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'Indian cos must vie with global players'
December 08, 2004 11:29 IST
Breaking into the elite list of 'Fortune 500' companies is not about achieving revenues or market capitalisation but having a mindset of treating the entire globe as your arena, said Infosys chief mentor NR Narayana Murthy on Tuesday.
Addressing a session on 'Indian Multinationals in Fortune 500' at the India Economic Summit 2004, Murthy emphasised that size and scale would follow if Indian companies started benchmarking themselves against the best in the world.
"Indian companies should stand for some clear values and operate as a multicultural entity that can seamlessly do business in any geography," he said.
He cited the example of consulting firm McKinsey where the multicultural nature of the workforce provides it the flexibility to deploy personnel in any location in the world.
Kicking off the session, Rajiv Memani, managing director, Ernst &Young India, said although a few Indian companies like Indian Oil, Reliance Industries and Hindustan Petroleum had made it to the Fortune 500, they were not truly global leaders and their size was largely due to either state ownership or India's sheer demographics.
Deepak Puri, chairman, Moser Baer, said Indian companies should face global competition headlong. He said innovative Indian firms were successful despite several unnatural tariff barriers.
Alan Rosling, executive director, Tata Sons, said Indian companies had become extremely competitive over the past ten years and it was only a matter time before a lot of them break into the Fortune 500.
Rosling added that it was not necessary for companies to have a presence on the global level. "Global presence also depends on the dynamics of the sectors companies operate in," he said.
Tarun Khanna, Jorge Lehmann professor at the Harvard Business School, also agreed that Indian companies have to develop greater domestic delivery capabilities.
"Companies like Cemex, LG, Samsung and Haier, which have risen to great heights only in the recent past, had ensured dominance in their home turf and in neighbouring markets," he said.
Khanna said that although there were not too many Indian companies in the 'Fortune 500' list, there were almost 15 Indian firms in the 'Forbes 200' roster of the best-emerging companies, whereas China had just four or five.