ISBN - 978-93-81583-46-3     Strategic Agility; Business Approach of   Multinational ICT Firms in Indian Context          ...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…Strategic agility; business approach of multinational ICT firms ...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…IntroductionBusinesses today cannot survive, let alone prosper, ...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…and market disruptions over the past few years, from the shift f...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…the world. Multinational corporations (MNCs) play a very importa...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…whether firm is ethnocentric, polycentric or geocentric. In ethn...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…possessed if necessary resources like physical, technological, f...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…The rise of emerging markets has not gone unnoticed by multinati...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…created tools and guidelines that will help you forge alliances ...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…          computing where all IT infrastructures becomes availab...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…in around 26 countries to provide holistic, multiservice deliver...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…But the downturn in the industry forced the company to change it...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…retain employees who are efficient and capable enough to surpass...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…   3. Being local yet globalThere has been tremendous growth in ...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…Shanghai based Michael Cannon-Brookes, an old IBM hand in Asia, ...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…                Enterprise mobility                Context-aware...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…In sum, strategic agility is not needed only from companies that...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…   10. Malhotra S., Malhotra N (2007), Investing in an emerging ...
Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…   21. Wali A.A, Gupta A.D, Deshmukh S.G (2000), Quality initiat...
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Strategic agility business approach sanjay bhale_mkt036

  1. 1. ISBN - 978-93-81583-46-3  Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT Firms in Indian Context Prof. Sanjay M. Bhāle1, Prof. Mahima Mishra21 MIT School of Telecom & Management Studies, MIT-Pune, Kothrud Campus 2 Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune 1 sanjay@mitsot.com; sanjaybhale@gmail.com, 2mahimamishra@sibm.edu National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1452
  2. 2. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…Strategic agility; business approach of multinational ICT firms inIndian context AbstractPurpose: purpose of this paper is to study the phenomenon of globalization inICT and the respective strategic implications firms-like IBM, CISCO, andHCL have made in Indian context. The paper aims to explore strategicpropositions of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) industryand strategic agility these firms have been exhibiting phenomenally in recentyears.Design: this paper is conceptual in nature wherein qualitative method hasbeen used to substantiate the significant issues of international businessscenario of ICT especially in Indian sub-continent. An attempt is made toexplore the strategic approach in order to make certain vital observations tolay down conclusion.Findings: the paper contemplates that globalization in fact has made aparadigm shift in strategic planning of global ICT companies in order tocategorize innovation as new trend of business performance and so calledsuccessful strategy in their respective domain.Managerial Implications: paper provides an insight about the strategicintegration of globalization, innovation and technical aspects of the businesspractices uses by multinational ICT companies. The studies along withliterature review underlay significance of global strategy firms are adoptingcreating value on local and international levels.Future Scope: the trend is seen departing from traditional marketing andadopting tactical approach that reflect the growing importance in businessintelligence of multinational corporations, that latest findings of research, andthe most advanced experience of practitioners; a revolutionary development inthe shift to the strategic concept of business.Key Words: business intelligence; creating value; globalization; innovation;strategic proposition National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1453
  3. 3. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…IntroductionBusinesses today cannot survive, let alone prosper, without leveraging diversetechnologies into day-to-day operations and long-term strategy. A businessstrategy can only be meaningful and remain relevant is it incorporates a strongsense of how current and future technologies will help fulfill, shape andpotentially threaten-market, customer, and product strategies. Think of it asstrategy propelled by technology. Strategy can be defined as the actions thatmanagers take to attain the goals of the firm which is to maximize the value offirm for its owners or its shareholders. There are different approaches todevise different strategies which vary from one country to another but all thesestrategies should be in sync with the goals and objectives of the organization.There are no single views on strategy