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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Guest editorial From: Management Decision, Volume 46, Issue 10
The world has re-discovered India and Indian economy in recent past. Indian economy is on a growth trajectory and one after another study is projecting India among leading economies of future (Goldman Sachs, 2003, 2007). The role and significance of India in the global economy is continuously increasing. India offers enormous opportunities to both individuals and organizations. At the same time India also provides numerous challenges. The success rate of multinationals in emerging markets including India is mixed (Pillania, forthcoming; Gupta and Wang, 2007; Khanna et al., 2005). The noted author Rudyard Kipling once said that India was such a diverse country that you made any statement and opposite of that was also true. It is like another European Union, with 28 states. How to face these challenges and successfully serve the Indian market requires substantial strategic thought, guidance and implementation.
However there is a dearth of literature on India in management, in general, and in strategy, in particular. The objective of this special issue is to bring together research on strategy in Indian context. The call for papers generated a lot of interest and numbers of papers were received. Out of those papers, seven papers on diverse themes in strategy appear in this issue. A brief overview of each paper follows.
The current global economy is a knowledge economy (Pillania, 2005). The resource-based view followed by knowledge based view and the current focus on innovation in strategy, has made knowledge a critical component in strategy. There is a lot of hype and projections on emergence of India as an economic super power in the knowledge economy (Pillania, 2007). The first research paper namely, “Creation and categorisation of knowledge in automotive components SMEs in India” studies this very important aspect. It finds that though new knowledge creation is gaining importance, research and development spending as percentage of turnover is very low. International automotive components manufacturers have a better perception about knowledge creation compared to the prevalent view in Indian firms. In terms of relevance, latest and timeliness, Indian and international automotive components manufacturers pay little credence to the knowledge available through government institutions and industry associations. Industry associations and governments need to have a re-appraisal of their practices and make their working more useful, fast and updated.
The success record of multinational firms entering into emerging markets in general has been mixed and a lot of recent literature in strategy is trying to find out strategies for emerging markets (Gupta and Wang, 2007; Khanna et al., 2005). The second paper namely “Perceptions of foreign players for effective positioning in India” identifies 18 variables for effective positioning for Indian market and develops a model. The model developed in this paper can be used by international executives in identifying the variables, which can be considered for strategy formulation at different stages of Indian market positioning process.
Indian economy is growing at fast pace but its growth is facing various challenges and bottlenecks and infrastructure is one of the major hurdle in Indian competitiveness (Pillania, 2008). The third paper namely “National port competitiveness: implications for India” undertakes an international comparison on logistics/port operations with a main focus on India. The research findings suggest that India’s logistics competitiveness in freight industry is relatively competitive while transportation industry is not competitive. The research work suggests that there is an urgent need for an overhaul of port equipment if India wants to accommodate the growing volume of imports and exports in the future.
The current global business is highly competitive and sourcing, particularly outsourcing has becoming quite popular in recent years and has gained strategic significance. The fourth paper namely, “Strategic sourcing for supply chain agility and firms’ performance: a study of Indian manufacturing sector” explores the dimensions of strategic sourcing and determines its relationship with organisational supply chain agility and performance. It finds significant effect of strategic sourcing and its diemnsions on supply chain agility and firms’ performance. The research findings are useful to develop and measure the competitive capabilities of strategic sourcing and guide the organisations to enhance supply chain responsiveness and organisational performance.
The world is going through fifth wave of mergers and acquisitions (Vasilaki and O’Regan, 2008). There has been a tremendous rise in number of M&A deals in India post liberlisation of 1991. Many Indian firms have also gone for international acquisitions in recent past. The paper namely “The impact of mergers and acquisitions on corporate performance in India” studies the impact of M&As on firm performance. The results indicate that in many cases of M&A, the acquiring firms were able to generate synergy in long run, which may be in the form of higher cash flow, more business, diversification, cost cuttings etc.
Increasing number of Indian firms are going international and there is growing interest in Indian MNCs. The sixth paper namely “Internationalisation of Bharat Forge Limited: a case study” explores how a small company from India becomes one of the leading players in the global forging industry. The study finds that the company has followed the traditional stages model of internationalisation. It started global foray with exports and continued with that for more than three decades before going for acquistions way. The company has gone for related-diversified using its strengths in technology to diversify its products, markets and customers over the years and today has a global footprints in terms of sales and manufacturing locations.
Strategy implementation faces various issues and challenges. The last paper namely “A proposed framework for strategy implementation in the Indian context” reviews the available strategy implementation frameworks in literature to identify the main pitfalls in effective strategy implementation and proposes a framework that could be more suitable to the Indian context. The proposed framework is applied and described in the context of a case study of the Reliance Group and the application of the proposed framework is likely to result in a more comprehensive coverage of the vital issues in strategy implementation in Indian context.
These seven papers cover diverse themes in strategy namely, knowledge creation and SMEs; foreign players positioning in India; competitiveness; strategic sourcing; mergers and acquisitions; strategy implementation; and international strategy. We sincerely believe that it will help us in better understanding of strategy in India. We acknowledge the support of referees in bring out this special issue.
Rajesh K. Pillania Management Development Institute Gurgaon, Gurgaon, India
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