The first session post lunch of the second day of ISA seminar on ‘Building Global Brands out of India’ saw Suhel Seth, CEO, Counselage; B S Nagesh, CEO, Shoppers’ Stop; and Kishore Biyani, MD, Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd analyse the ‘Role of government in making our firms globally competitive’.
Seth began by saying that government did play a critical role as far as dialogue between countries went. “The trick will be to leverage the potential of the government as a state machinery command. The government can play a key role in expanding the pie of consumers and it is important to wash away the level of distrust between government and companies,” he said.
“The next round of economic development can happen through consumption, and the government will have to look at driving this growth. We as a nation have never planned for the future, but now we need a new level of thinking and a scenario planning for the future. The whole world is looking at India, but we ourselves don’t look at India,” stated Biyani.
Taking off from where Biyani left, Nagesh said, “The government will have to behave the way modern companies want. Everything that is done is not done to help the consumers, though to some extend things are done to help businesses, but definitely not consumers. To create the great Indian brand for global consumption, we need to create a globally competitive Indian brand and the role of government will thus have to be that of a facilitator.”
Piramal Group’s Shrikant Gupte of spoke briefly on the HR implications on nationalisation and said that while Indian companies were going abroad, the key thing required was self confidence. Arun Maira, Chairman, BCG India, spoke on ‘Developing leadership with a global mindset’.
In the last session of the seminar, Dr R A Mashelkar, Director General, CSIR; Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Nicholas Piramal India Ltd; and Alan Rosling, Executive Director, Tata Sons; spoke of ‘A strategic vision for India’. Mashelkar said, “To make India a land of opportunities, we need to look at inclusive growth.” He also spoke of the positive aspects and growth of sectors like research and development in India. In his pre-recorded speech, Mashelkar said, “Indian IQ is being used to create IP for international companies and the challenge is in how we make Indian IQ for Indian IP. And for all this innovation is the key.”
Piramal said that the difference between the rich and poor and between castes needed to be reduced. He asserted that knowledge was critical and “we have it and we need to leverage it to the maximum”. Rosling also felt that India could be and should be and must be the latest beneficiary of globalisation.