formulation. Global strategies are notonly about the presence of firm in global market rather it’s a strategy tocompete in a chosen market. For this a firm can bring its entire worldwideresources to face any challenges regardless of where and what it might be.Thus strategy depends on market, competitive scenario and variousinstitutional challenges that target country poses. A firms global approach tointernational marketing should include (1) to view entire world as their market(2) to seek homogenous market sets (3) adaptation of marketing mix if neededculturally or socially.When we talk of strategic dynamism ICT (Information and communicationtechnology) industry exhibits an inherent strategic agility. Contrary to thesimpler or more stable industries ICT has been facing the twin challenges ofspeed of emerg-ence and of the erosion of industry boundaries. In fact, the word"convergence" (eroding industry boundaries) had been coined first withreference to that between computers, home entertainment, and communi-cation services. The ICT industry has gone through many technological National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1454
  4. 4. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…and market disruptions over the past few years, from the shift from cen-tralized mainframe computer architectures to decentralized client-serverones, through the disruptive advent of the internet, opening the gate to allkinds of new information service and interactive business models andecosystems across the globe.It is an industry characterized by fast change, and also by complex systemicinteractions. If we see long-term survivors, these companies that not onlysurvived, but thrived on disruptions e.g. Accenture (known as AndersenConsulting until not too long ago), Canon (which started as provider ofreconnaissance cameras to the Japanese military in World War II), Cisco(relatively youngster, but not exactly new), HP, IBM, Intel, SAP, and others.International marketing strategies are complex and tend to vary widely acrossnations, industries and firms. The elements that form in the ingredients ofinternational strategies are numerous and their importance is tightlyinterwoven contexts.Multinational corporations (MNCs) have played a major role in this era ofglobalized economy. In this regard, it is natural that the unit of analysis in thefield of international business has principally been MNCs. However, insteadof focusing only on firm-specific factors, the scope of our analysis should beextended to include location factors that play a vital role in determining afirm’s competitiveness: as MNCs and countries are two main players in thegame of international business, a clear understanding of the mechanismdriving competitiveness of countries, which has not been given much attentionby scholars in international business, is of great importance for establishingand implementing viable strategy for MNCs.The concept; Emerging Markets and MultinationalsEmerging markets are increasingly becoming the growth drivers of the globaleconomy. There is increased scrutiny and interest in emerging markets sincethe 1990s.The interest can be viewed from a demand and supply perspective.With a huge population and increasing income, emerging economies provide abig market for goods and services. Also, with talented manpower and lowcosts, emerging economies are supplying more and more goods and services to National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1455
  5. 5. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…the world. Multinational corporations (MNCs) play a very important role inglobal business and economy. There is an increased interest in research andexplanation for emerging markets and MNCs (London and Hart, 2004; Meyer,2004; Ramamurti, 2004; Khanan et al., 2005)MNCs and emerging markets have become a popular subject of interest ininternational business in recent years (Meyer, 2004). There are four aspects tothis. First, MNCs from developed countries are targeting emerging markets.However the success record of these MNCs in emerging markets, particularlythat of American MNCs has been far from satisfactory. This has promptedresearchers, particularly in leading American Universities to study the reasonsfor MNCs failure in emerging markets (Khanan and Palepu, 1997; Ramamurti,2004) MNCs need to reinvent strategy for emerging markets and look beyondthe transactional model (London and Hart,2004). The concept of institutionvoid is one such explanation available. According to this concept the lack ofregulatory framework, contract enforcement mechanism, and specializedintermediaries in emerging markets is the reason for failure of developedcountries MNCs in emerging markets. MNCs need to adapt their strategiesaccording to the context (Khanan et al., 2005).The second aspect of the MNCs and emerging markets is the increasingnumber of emerging markets MNCs (EMCs) going to developed countries.These EMCs are fighting with established MNCs from developed countries formarket share and growth. There is a manifold increase in merger andacquisition activities of EMCs from emerging markets into developedcountries. They have been expanding and acquiring new businesses at afrenetic pace, conduction more than 1,100 mergers and acquisitions, altogetherworth US$128 billion in 2006 (UNCTAD, 2007, Accenture, 2008).Acquisition of IBM hardware by Lenovo; Choros by Tata group; and recentacquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford group by Tata are fewexamples. EMCs are expanding at a speed and scale to make even the largestWestern multinationals take notice (Accenture, 2008).Perlmutter (1967) suggested three different types of strategies – ethnocentric,polycentric and geocentric. According to him strategy of firm depends National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1456
