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India in Spotlight


                                                       GLOBAL INDIAN COMPANIES



Gurnani, known as C.P. to his colleagues, is the CEO of Mahindra Satyam. Prior to moving to Mahindra Satyam, CP headed Tech Mahindra’s Global Operations, Sales and Marketing functions, and led the development of Tech Mahindra’s Competency & Solution units. He has extensive experience in building international business, start-ups, turnarounds, joint ventures and mergers & acquisitions. He takes a keen interest in community work and was nominated by Ernst & Young for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2007.

Rana Kapoor is the founder and managing director and CEO of YES BANK. As a professional entrepreneur, since 2003, he is progressively establishing a high quality, state-of-the-art private Indian Bank with a vision of “Building the Best Quality Bank of the world in India” by 2015. He has recently become a member of India’s Board of Trade.


Rajan Bharti Mittal is the vice chairman and managing director of Bharti Enterprises - one of India’s leading business groups with interests in telecom, agri business, financial services and retail. Mr. Mittal joined Bharti Enterprises after graduating from Punjab University. An alumnus of Harvard Business School, he is actively involved in overseeing the activities of the group at the corporate level and has rich experience in marketing activities. He is also involved in many new business ventures of the group

>>I am sure our efforts will lead to increased trade engagements with China where the two-way trade is already close to US$50 billion and also the Asean countries.- Rajan Bharti Mittal<<


In this Asean Affairs interview, C.P. Gurnani, CEO, Mahindra Satayam; Rana Kapoor, CEO, YES Bank and Rajan Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Enterprises trace the development of Indian multinational companies and their importance in the Indian economy.

How would you describe the contribution by global Indian companies toward the Indian economy?

Gurnani:Global Indian companies are the flag bearers of the Indian economy. They are testimony to the success of globalization and the ability of Indian companies to compete with the best from across the world.

Kapoor:Indian multinationals have been able to attract strong capital flows to India on the back of marketing India as an under-penetrated market with a rich reservoir of human capital, ability to develop and adopt technology with strong governance processes supported by sound financial and regulatory structure.

Mittal: Not only have these companies consolidated their position in the Indian market by introducing the right products and adhering to the right strategies, they have also made their mark globally by investing large amounts in all continents across the world. Expanding their presence in the Indian market has led to increased contributions from them in terms of tax revenues, employment, and the development of backward areas.

Global trade and investment is perceived to be shifting eastward. What does this mean for Indian multinationals?

Gurnani:This is good news for Indian multinationals, as one can expect these to be future markets for the products and services that they offer, as local demand starts moving up the value chain. Moreover, with Indian markets likely to be opened up further for international players, there will be greater emphasis on quality, service and localization which is a positive.

Kapoor: PE multiples of markets in India and China in the range of 16-17 percent are higher than US 14.2 percent and UK / Europe in 12X range. Indian corporations are able to attract capital at attractive rates on the back of higher growth prospects.

Mittal: In terms of trade, the U.S. and Europe have always been important regions but our trade with the Middle East, South East Asia, China was also substantial. Post-2008, there has been a renewed effort to enhance our trade with the non- U.S., non-European countries and we are in search of new markets to achieve our trade targets. I am sure our efforts will lead to increased trade engagements with China where the two-way trade is already close to US$50 billion and also the Asean countries.

Where do you see the merging and acquisition (M&A) drive among Indian companies going in the next five years?

Gurnani:It is inevitable that we will see consolidation in many sectors and I expect Indian companies will be much more active in executing cross-border transactions as they reach out to cater to new markets. We have already seen this happening with several old economy heavyweights picking up assets across the globe in areas such as automotive, energy and metals.

Kapoor: Indian companies in search of size will continue to seek targets overseas. Sectors like minerals, metals, chemicals etc will be active in this regard. Overall, we will Where do you see the merging and acquisition (M&A) drive among Indian companies going in the next five years? see an increased merger and acquisition activity among Indian companies with a bias towards small domestic deals and large cross border deals.

Mittal:I feel that there is no question of a slowdown in the M&A activities in the next five years. It is difficult to pinpoint a particular region or country as a preferred destination and say that most M&As will be directed there. Indian companies will always be on the lookout for opportunities that they feel will be worth pursuing.


Please comment on India Inc and its standing among global corporations on the corporate social responsibility (CSR)

and sustainable development fronts.

Gurnani:On the CSR front, there is so much that can be done for the larger society, that we are part of, that there is no dearth of opportunities to contribute. At Mahindra Satyam we pioneered the concept of Emergency and Healthcare Management such as emergency ambulance service. On sustainability, India Inc is seized of its responsibilities.

Kapoor: India Inc is far behind most in the current waves of CSR and sustainability. As a nation we have a long history of generous corporations using philanthropy to work with the communities where we operate. Moving to a more strategic, mainstream engagement has been slow – but is the key to India’s development, both to seize opportunities as well as mitigate risks.

Mittal:We are addressing a massive opportunity of including millions in this growth story as new and untapped markets unfold. However, we have challenges - developing human capital in general and quality talent for employment as well as infrastructure to support these exciting changes and opportunities. This we are doing fully conscious of social and environmental imperatives and look for environment friendly technology transfer.

The recent summit in Bangalore, where both Indian and foreign multinationals pledged billions of dollars in investment, reflects India’s growing strength as a competitive investment destination. Why should (or why should not) global Indian companies be focusing more on the market at home?

Indian multinationals would definitely be very keen on focusing on the home market where opportunities exist. If the market exists for their products/services, one would unlikely not tap the home advantage. I think it’s only a question of time that we become consumers of things that we now produce/deliver to other parts of the world

Kapoor: Global Indian companies must also focus on the home markets and improve their product, services and approach or else face irrelevance and being overwhelmed,e.g., the white goods sector from being Indian company dominated 7-8 years ago has completely transformed as the local companies did not grow technologically.

Mittal: With income levels rising, discretionary spending will also increase and India is expected to be the fifth largest consumer market in the world by 2025. Our demographic dividend is unmatched and our manufacturing and service sector is robust. When these factors attract foreign companies to India, why would global Indian companies ignore their domestic market?

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