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The rise of Indianised foreign managers

INDIANISED GLOBAL Managers? is the new management lexicon. Though, this sounds similar to our much-parroted Indian Global Managers there is a difference.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2006 16:04 IST
Vanita Srivastava
Vanita Srivastava

INDIANISED GLOBAL Managers’ is the new management lexicon. Though, this sounds similar to our much-parroted Indian Global Managers there is a difference.

While the latter connotes Indian managers who take up jobs with foreign multinationals, the new version deals with foreigners who take up jobs with Indian multinationals.

The new lexicon has been academically invented at IIM, Indore during a research on the globalisation phenomenon of Indian companies.

This was an offshoot of case studies being undertaken here that focused on Indian companies becoming multinationals. IIM, Indore had selected 12 companies for devising case studies. These included the Aditya Birla Group, Crompton Greeves, Bharat Forge, Nicholas Piramal, Videocon, Essel Propack, Tata Sons, Ranbaxy, Wipro, Infosys, Mittal Steels and Amul.
Sharing his findings based on the completed case studies, Director of IIM, Indore, Dr Parashar said, “So far, the focus had primarily been on how to make the Indian managers global.”

“There was very little emphasis on how to Indianise foreign managers.” The rise of Indian multinationals has created a need to focus on them as well. Increasing interest of foreign students to join Student Exchange Programmes with Indian business schools is one indication.

“I am tempted to say that while we have been talking of Indian Global Managers, a new breed of managers in the making is the Indianised Global Managers.”

Citing the case of Nicholas Piramal, Dr Parashar said when they acquired plants outside the country the company invariably inaugurated them by performing puja in the typical Indian way while all foreign managers participated with interest and enthusiasm.

The case study of Bharat Forge shows that when they acquired foreign companies, they did not replace foreign managers with Indians. Rather, they integrated foreign managers into the culture of Bharat Forge.”

Enumerating a few other lessons emerging from various case studies, he said the one on Cromptom Greeves underscores that going global helps to achieve critical mass.

“If you are serving only the domestic market, you may not grow at a very high rate. If you have to notch a high growth rate, going global is a vital requisite.”

The Aditya Birla Group case study clearly highlights that the size of business does matter, and consolidation is a pre-requisite for going global.

While four case studies have been completed so far, eight are in the pipeline. “The findings of this research when completed will provide useful guidance for all companies interested in making forays into the global arena.”

First Published: Sep 16, 2006 16:04 IST