  6. 6. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…whether firm is ethnocentric, polycentric or geocentric. In ethnocentric firmparent company dominates the entire network of the firm. Products arestandardized and its marketing, financing and pricing are centralized butmanufacturing can occur in any subsidiary depending on availability of cheapcost, raw material or labor. Since products are uniform, the firm enjoyseconomies of scale by producing in bulk but a big challenge is to fit theproduct in a local demand spectrum. In polycentric firms, products are notstandardized and are adapted as per local demand. Production, operations andpricing decisions lies with local subsidiaries while a parent company reapsbenefits from geographic adaptation and diversification. But these firms lacksynergies and global branding as one subsidiary products are not accepted byothers. Geocentric strategy reaps the benefits of both strategies and keepsglobal perspective with local adaptation. It aims at maximizing global revenueby multi product system. Thus production, marketing or financial strategydiffers from one country to another according to several economic and non-economic factors and at the same time it imbibes vision, mission and goals ofthe parent firm. Concept of experience curve economies by Hall and Howell (1985) suggestssystematic reduction in production cost which has been observed to occur overthe life of a product. Production cost declines due to two factors – (1)Learning effect which is cost reduction that comes from learning by doing, (2)Economies of scale, which is reduction in cost by producing in large volumes.Most multinational firms enjoy economies of scale by employing and usingincreasingly specialised equipment, technology or personnel. Thus, each time,as accumulated output doubles production cost declines by some commoncharacteristics. Porter (1985) believes that a firm’s competitive advantagedepends on the selection of an appropriate generic strategy which includescost leadership, differentiation and focus on a specific segment of the market.He later (1986, 1990) developed generic strategy theory which involvesconfiguration based on value chain concept as well as coordination ofactivities in different nations.Prahlad and Hamel (1990); Kay (1993) developed another concept of corecompetence based strategy. They proposed that core competencies can be National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1457
  7. 7. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…possessed if necessary resources like physical, technological, financial andhuman are available and new competencies can be developed in respectivearea which puts firms in a superior position. These core competencies are theskills that competitors cannot easily match or imitate. Barlett and Ghosal(1989) suggested transfer of core competencies. According to them corecompetencies can be transferred to the target market which helps in capturingthese markets with premium pricing. Like MacDonald’s core competency inmanaging fast food operations has been successfully transferred to itsfranchisees or Toyota’s high quality well designed cars with low deliveredcost helped them to enjoy success in other countries market. Thus any firmthat operates internationally can get greater return from their skills and corecompetency by realizing location economies and reduce cost of production byadapting experience curve economies.Yip (1993) refers to adoption of total global strategy which consists of threestages. In the first stage he refers to developing core business strategy, in thesecond stage the core strategy is internationalized and finally, in the thirdstage, all activities of the firm in different nations are integrated. Thus, for afirm it’s a choice between focusing on core competency or adoption of localcustomization of technology and product or a combination of both. In somecases its local customization which is crucial while in others development ofcore competency plays a greater role.Research DesignThe research is secondary in nature with an aim to empirically assess thestrategic levels of ICT companies to substantiate the significant issues ofinternational business strategy as vital competitive aspect. An attempt is madeto explore the strategic approach of these organizations in order to makecertain vital observations to lay down pertinent conclusion. 1. Strategic alliance; a strategic norm National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1458
  8. 8. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…The rise of emerging markets has not gone unnoticed by multinationals basedin development markets, such as the United States, Europe, and Japan. Inmany cases, multinationals landed in the larger markets immediately afterliberalization and have been operating in those markets for years. Emergingmarkets have already become major growth drivers for telecommunications-related multinationals.US based Cisco decided to establish its Globalization Center East in Banglore,India, in 2007. The center was lined up to house one fifth of Cisco’s topexecutives and ten thousand employees by 2011.the importance of emergingmarkets should be reflected in the composition of multinationals’ seniormanagement and its flexibility to go for agile strategies according to localmarkets.According to Mr. John Chambers who has led the $ 43 Billion company,developed market should be more competitive if they intend