The most credible people in business are not CEOs, as is the normal perception. An academic or a technical expert in the company, or even afinancial or industry analyst takes precedence over the businessspeak of CEOs, says a study.

Individuals would rather rely on an academic's version of the goings-on in a company, and a technical expert or a financial or industry analyst is more trustworthy than the CEOs, says a Trust Barometer study.

Media and business have emerged as clear winners, where trust is concerned, over government and non-government organisations (NGOs) in the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer findings.

Traditional media continues to be a trusted source of information. Amongst media, the survey showed, online search engines emerged as highly trusted sources at 85 per cent, while trust in traditional media such as newspapers, radio and magazines continued to be high at 81 per cent.

Recent activism on a variety of causes of social importance on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, also led to steady trust levels in these tools as news sources at 73 per cent, the study showed.

Amongst businesses, technology scored 90 per cent, energy 86 per cent, automotive 88 per cent and banks 84 per cent as being the most trusted sectors, while the brewing and spirits industry continued to be the least trusted sector.

The survey showed that trust in business in India has increased 12 percentage points from 69 per cent in 2012 to 81 per cent. Trust in media has risen by nine percentage points over the past year, up from 70 per cent to 79 per cent in 2013.

In contrast, trust in NGOs has remained stable at 69 per cent from 67 per cent in 2012. While trust in the government has remained static, increasing by a statistically insignificant four percentage points, from 53 per cent in 2012 to 57 per cent among the informed public, trust in business leaders to tell the truth amongst the general public remains low at 34 per cent.

David Brain, President and CEO, Edelman Asia Pacific, said: “There is an inherent optimism amongst the Indian public and, with the high trust levels, a clear opportunity is indicated for businesses,'' he said.

(This article was published on March 14, 2013)
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