Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The age of the Indian MNC

*Moser Baer is the world’s largest optical media and CD manufacturer
*Videocon the world’s largest maker of glass shells for TV
*Bharat Forge the second-largest forgings maker
*Ranbaxy the ninth-largest generics company
*Asian Paints among the 10 largest decorative paint-makers.
*Add to that the fact that Mukesh Ambani and Ratan Tata have the resources to set up the world’s largest refinery and make the cheapest car respectively.
*Several Indian entities like Reliance Industries, ONGC and Indian Oil feature in the Fortune’s list of top 500 global companies
*Businessmen like the two Ambani brothers, Azim Premji, Sunil Mittal and Kumar Mangalam Birla figure among the top 150 in the annual Forbes list of global billionaires.
*Success stories of Indian firms have become case studies in prominent B-schools.

So, can the Indian Companies be called MNCs?
The new breed is confident it can successfully compete with the best in the world. It is aggressive, innovative, ambitious, flexible and unafraid of entering new markets. Some have even built brands that are recognised globally. Does this mean this century will witness the making of dozens of Indian MNCs that rub shoulders with the Pepsis, IBMs and Microsofts of this world

"Just going to another country does not make you an MNC. You have to make a sizeable contribution to the world market to be reckoned as a major force. You should also have a deep pocket to make investments which international markets require." -Venugopal Dhoot, chairman of Videocon Industries, which calls itself a $2.5-billion Indian MNC with interests in consumer electronics, appliances and petroleum.

Asian Paints decided to tap markets in smaller developing countries rather than larger developed markets in the US or Europe. Today no one can dispute the company’s MNC status with a turnover of around $585 million and 29 manufacturing facilities in 22 countries, servicing consumers in over 65 countries.

Tata Steel decided to take over Nat Steel Asia in Singapore, a company with manufacturing presence in six countries—Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Australia—and Millennium Steel in Thailand, and also signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran to set up a plant there

The new crop of MNCs needs to be able to scout for knowledge and technology globally and then use it to build world-class, innovative and cheaper products.Says columnist Gurcharan Das, "The real story is not going abroad. It is how capable Indian companies are to take on the world market. The real sense of becoming an MNC is to build a globally recognised brand. Very few Indian companies have reached there yet."

"Give us another 10 years," he predicts, "and we can show the world what we can do."
Read the complete article in the Outlook magazine here


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