to take on theemerging markets. Throughout the mid-2000, Cisco built a significantpresence in India. It established its Globalization Centre East in Bangalore thathouses the company’s business development and research and developmentcentre. It was Cisco’s second unit outside the US. Cisco continues to focus onstrategies, engineering and architecture in the emerging markets (such asChina and India) for the world and then bring them around the globe(introduce them in developed markets such as US and Canada).As a top executive, youve almost certainly forged strategic alliances withother companies. Some of these deals have worked--but many others havelikely failed. In fact, companies worldwide launch more than two thousandstrategic alliances every year, and more than half never deliver as promised. InStrategic Alliances, Steve Steinhilber (Cisco’s Vice president) proves that,despite the odds, alliances are critical to the business strategy for companiescompeting globally: customers want integrated solutions to their problems,and thats pushing companies to work together to create differentiatedofferings. Equally crucial, well-managed alliances generate important forms ofbusiness value, including new products and accelerated growth. Drawing onhis experience as the head of Ciscos Strategic Alliances group, Steinhilber has National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1459
  9. 9. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…created tools and guidelines that will help you forge alliances that work. Hedescribes the three essential building blocks of successful alliances andexplains how to establish: The right framework--by articulating how analliance will help you achieve your companys strategic business goals andidentifying potential partners The right organization--by staffing your allianceorganization with the right people and constantly honing their skills The rightrelationships--by cultivating trust among the many key internal contacts inyour organization and your alliance partners Engaging and authoritative,Strategic Alliances shows you how to manage strategic partnerships moreeffectively and maximize their value in a complex and changing businessenvironment.Today the companies have become an extended enterprise where theconstituents are not only corporate employees, but also suppliers, customers,and partners in the corporate ecosystem. Corporate system is a collection oforganizations that are interdependent to form a complete solution or Industry.Competitive advantage here is gained by an organization’s ability to assemblecollaborative terms from across the extended enterprise in real time to harnessthe knowledge of the collective as much as possible. Specifically, thefollowing trends significantly affect companies as they reach new levels ofproductivity- Unified communications-enabled collaboration: defined as the integration of all of a company’s communication tools, unified communications is the foundation for a company’s collaborative strategy. These tools include voice communications, video conferencing, telechat etc. It can help organizations streamline business processes by removing much of the human delay in business processes. Cloud computing and virtualization in the most basic sense allows an IT individual to manage a virtual resource instead of a physical one. The ultimate vision of virtualization is to break all IT infrastructures into smaller components, virtualize them, and push them into the network. This scenario gives rise to “cloud-based” National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1460
  10. 10. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT… computing where all IT infrastructures becomes available as network. Application networking services (ANS): ANS is a set of technologies that directly improve the performance of applications through a set of optimized techniques in the network layer. Unified computing: unified computing allows virtual workloads to move transparently across the network while maintaining critical network parameters by effectively tying the compute layer to the network layers.Historically these domains have been managed in independent silos, with thenetwork having very little visibility into applications that run on it and howthey perform. As the integration of communications and IT continues, thenetwork will play a critical role in how corporate technology will evolve andimprove productivity. Ultimately this vision will lead to organizations that cancollaborate more efficiently with the entire extended enterprise.Cisco has been practicing partnering strategy to deliver collaboration solutionsto customers by offering business value and choice to organizations thatchoose Cisco as a solution provider. Cisco has developed a multifacetedpartnering program that can offer customers tangible business value. Thisincludes integration, channel, technology and a range of consulting,outsourcing to offer customer a comprehensive collaboration strategy. Tofacilitate the shift towards collaboration as a business-process enabler, Ciscohas partnered with several leading IT solution providers and vendors such asAccenture, Apple, AT&T, IBM, Microsoft, Nokia, Tata Consultancy, andWipro. 2. Universalizing the human factorHCL is a leading global IT services enterprise, working with clients in thearea that impact and redefine core of their businesses. Since its inception intothe global landscape after its IPO in 1999, HCL has been focusing on“transformational outsourcing” underlined by innovation and value creation.It leverages its extensive global offshore infrastructure and network of offices National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1461
