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Weathering the downturn: 11 lessons from Indian multinationals

Murali Kailasam (Doctoral Research Student at the School of Management, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand)
Lalit M. Johri (Fellow in International Business and Director of Oxford Advanced Management and Leadership Programme at Said Business School, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)
Winai Wongsurawat (Assistant Professor at the College of Management, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand)

Strategic Direction

ISSN: 0258-0543

Article publication date: 11 January 2013



The aim of this paper is to highlight successful strategies leaders can use to sustain and grow business during the economic business cycle variation.


Opinions were based on 32 interviews conducted during December‐2010 to November‐2011 with CXO's, Business/Functional Heads from seven leading Indian IT/ITES public listed companies that partnered and delivered solutions to global corporations including Fortune‐500 companies. One of the interview queries was to share experience, views and opinions on what works during recession and how should one tackle recovery.


This paper offers 11 handy strategies for practitioners like executives, leaders and managers to manage the economic cycles better. These common findings from several cases are summarized supported with specific examples. They are: cost management need not go overboard; incessantly monitor, control and sustain; communication, culture and empathy helps; quality bolsters empathy; stay invested to be relevant; innovation needs to be disruptive; diversification leverages law of averages; people are imperative; customers need to be venerated; change and risk management is inevitable; coherence and prudence needed.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical solutions that can protect organizations world‐wide from failing during economic recessions.

Social implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical solutions that can have a broader social impact.


The paper presents the arguments in a condensed and easy‐to‐digest format supported with live organization examples for easy comprehension.



Kailasam, M., Johri, L.M. and Wongsurawat, W. (2013), "Weathering the downturn: 11 lessons from Indian multinationals", Strategic Direction, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 34-37.



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