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Global Knowledge Game… Wildcard for India!

Sudipto Patra and Raj K. Roy

Foreign Trade Review, 2002, vol. 37, issue 1-2, 60-84

Abstract: Globalisation has brought all sorts of questions pertaining to Indian MNCs to the fore. The enlargement of the freedom to tap the competitive potential, unhindered by geographical restrictions, is at the heart of these forces of globalisation. It endangers the entrenched domestic market players of the cocooned era of the past, simultaneously presenting them the opportunity to look beyond their traditional market (home) and to leverage its strengths to gain higher profitability. From the Indian perspective, we found that there is a plethora of opportunities and Indian companies can really win this global game if they play it right. In the changing context of business with world moving definitely to a global village we have raised certain questions and tried to answer them in the paper. What is India's competitive advantage? What is the strength that Indian companies can play with to capitalise upon the opportunities that are arising in the global business scenario, at the same time dodging the threats and overcoming their weaknesses? Who are these multinationals that we keep referring to? Are they the giants of the Indian industry? Are they the doyens of the brick and mortar era? Or are they the new-age players in knowledge economy? Why is it that the Indian manufacturing sector could not deliver quality in last 40 years while IT could achieve it in less than a decade? Were there policy bottlenecks that stifled the traditional Indian companies to a stunted Indian presence or something internal to them? There is a question-mark on the traditional definition of an MNC itself - "Company with operation bases in countries other than that of its origin". When a large part of manufacturing is relocating itself in countries that offer the factor cost advantages, as is available in South-East Asia and China, how relevant is the traditional definition of an MNC? isn't MNC the one which looks at transnational marketing, creating global brands, with localised operations (not necessarily in home country) that allow it to attain highest profitability? Why can't TATA and Reliance be dubbed MNCs if they can play to these rules? We found that the Indian MNCs also have certain inherent strengths that can catapult them to the global arena Experience gained by the Indian industry over the last 55 years Accumulated knowledge capital Entrepreneurial spirit shown in the right kind of conditions A new mirldset that is emerging slowly but definitely . Though we are yet to take these strengths to the final frontier of customer satisfaction and the highest order in the business value chain - selling to customers directly or creating global brands - it is only pertinent that we revisit the Indian business scenario with the confidence of delivering quality products as IT has shown. The same factors can help the Indian MN Cs to face the challenges and emerge winners in the new global ball game. We have suggested a broad pack of strategies, which are going to be indispensable for Indian MNCs in 2010 and beyond.

Date: 2002
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DOI: 10.1177/0015732515020105

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