  11. 11. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…in around 26 countries to provide holistic, multiservice delivery in keyindustry verticals including financial services, manufacturing, consumerservices, public services, and healthcare.HCL in India during 2005 was plagued with several internal problems likedemoralized work force and one of the highest attrition rates in the industry.Since IT is a demand driven industry where growth depends on howefficiently firms could scale up output with changing demand. One keydifferentiator that helps HCL to stand apart is the way it has been nurturing itsemployee’s skill and the confidence within and the organization.HCL has adopted Blue ocean strategy that helped it bag DSG deal (DSGInternational; manufacturer of disposable diapers in Southeast Asia) way backin July 2005. Blue ocean strategy (W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne,2005) guides on how to create uncontested market space and marketcompetition irrelevant. For the DSG International deal, 10 participants,including frontline Indian IT vendors, put in the request for Proposals (RFPs).Three vendors- HCL Tech and two global companies were shortlisted and atthe end the contract came to HCL Tech. DSG was selected on the basis of itsbreadth of experience, partnership approach, collaborative business sense, andthe transparency in its cost models.HCL then decided to chase large deals that would bring a significanttransaction, to move up value chain, and go for multi-service deals withapplication and infrastructure components. Based on this strategy it wentfurther about transforming internally, and that resulted in deals like Autodeskand EXA.HCL also went on strategy of reducing high-end software portfolios;rebalancing exercise of its client portfolio, reducing high technology softwarework to contain the impact of the global technology meltdown. In the past, thecompany used to focus on the high-end of software development such asengineering services as it sought a distinct image among its peers. Also HCLwas now increasing its exposure to areas such as application development andmaintenance. National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1462
  12. 12. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…But the downturn in the industry forced the company to change its strategiesas clients started shelving high-end technology work. Technology servicesused to account for as much as 66% of its business earlier, now it came downto 49%. As part of this strategic repositioning in view of current businessenvironment, HCL Tech reduced its exposure to or stopped working for 84clients. This reduction was limited to marginal players and some start-ups. Forinstance they cut exposure to the semiconductor vertical segment. Though,the company had 356 clients, including 39 Fortune 500 companies.In the highly competitive and dynamic IT landscape, HCL Tech wanted tocontinue to generate new business, therefore it needed to build a reservoir ofcompetencies like strategic thinking, corporate governance, customer focus,innovation, leadership and intrapreneurship in its emerging leaders. Emergingleaders here is blended-learning program designed to quickly develop keyleadership capabilities among next-generation leaders while reinforcingcritical thinking and general management skills in virtual real-time setting thatbridges geographical boundaries.HCL is a global leader now in Information technology services and is enjoyingand forecasting rapid business growth. To support this robust growth, HCLneeds to quickly groom business leaders and prepare them to drive strategicinitiatives in a very dynamic business environment.Another strategic transformation occurred in 2005 when HCL shifted itsprimary focus from volume to value and from process to people. Prior to thisHCL used to accept any type of deal from large operations to small projects.But it was decided to focus only on large multi services and longer projectsthat offer unique customer value proposition and aim to provide greater valueto clients. They were able to target large and medium sized customers byoffering integrated service approach under the co sourcing model.Human resource strategies are critical for companies in the IT industry.Understanding these requirements, HCL during 2006, thought of a newstrategy of “Employees First, Customers Second” (EFCS). Giving employeesfirst preference and realizing their worth was crucial for HCL to develop and National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1463
  13. 13. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…retain employees who are efficient and capable enough to surpass customer’sexpectation.To implement EFCS successfully several new initiatives were launched like U& I initiative where employees through an online forum can interact directlywith the CEO. Others include opinion polls, 360 degree feedback under whichreporters could give feedback of their managers (only for developmentpurpose and not for appraisal). i Gen, an idea generation portal was launchedwhere an employees can roll their ideas to improve business or to suggestcompletely new processes.Several new innovative steps were also commenced in HCL. HCL was amongthe first in industry to implement the concept to manufacture (C2M) whichoffers end to end solutions like product design, prototyping as well as aftersales support. Another idea was Global Risk Reward Partnership which helpsthe organization to focus on its best competencies and fostering resource focuswith aligned goals and objectives. HCL was also among the first