Forbes: The India Way Of Doing Business


Very good article for business leaders in the US, especially as we pull ourselves out of anorexia and start to hire for growth! Hiring people that can adopt these skills and have an intuitive and instinctive nature that engages people inside their company and in their communities will be increasingly important, especially if you are doing business outside of the US.

Written by Peter Cappelli, Harbir Singh, Jitendra Singh and Michael Useem, 04.14.10, 01:23 PM EDT

It holds lessons for those who do business in the U.S.

“For the Indian manager,” Gopalakrishnan explained, “his intellectual tradition, his y-axis, is Anglo-American, and his action vector, his x-axis, is in the Indian ethos. Many foreigners come to India, they talk to Indian managers and they find them very articulate, very analytical, very smart, very intelligent–and then they can’t for the life of them figure out why the Indian manager can’t do what is prescribed by the analysis.”

We have found from our two-year study of Indian business leaders that their “x-axis” is defined by four distinctive elements of managing:

1.Holistic engagement with employees. Indian business leaders see their firms as organic enterprises, where sustaining employee morale and building company culture are critical obligations and the very foundations of their success. People are viewed as assets to be developed, not costs to be reduced.

2.Improvisation and adaptability. Improvisation and adaptability are also at the heart of the India way. In a complex, often volatile environment with few resources and maddening red tape, business leaders learn to rely on their wits to circumvent the innumerable hurdles they recurrently confront. Anyone who has seen outdated equipment nursed along a generation after its expected lifetime with retrofitted spare parts and jerry-rigged solutions has witnessed this in action.

3. Creative value propositions. Given the enormous and intensely competitive domestic market and the country’s discerning customers, most of them of modest means, Indian business leaders have of necessity learned to be highly creative in developing their value propositions, delivering entirely new products and services with extreme efficiency. A case in point: Tata Motors ( TTM news people ) now produces the Nano automobile at a sticker price of just $2,500.

4. Broad mission and purpose. Indian business leaders place special emphasis on personal values and on having a vision of growth and strategic thinking. In addition to serving the needs of their stockholders, like CEOs everywhere, they also stress broader purpose. They take pride in enterprise success but also in family prosperity, regional advancement and national renaissance.   READ FULL ARTICLE

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