Sunday, July 5, 2009

Indian CEOs better than their western counterparts

Despite the grappling impact of the global meltdown, Indian firms are in a more favorable position as against other countries like the U.S. Over last few years, Indian business houses have come into focus for their international competitiveness that sets them apart from their western counterparts, as per a survey.

Professor Harbir Singh said, "Our very unique difference is that Indian leaders think in English, thanks to the Western education. But, act in an Indian context. They internalize Western best practices and adapt them to India." The findings are based on a study titled 'The DNA of Indian Leadership: The Governance, Management and Leadership of Leading Indian Firms'. It was conducted by Singh along with his three other Management Professors from the University of Pennsylvania, named Peter Cappelli, Jitendra Singh and Michael Useem. In the study, each India CEO was asked asset of questions about the leadership skills, competitive advantage and corporate governance.

According to R.Gopalakrishnan, the Executive Director at Tata Sons, the Indian executives' strategic thinking, risk taking abilities, flexibility as well as the setting of the shared architecture of the firm were some of the important leadership capacities. They are occupied with long-term strategic vision, talent nurturing and maintaining the organizational culture.

Also, the Indian leaders perceive the role of their firms in the society, rather than prioritizing the investors in the company. But, for the Western CEOs, the shareholders emerge at the top of the priority list.

However, as per the report, some of the Indians CEOs carry a unique management trait- the "jugaad" factor, which is the tendency to resort to an unplanned makeshift in the company. "While this can be perceived negatively, it can also be a positive trait because of its inherent inventiveness and survival instinct," concluded Singh.


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