Bangalore: Mc Donald’s, the world’s largest seller of beef products has managed to grow successfully in India, a country where the cow is sacred. Yet successful MNCs like Nokia have gotten it wrong. The how and why of these equations were discussed by Ravi Venkatesan, director, Infosys Ltd as he spoke at a conference organized by the All India Management Association (AIMA) in Bangalore on Thursday.
Citing examples from his own work experience at Cummins Inc, Microsoft and Infosys, Venkatesan spoke about why a handful of multi-national corporations are spectacularly successful and why some flounder. “The most interesting pattern I found was something I call the mid-way trap. Most companies that enter India have a few good years and then they counter a wall. That is because they are all serving the affluent which is just the top 5%, so after five or six years, the growth is stalled and it becomes highly competitive as everyone is fighting for that small pyramid on top,” said Mr Venkatesan.
The Infosys director, while speaking at the session titled “Managing human resources in a globalised economy” spoke about the challenges facing emerging economies. To win in countries like India and China, the companies have to do things very differently from what they do in other parts of the world. “And companies hate doing things differently for a particular geography and they hate change,” he added.
Ravi Venkatesh of Infosys talks about why MNCs need local partners and approaches to talent management.
Mr Venkatesan shared his thoughts on the need for a strong country head and a CEO driven by passion for an MNC to be successful. “Great country managers and CEOs are those who desire to create something bigger than them. Their posting in India is not a ticket to the big job, it IS the big job.” Most of what he spoke about, the successes and failures of companies in India are excerpts from his yet-to-be-published book, “Winning in India” which closely looks at why so few MNCs are successful in India.