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Unprecedented volatility lies ahead for auto sector: Seshasayee

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Hinduja Group flagship company Ashok Leyland today warned of unprecedented market volatility for the auto sector but said there is an opportunity in every risk.

"I am representing an industry which is notorious for market volatility. We expected there could be a slowdown in this quarter (in January-March). When that did not happen, we started to worry. This is pretty much hardwired in managing the market volatility", Ashok Leyland Executive-Vice Chairman R Seshasayee said in a conference on "Thriving in an Imbalanced World" organised by CII here.

 

 

Talking about the risks ahead, he said, "There has been market risks in the last 200 years. I think we can manage the 200-year volatility (in the global market). But I think, what we are going to witness in the next few years, is a sort of volatility which we have not witnessed in the past".

Seshasayee underlined that the changes in global market conditions are going to be large.

"The amplitude of change (in global market conditions), I think, is going to be very, very large. I am not sure whether it will be normal. It will be abnormal which we will be dealing with," he said.

He praised the banking industry for being constantly regulated and said similar regulations were not available to other industries.

"To confront the new abnormal (global market) conditions, we need to be looking where each of us wants to position our businesses.The banking industry is an exception. Thanks to the long history of regulation, every bank chooses to position itself in terms of the risks involved. But there is no such thing in other businesses", Seshasayee said.

He blamed companies' board for not taking time to identify where they intend to position their company.

"You can be a very low risk company still looking for growth, but you are not going to be grabbing headlines (by taking huge risks)...That is the position which is perfectly legitimate today," he said.

Stating that there is an opportunity in every market risk, he said identifying that opportunity requires a "great degree of agility in understanding the market trends".