Six Pillars To Leverage In Executing Business In India

From the event “India’s National Competitiveness Forum and Porter Prize”. The book "Riding the Tiger", co-authored by Wilfried Aulbur and Amit Kapoor published by Penguin Random House was revealed at the event as Aulbur took the stage to deliver his key note at India’s National Competitiveness Forum and Porter Prize held here in NCR. The book deals with how to execute business strategy in India. Amit Kapoor, co author and honorary chairman of Institute for Competitiveness, India, said extensive research went into writing the book, conducted over the last 5 years and interaction with 125 companies.

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Wilfried Aulbur holds a PhD in Physics and is Managing Partner at Roland Berger, a global business strategy consulting firm. Prior to this he was CEO of Mercedes-Benz India and has held various positions with Daimler across US, Europe and India.

Riding the Tiger will be officially launched this November 18th launch followed by a worldwide book tour.

Mr. Aulbur said, “I am quite partial to India, I have been here for about 25 years now. India is doing well, Indian companies are doing exceedingly well. We are all living in very volatile times. ”

“Not everyone in the world is used to such volatile surroundings. In contrast India has always been so.”

“Nikita Khrushchev, a Russian premier from the times of the Cold War said about India, “I didn’t believe in God before coming to India, but after coming to India I believe god exists. There needs to be one, if you are to exist in India. This highlights how complex and volatile India has been historically.” “, he said.
Now that the whole world is upto speed and with global companies also trying to come to India, Wilfried believes there are six axes to be leveraged to win the Indian market.

1. Operational excellence - India is a tough market, Indians are quality and price conscious both, unlike European customers who will be willing to pay high prices for high quality. Local companies and global ones must overcome some institutional voids to attain operational excellence that will help to cater to these high demands of Indian customers. Currently we find logistics costs are too high and not enough government support here, compared to the sponsorship Chinese companies will get from their government. Example of very high operational excellence leading to successfully winning over big market share is Maruti Suzuki. They have unrelenting focus to detail and organizational discipline, while encouraging partners to become more organized and efficient too.

2. Innovation - Bertelsmann research shows we must compete with China not just along price but also along innovation of products. In India we often do this via frugal innovation. For example, Godrej works closely with suppliers to drive down logistics costs, faster R&D, making their products faster to market than other large MNC.

3. Right choices and trade- offs – We must pick a few products or lines to focus on, and make those products great. And in lieu of your choices discontinue some of your products.

Example: Bajaj Auto’s entry into motocycles and exit from scooter biz, so that they can handle one line well. Portfolio management too is important here. TATA is great example.

4. Alignment - employees must know what to do because they have internalized organizational goals not because it was printed out on paper and handed to them.

IndiGo is a good example for this, their tailor made value proposition, execution of duties, training schedules and punctuality is all understood and adhered to by their entire staff.

5 and 6. Leadership and courage - Aulbur cited Motherson Sumi’s inspirational story of guts and courage in getting manufacturing underway as an excellent Indian example of this.

Both Kapoor and Aulbur are instructors with Harvard Business Publishing in the area of Strategy, Operations and Innovation.

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