are looking to grow 94% in 2019 with plans to expand into mature economies in North America and Europe.
  • But global geopolitics have concerned over the ‘return to territorialism’ amid the US China trade war, protectionist policies and Brexit.
  • Even so, 64% of CEOs are likely to invest in the UK after its exit from the European Union is finalised.
As India’s aspires to become $5 trillion economy by 2025, India’s CEOs want to ride that wave and grow 94% this year.

It’s not just about growing their businesses in India. But they want to expand their global empire to more mature economies like the UK and the US as well, according to KPMG’s India CEO Outlook 2019.

The global climate is growing increasingly turbulent and Indian CEOs aren’t oblivious, one of the primary concerns being the global ‘return to territorialism.’

This land is ‘my’ land

As Indian CEOs are looking outwards, the ‘return of territorialism’ is a growing concern as countries are starting to look inwards. This is on top of the minds of Indian CEOs after climate change and disruptive technology.

The trade war between the US and China has left them worried, as a majority want to take their products and services abroad.

As many as 54% of CEOs are looking to expand into North America and Europe, which is a shift for companies that normally look at emerging economies. Even within emerging markets, the focus has shifted from expanding in Africa to Central America.


Tensions between the US and China could be an opportunity for India to expand its manufacturing but if it goes on for too long, global economies could start to slow down. The effect of the US China trade on China has already started to spill over and affect companies like Samsung.

The resulting increase in protectionist policies, like data localisation and increase in tariffs, are likely to increase operating costs for companies.

And even though Brexit is concern, 64% of CEOs from India said they are more likely to invest in the UK after the country’s exit from the European Union.
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