Indian corporate leaders laud conglomerate business model

Mumbai, Feb 14 (IANS) Indian corporate leaders on Sunday made a pitch for the Indian business model of conglomerates in a context where globalisation is increasingly calling for speed in corporate decision-making.

“We have focused companies run by independent boards,” Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla Group said at the CNN Asia Business Forum held as part of the ongoing Make India India Week here.

“And then we have an activist corporate centre who guides them,” said Birla, whose group is present across aluminium, cement, telecom, textiles, retail and financial services.

“The government wants to be a catalyst through its Make in India initiatives. Today, several new opportunities have opened up for the private sector, which cannot be ignored,” he added.

Mahindra & Mahindra chairman Anand Mahindra, who describes the Indian business model as a federal structure rather than a conglomerate, cited American giant Google’s example to defend multi-business models.

“Google is a conglomerate with its diversified business operation including health services,” he said.

US-based Emerson Electric Company president Edward L.Monser however plumped for focused businesses.

“Globalisation has brought multiple layers of decision-making and speed has become a big issue,” he said at the forum.

American multinational General Electric’s South Asia chief executive, Banmali Agrawala, also emphasized the need for being in “related businesses”.

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