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Tatas among top 5 leadership firms in Asia

Last updated on: May 7, 2012 13:02 IST

Tatas among top 5 leadership firms in Asia

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M Saraswathy in Mumbai


T
he Tata group is the first and only India-headquartered entity to have found a place among the top 10 best leadership companies in Asia. In a study by the Hay Group, Tatas have been ranked fifth.

In the annual Best Companies for Leadership (BCL) Study by the global HR consulting firm, the Tata group shared the limelight with other global companies like Procter & Gamble (P&G), IBM, Coca-Cola and Unilever. Samsung Group topped the list in Asia.

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Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

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Innovation is a major factor that has put the Tata group among the top names in Asia by the survey, says Mohinish Sinha, Hay Group's leadership & talent practice leader for Asean, India, and Pacific & Africa), who co-authored the BCL Asia report.

The group's Tata Nano project, in spite of its glitches, has been mentioned as its achievement in the study.

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Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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Beyond the Nano, the group's another noteworthy innovation mentioned in the report is that of Tata Chemicals, the maker of Tata salt, which has launched an iron-fortified salt.

Another group company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has rolled out a software for farmers in Maharashtra and Gujarat that helps them get easy access to information on weather, arrival of monsoons, soil quality, pest control, etc.

Further, the group, eying a turnover of Rs 26 lakh crore ($500 billion) by 2020, has also instituted the Tata Innovista Awards to help recognise good innovations within the group.

Besides, the group has also tried to recognise the innovation in ideas that failed despite serious execution attempts.

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Image: Tata Chemicals plant in Mithapur.
Photographs: Courtesy, Tata Chemicals

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Sinha adds that local innovation among the Indian and Asian companies at the top is what differentiates them from the rest.

"Companies are looking at innovating at a local level, rather than following their respective headquarters' mandates. Companies, especially in India and Asia, are making serious attempts at even the projects that stand the risk of failure, and using those as learning tools," he says.

Among the global best leadership companies, General Electric is at the top spot, followed by P&G and IBM.

This is one of the many studies undertaken by Hay Group. Others include the annual compensation and benefits report and top executives' compensation report.

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Image: Tata Consultancy Services chief N Chandrasekaran.
Photographs: Reuters

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According to the Hay Group study, the best companies for leadership create workplace environments and processes that enable innovation to thrive.

In fact, nine the top 10 (90 per cent) Asian companies report their leaders regularly celebrate innovation, compared to just 59 per cent other companies.

In addition, 84 per cent of top 10 Asian companies report that ideas from subsidiaries are just as likely to be implemented as those from headquarters, compared to only 63 per cent other companies.

"The ability to translate future trends into new product offerings has kept Asia's best ahead of competition. The willingness to bite the bullet now by putting off short-term gains to continue innovation investment is their hallmark. Coupled with their organisational resilience, this enables them to bounce back quickly from setbacks," observes Vanessa Cen, Hay Group's leadership & talent practice leader for Northeast Asia and co-author of the BCL Asia report.

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Photographs: Vijay Mathur/Reuters

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Sinha, however, adds that the global best practices, including developing organisational structures that enables quick communication, must also be imbibed by companies in India and Asia for better performance.

Career progression is also an area where many Indian and Asian companies have not been able to execute effectively, he adds.

"The Asian tradition of directive leadership will not work to foster innovation. Everyone must be expected to lead, even if they have no formal position of authority. Asian bosses must learn to delegate their authority and decision-making power," the study notes.

The study includes responses from nearly 7,000 individuals at more than 2,300 organisations across 103 countries.


Photographs: Reuters
Tags: Asia , Tatas , Asian , India , Sinha

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