Angry business leaders said the attack on the financial capital last week will put off business visitors for months and hit consumer confidence. Usually careful with words, they signalled an open mood of frustration, but vowed to carry on regardless.
“Business grows in Mumbai and not New Delhi. How long will this go on?” asked Anil Singhvi, Vice-Chairman, Reliance Natural Resources Limited (RNRL). “This can’t shake our confidence. Growth will happen, but Delhi (central government) can't take us lightly any more.”
Organised retailers are shifting gears from a boom to gloom.
“The attack highlights the threat to the institutions of business that are an integral part of India's growth and its relationship with the world,” said K.V. Kamath, ICICI Bank’s chief executive and president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
“There is no doubt that consumer confidence will be affected,” said Andrew Levermore, CEO, HyperCity Retail.
“This is not a short-term issue. They will once again attack. We need to have a strong political will,” said Niranjan Hiranandani, Managing Director, Hiranandani Constructions.
Sanjay Teli, managing director at human resource consulting firm ESP Consultants, said tourism, insurance, banking and financial services will be worst hit.
Govind Shrikhande, CEO, Shoppers’ Stop, said he expected normalcy to return in a week, but Mumbai expansion plans will get affected.
“Long term effects don't seem to be significant except for the fact that we will have to be more careful and concerned about the security of associates, employees and consumers,” Shrikhande said.
Ajit Gulabchand, Chairman and Managing Director, Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), the nation's oldest construction firm, said businessmen will toil under adverse conditions, but called for clear action.