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DateLine Sunday, 23 March 2008

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Selecting right business - the key to success

Selecting the right business is a key factor to succeed, and in developing countries it makes the fundamental difference said Leader India Practice Mackinsey and Company Inc Adil Zainulbhai addressing a CEO's breakfast meeting organised by ACCA.


Adil Zainulbhai

He said that if you select the right business to engage your self over a long period of time then you can succeed. Being ahead of the game is critical when you are selecting to enter and exploit new industries and booming sectors.

The importance of thinking where to compete emerges clearly if we look at companies that have grown rapidly since 1993- for example ICICI Bank, Jet Airways and Bharti Telecom.

Speaking on the theme "Organise to Grow" he said that growth is essential for survival and shareholder performance Zainulbhai said that prior to a company going global, they should be well known locally and he will think global from the day he starts the business. Another important factor is to acclimatise people from day one. Don't recruit people from the home country and try to adjust them.

Expressing his views on the political economy, he said that he is not an expert to comment on Sri Lanka's politics.

But in the developing world it is a double edged sword and we have to live with it, he said.

Speaking about India, he said, that prior to the reforms, you needed a licence to do everything and it was a political decision.

Even the steel plants were subscale, but today they are worldscale plants. With the liberalisation of the economy you now have the option of discussion with the government which we didn't have earlier.

Zainulbhai said that the IT industry in India accounts for about 10 percent of the total increase in GDP between 2004 and 2007 while the IT and BPO industries employ more than 1.25 mln people directly and it is still growing. Now they have started establishing their own training institutes to train graduates to suit the requirements of the industry.

However, IT isn't the only sector to benefit from India's intellectual capital and includes pharmaceuticals, engineering and other sectors as well.

He said that Indian companies are increasingly trying to build global businesses by leveraging their advantages in domestic markets the preferred business model has been to use Mergers and Acquisitions to achieve international expansion.

Overseas acquisitions have grown from less than US $ 1 bln in 2002 to more than US $ 30 bln in 2007.

Adil Zainulbhai moved into the Indian Practice of Mackinsey and Company Inc, after working for 24 years with Mackinsey in the USA where he led the Washington DC office and began the office Minneapolis.

His strengths transcend the telecommunication and consumer electronics, banking and manufacturing sectors and his expertise ranges from helping Indian companies grow into global enterprises, increasing efficiency in public sector units and aiding MNCs enter India to build profitable and large businesses.

He's been a featured speaker at numerous World Economic Fora including those in Belgium, USA, Scandinavia and Japan and advised government agencies on economic development issues.

He sits on various boards, some of which are The Indian CEO High Tech Council, The Indus Entrepreneurs, the American India Foundation, Saifee Hospital and the Advisory Board of the Indian Institute of Technology.

He has an MBA from Harvard and a Bachelor of Technology in mechanical engineering.

SG

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