companies tooffer global delivery model which offers services from remote locations. Thus,via employee based policies and customer value focus, HCL built a strongservice brand with improved market capitalization and revenues. The companyhas established subsidiaries across the globe to sustain growth. It has set upsubsidiaries in USA, Japan, the UK and Australia etc. which aided inpertaining the global market.The world is more in a digital fashion today and people want to capitalize onthis trend of digitalization. With Gen-Y coming in, they want to consumeeverything through the digital medium not the physical medium. Thereforeeverybody has to redo their data analytics, multichannel commerce, theirdigital presence, etc., and they need to find funds for that. Therefore they aremoving a lot of run-the-business (essential to business) spend totransformation projects. According to Vineet Nayer, CEO HCL Technologies,the world is a better place than it was a year ago. CEOs are more confidentthan they were a year ago, they are smarter and astute. They are churning andare asking a lot more questions than they were earlier. Earlier, you could do adeal on the golf-course, now you have to show value. National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1464
  14. 14. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT… 3. Being local yet globalThere has been tremendous growth in penetration of the mobile phones in therecent years. Moreover, there has been significant progress in computingpower, memory, display and other features of mobile phones. IBM India hasmoving ahead with innovative solutions to the contemporary requirements; theinformation management group at IBM Research-India is focused ondeveloping next-generation technologies in various areas such as advancedbusiness intelligence and insight generation, context orientated informationintegration, and extraction of semantic knowledge from unstructured data.These technologies are driven by IBM Research’s goal of building intelligentsolutions and services to address business problems in various industrialsectors, including financial, telecommunication, retail, and healthcare, amongothers.IBM’s assignation with India dated back to 1962, when it operated through aliaison officer in New Delhi. Not willing to dilute its control with local equityas per the requirement of then government, IBM quit India in 1978. After theliberalization of the economy, it reentered India through joint venture with theTata group and eventually bought out Tata’s shares in 1997. However, twonoteworthy moves maneuvered IBM’s new growth drive in India. First, inMarch 2004, IBM India clinched a US $ 750 million outsourcing contractfrom Bharti Tele-Ventures, India telecom major, beating aggressive biddingfrom rivals HP and Oracle. Second a month later IBM acquired Daksha, aleading player in Indian BPO industry. While the Bharti deal gave IBM themuch needed inroad into the domestic market, acquiring Daksha catapultedIBM among top BPO service providers in India. While realigning the Indianteam to drive growth in line with IBM’s global objectives, Annaswamy, themanaging director of IBM India, was responsible for the domestic market,while Amitabh Ray, head IGS India, reported directly to IGS IBM GlobalServices) worldwide chief Ginni Rometty. These type of deed helps get rid ofbureaucracy and makes decision making faster. Inderpreet Thukral, director ofstrategy and business development, was deputed to drive growth in emergingbusiness opportunities in India. This focus was further emphasized with National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1465
  15. 15. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…Shanghai based Michael Cannon-Brookes, an old IBM hand in Asia, beinggiven special charge of China and India. Looking into relatively longer-termstrategic imperatives, Cannon-Brookes’ mandate was to oversee strategy forboth these markets and align them with IBM’s globally integrated serviceoffering. The decentralized structure enabled each unit to functionindependently and thus grow faster.IBM has been expanding its footprints in India and now has presence in over200 cities and towns across country-either directly or through its strongbusiness partner network. India’s importance in IBM’s process transformationand management operations was highlighted by it being named as one of thecompany’s four emerging business opportunities; EBO, the first time ever inIBM’s history that geography rather than technologies over verticals wereidentified as opportunities. Translated EBO, implied that IBM in India couldat any time seek advice, counsel, and source ideas from any of the company’soperation around the world.Telecommunication Research and Innovation Centre (TRIC) at IBMResearch-India focuses on this exciting area of mobile computing andchallenges of the telecommunication industry with the goal of creatinginnovative solutions and platforms. Researchers in TRIC collaborateextensively with other IBM business units, telecom service providers as wellas academia.Focused on promoting advanced telecommunications and mobile solutions andinfrastructure development, TRIC currently conducts research in followingkey areas- Enabling IT for emerging Economies using the Mobile Platform Telecom and Mobile Analytics Telecom infrastructure and Middleware Mobile application development environments and delivery platforms National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1466
