Until recently, the flow of management and strategy know-how was one-way; it was India that absorbed business models, technology and management systems from foreign corporations and institutions. As “India Inc.” raced to globalize and global companies sought to exploit the country’s low-cost talent pool, such industrialized-economy concepts as Kaizen, The Toyota Way, Six Sigma and so on gained currency.
Today, India is no longer just a destination for manufacturing, services and research in which corporations lever lower cost into a competitive advantage — it is also gaining traction as a source of best practices in management and strategy.
Ironically, this strength flows from the complexities of doing business in India, both in terms of the regulatory environment and scarce resources. “The market in India is very fast-moving and not particularly stable; so you need a fast and flexible approach to management, and Indians are used to dealing with ambiguities,” says Arindam Bhattacharya, managing director, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and co-author of the book Globality: Competing with Everyone from Everywhere for Everything.