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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Indian Mini-Multinational

The above term looks quite weird, but that’s what the IHT prefers to call some the Indian companies, which are on an acquisition binge overseas. Some of the companies, which have been mentioned are Tata (Tetley, Tyco Global Network and Daewoo acquisition) and Videocon (Thomson acquisition). With almost one overseas acquisition being announced every week, we can expect more of such global acquisitions in the near future.

Indians have bought a Sudanese oil field; a German metal forge; a South Korean truck maker; a British tea company, a French television manufacturer operating in Poland, Mexico and China; a Singapore paint company with plants in 12 countries; and about 60,000 kilometers, or 37,000 miles, of undersea communication cables. In the first eight months of this year, Indian companies paid $1.7 billion - more than quadruple the tally for all of 2001 - for 62 overseas companies, according to the accounting firm KPMG.

Psychologically, the Indian as global owner marks a reversal of fortunes for a country whose recent economic history has been dominated first by colonialism, built on foreign capital, and then by socialism, built on fear of that capital.

As those companies reach out into the world, their strides are finding echoes in popular culture, suggesting that the trend satisfies not just bottom lines but also a postcolonial desire to be foreign owners, not the foreign-owned.

In a recent television advertisement for a mouth freshener, a young Indian on a foreign trip drives by the headquarters of East India Co., the British colonial trading company. On a whim, the man declares his intention to buy out the company. At a lavish handover ceremony, he signs documents as British officials look on, smiling. And in a nod to present trends, the young man is not a freedom fighter in homespun but a tycoon in pinstripe.

2 Comments:

  • Kaps - I think this will surely mark the beginning of the changing leadership styles of Indian cos or benchmarking some of the Indian business ways globally...what do you think?

    By Blogger @mit, at 3:12 AM  

  • Amit,
    Indian companies will definitely change their style of management if they acquire more companies overseas. I think the leadership style in the new age (knowledge intensive) companies are already inline with international standards.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 4:00 PM  

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