The growing global footprint of Indian multinationals: An interview with K M Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group
Purpose - In this interview with Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group (ABG), he talks about the international journey of ABG, governance issues, experience with acquisitions, Indian management styles, challenges for multinationals from emerging economies and his vision of the future. This paper seeks to report the issues discussed in this interview. Design/methodology/approach - The paper is an interview. Findings - The ABG is a Fortune 500 conglomerate and a world leader in most of the business segments it operates in. The interview sheds light on the international process and strategy, management philosophy, corporate values framework, approach to and experience with international acquisitions, the need for global mindset, control and coordination issues and an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the Indian economy and firms, in the words of a well-known and high-profile Indian business leader. Practical implications - With the changing global economic landscape, there is a growing interest in the way multinationals from emerging economies leverage their country- and firm-specific advantages to compete against mature Western multinational firms in both the developed and developing markets. The perspectives of the Chairman of a highly successful Indian multinational provide a fertile ground for the cross-national transfer of best practices in a multi-polar world. Originality/value - Having transformed his company to become a global market leader, Mr KM Birla provides unique insights into the psyche and strategic mindset of his corporation. This interview takes the reader through a journey that traces the evolution of a 150-year old, large, family-owned enterprise into a world class, professionally managed global corporation.
Journal of Indian Business Research
Human Resources Management