What’s stopping you India?

Global India - Souce - Forbes

I have heard of talks of India becoming a developed country by 2020. I have seen speakers guaranteeing success of Indian firms in global markets. They have diversified opinions when it comes to reasons but the conclusion is same more or less. India as ‘Golden Bird’ again, that’s what we have always dreamt of, haven’t we?
But when carefully look at the current trends and statistics, picture isn’t that bright as it appears to be. When entering the global markets, we have limited number of success stories from our country. Though foreign investments have trebled from 2003 to 2012 but when it comes to meeting targets in the international markets, picture is not that bright! We have added cult brands like Jaguar Land Rover and Arcelor to our portfolio but haven’t been able to produce the desired results. Here are some reasons amongst many why Indian firms fail to perform overseas:

Narrow Focus

Thanks to cheap labor available in India, we know that we can become low cost providers to the world and we boast about it anywhere and everywhere. But the world doesn’t just care about low cost part only. Moreover, our focus is always on meeting the needs of the developed countries by providing them with cheaper products using frugal/reverse innovation but the larger section of the world i.e. developing nations go overlooked. These markets can readily accept Indian products given necessary modifications are made to meet their demands.

Attracting and Retaining Talent

We have premier institutes like IITs and IIMs well established in our country but somehow, Indian firms are not able to attract best talent from these institutes. High salary jobs are often provided by big consulting firms or top social networking firms and they lure away the best of Indian minds. Again the work culture in Indian firms somehow suites Indians only and other that’s why, Indian firms find it hard in retaining talent from other countries. When Tata acquired Jaguar Land Rover, Indian management commented that British workers are lazy! A big statement was made without understanding the cultural differences.

Understanding Cultural Differences

This brings me to another point. Our work culture is different from other countries. The problems arise when one is not ready to accept it. Lack of knowledge of these can be a major roadblock in the growth of any company. I still remember meeting one of Deloitte’s directors who mentioned it very bluntly “We Indian love to work our asses off”, a sharp statement to make but actually not false. What he added was, “Whether it’s required or not”. And then we expect others to do the same, and that’s what leads to problems.
One can follow a model like Infosys where the senior management from different countries spends time in Bangalore to understand Indian work culture in a better way. We’ll have to reciprocate in a similar fashion.

Environment! Patent! Regulations! Errrrr

One advantage of operating in developing countries is that the regulations are not very stringent. But you face problems entering the global markets because of these regulatory norms and legal concerns. Strong environmental policies become a must which may require overhaul of the entire functioning of a company.

Weak Brand

Indians have established themselves are code chefs, geeks and masterminds of the world who can troubleshoot your problems within no time but when it comes to the Indian organizations, they have failed to establish the brand globally. Brand recall will come later but firstly they’ll have to establish themselves so that people start recognizing these brands.