  16. 16. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT… Enterprise mobility Context-aware-services Mobile enabled industry solutions (such as Retail, Finance etc.)The information management team develops novel techniques for looselycoupled structured and unstructured data through symbiotic and semantically-disambiguated information in an enterprise. This is achieved by viewing thestructured data in the relational database as a set of predefined “entities” andidentifying the entities from this set that best match a given document. It alsoattempts to explore the value of incorporating text data in various predictiveanalytic models for customer lifetime value (CLV), churn prediction, andtargeted marketing.ConclusionInternational environment differs greatly from one country to another in termsof political, economic, legal, cultural aspects which poses big challenges forinternational players. Powerful technological, regulatory, and economic forcescompel the senior executives of multinational corporations to repeatedly re-evaluate and reconfigure value chains in search for ongoing competitiveadvantage. However, releasing assets from existing activities and redeployingthem to new opportunities is a challenging task. MNC executives alwaysought to map their worldwide footprint of strategic roadblocks andopportunities to expand into new markets, divest redundant business, and buildflexibility to adapt future challenges.In other words, although the ICT business is perhaps where the fast strategygame has originated, it is spreading fast to other industries. Furthermore,even in the absence of industry-wide change, companies that gain strategicagility, such as an FMCG major’s "Connect and Develop" model ofopen innovation, can gain strategic advantage in traditional industries andcreate or transform markets. National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1467
  17. 17. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT…In sum, strategic agility is not needed only from companies that are in themaelstroms of complex and rapid change. Companies in mature industriesthat develop superior strategic agility can leave their competitors behind,create new markets, rejuvenate their business models, and renew the waythey compete.References: 1. Chakrabarti A., Bhaumik P.K. (2009), Internationalization of technology development in India, Journal of Indian Business Research, 1 (1) 26 – 38 2. Cateora & Graham , (2002) , International Marketing ,10th Edition, Tata McGraw Hill , India , 316 3. Collis D.J., Montgomery C.A. (2008), Competing on Resources, Harvard Business Review South Asia, July-August, 128-138 4. Doz Y., Kosonen M. (2008), Fast Strategy: How strategic agility will help you stay ahead of the game, Wharton School Publishing, New Delhi, India 5. Hill & Jain, (2009) , International business- Competing in Global Marketplace, McGraw-Hill , India , 496 6. Jolly Vijay, (February 15, 1997) , Global strategies in the 1990’s, The Financial Post, , p S6 7. Johan Hagel III, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison (2008), Shaping Strategy in a world of Constant Disruption, Harvard Business Review South Asia, October ,59-67 8. Khanna T., Palepu Krishna G. (2010), Winning in Emerging Markets: A Road Map for strategy and Execution, Harvard Business Press, Boston, Massachusetts, 83-89 9. Kotter J.P., Schlesinger L.A. (2008), Choosing Strategies for Change, Harvard Business Review South Asia, July-August ,118- 126 National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1468
  18. 18. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT… 10. Malhotra S., Malhotra N (2007), Investing in an emerging market: evidence from US firms investing in India, Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal incorporating, Journal of Global Competitiveness, 17(1), 47 – 55 11. Mukherjee J., Sundararajan M. (2012), HCL: Facing the Challenge of the Laptop Market,VIKALPA 37(1),113-126 12. Neilson G.L. , Martin K.L. , Powers E. (2008),The Secrets to Successful strategy Execution, Harvard Business Review South Asia, June , October , 37-46 13. Oburai P., Baker M. (2005), International Marketing Strategies in India: An Application of Mixed Method Investigation, VIKALPA, 30(4), 11-23 14. Pangarkar N. (2011), High Performance Companies: Successful Strategies from the world’s Top Achievers, Jossey –Bass, Singapore, 9-25 15. Pillania R.K. (2009), Multinationals and emerging markets, Business Strategy Series, 10 (2), 100 – 103 16. Sharan Vyuptakesh , (2010) , International business concept, environment and strategy , Pearson Education, Singapore, 369 17. Shukla P. (2006), Emerging paradigms in the Indian marketplace, Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 18 (4), 249 - 253 18. Srinivasan S. (2009), In the pink: The IBM, The Indian Express, 16-17 19. Steinhilber Steve (2008), Three ways to make them work, Harvard Business Press Book, 49-57 20. Varma S. (2011), Born global acquirers from Indian IT: an exploratory case study, International Journal of Emerging Markets, 6(4), 351-368National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1469
  19. 19. Strategic Agility; Business Approach of Multinational ICT… 21. Wali A.A, Gupta A.D, Deshmukh S.G (2000), Quality initiatives in an Indian software organization: a case study, Work Study, 49(7), 285-293 22. Yung-Chul Kwon (2010), Market orientation of Korean MNC subsidiaries and their performance in the Chinese and Indian markets, International Marketing Review, 27 (2), 179 - 199 23. Vikram Akula (2008), Business Basic at base of the pyramid, Harvard Business Review South Asia, 31-35 24. Yves Doz and Kosonen Mikko (2008), Fast Strategy, Wharton School Publishing, 1-19National Conference on Emerging Challenges for Sustainable Business 2012 1470

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