For India Inc, with a traditionally poor record of hiring expat CEOs, the stints of people like Paris-based Frenchman Thierry Delaporte (Wipro), Israeli national Erez Israeli (Dr Reddy's Laboratories), British national Jonathan Hunt (Syngene, Biocon), American Brian Bade (Reliance Retail Digital) and German Guenter Butschek (Tata Motors) have been quite a feat.
Dr Kiran Somvanshi is a data journalist at The Economic Times. She has been a part of the research wing of ET for more than a decade and has written extensively on Indian companies and businesses. Telling insightful stories from data is her forte with corporate governance, corporate social responsibility and gender being her prime areas of interest. \n\nKiran has been a Fulbright Humphrey Fellow as well as a Chevening Fellow. During her Fullbright fellowship, Kiran worked with the World Bank and the UNDP and also collaborated on research published in the Brookings Institute. She has a PhD from TISS and is a qualified Company Secretary, Cost Accountant & Bachelors of Law. She graduated in Psychology.
For India Inc, with a traditionally poor record of hiring expat CEOs, the stints of people like Paris-based Frenchman Thierry Delaporte (
), Israeli national Erez Israeli ( Dr Reddy 's Laboratories), British national Jonathan Hunt (Syngene, Biocon), American Brian Bade (Reliance Retail Digital) and German Guenter Butschek (Tata Motors) have been quite a feat. These executives have turned around the growth trajectory of their companies on the ground as well as on the bourses. TVS Motor, a traditional family business group, has roped in former Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth as a non-executive director on the company's board to succeed current chairman Venu Srinivasan in 2023.
In what can be considered as signs of changing times and increased globalisation, several Indian companies are responding to the need to have a globalised resource at the top as they gear up to compete globally. Some of them do so by roping in foreign directors on the board to seek advice.
A few do it by appointing an Indianorigin expat CEO while a few others get a non-Indian, a cultural novice without baggage, to disrupt for the better.
So, is it a trend worth sustaining? Much depends on the level of orientation and ambition of the company's founders, its culture of governance and transparency, appetite for strategic disruption, and demand for change by investors. Precedents have already been set.
Some may argue that there is enough home-grown talent to choose from. But the ingredients that enabled companies to become the largest in India may not be the same or enough to be among the largest globally. In a largely homogeneous composition of corporate managements in India, expat CEOs bring in a much-needed diversity of thought, culture, and vision. Their stints puncture the age-old stereotypes that India is 'too difficult' a market for a foreigner to understand, and that governance levels are too complex for outsiders to get their heads around.
The appointments are a plausible sign of improved corporate governance and maturity of company promoters in the wake of a globalising business environment. It also conveys that India and its market are better understood now for executives from the rest of the world. Most importantly, it depicts that Indian companies are now amenable to pay what is required to 'poach' the best talent available in a bid to thrive globally, beyond the proverbial pond.
Non-Indian CEOs can be given the freedom to make tough decisions, shut down non-accretive businesses, make acquisitions, and chalk out unconventional strategies — a tough ask for a promoter-driven management. This culture may even seep in to become SOP to the benefit of India Inc, whether fronted by a foreign helmsman or not.
To be sure, most Indian companies are unlikely to follow this expat trail.
Besides, the deterrence of high cost of remuneration, challenges unique to India — such as trust issues, language barriers and inadequacies related to governance and infrastructure —remain. These could still prove to be sufficient disincentives for cultural outsiders. Remember, in March, Marc Llistosella pulled out of succeeding fellow German Butschek as Tata Motors CEO.
Effectually, it will be the bettergoverned, aggressive, and ambitious Indian MNCs and new-age businesses that will, for now, be keen to tap the global CEO talent pool.
ETPrime stories of the day
6 mins read
9 mins read
Policy and regulations
13 mins read
- Manulife Vietnam announces new CEO
- Manulife Vietnam announces new CEO to lead next phase of transformation and growth
- Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation election: Counting of votes on Friday
- Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation election vote counting to begin at 8 am today
- PM Modi to address India Mobile Congress 2020 tomorrow
- Bill Gates, the virus and the quest to vaccinate the world
- In testing COVID times, India got record investment; world sees it as trustworthy partner: PM Modi
- Taiwan Woos India As China Border Clash Boosts Taipei-New Delhi Relationship
- Singing Oyster Is YouTube's Most Viral Video of 2017
- Govt to start 1000 Khelo India centres across country to help retired athletes with employment: Kiren Rijiju
- Organic Valley’s CEO George Siemon on the Crooked Art of Leadership
- ‘This is India’s century’: Deloitte CEO Punit Renjen at HTLS 2020
View: Corporate culture, world is a CEO oyster for India Inc have 967 words, post on economictimes.indiatimes.com at October 31, 2021. This is cached page on VietNam Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.