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CII National Summit: Pepsi, Ambuja share the winning mantras

29-October-2004
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CII National Summit: Pepsi, Ambuja share the winning mantras

What makes a company world class is replicability and adaptability of values, culture and people, said Rajeev Bakshi, Chairman, Pepsi India, “People have talked about ethics, leadership qualities and so on but what I believe is that there is an intrinsic connect between the brand and the character of the company.”

Speaking on the essence of value system, Bakshi argued, “Values to my mind are something that is constant. There is a certain value system of an organisation whether it is in India or anywhere else in the world and the replicability of that should be absolutely in terms of mirror replicability and no deviation from that. So what should I change in my value system and what should I adapt to my value system when I am coming as a US multinational in India, the answer is nothing. I think if you don’t change anything that in my mind is the best thing to do.”

Referring to culture, he said it was slightly amorphous. “The core culture of a multi national company has to remain intact but at the same time when you talk of 18-20 rules, I would say that if you are able to replicate the value systems then you are at liberty to change at least half the culture of the organisation to reason the entry to another country,” he said.

“The culture is a manifest behaviour in the organisation which should give you the most efficient output,” said Bakshi.

Harshavardhan Neotia, Managing Director, Ambuja Cement – East, shared how his company nursed back from being sick. He spoke on how the company fought back from the losses and regained the market share. “Conventional wisdom prompted that to turnaround a sick organisation, we need to bring in fresh blood. But I had an organisation of 1400 people where 90 per cent of the staff was there from the inception. So we really couldn’t think of retrenchment.”

Neotia said: “The takeover was a very important decision for the family and if it failed I would have to carry the stigma. Perhaps that moment turned out to be the turning point. I had to deal with people. I therefore decided to take the route of transforming the attitude, approach and hoped that this in turn would redeem the organisation. I found that people within the organisation soon came up with the solutions to problems we had inherited. Things began to change and the company nursed back. My personal learning from this was that people within the organisation who previously could not deliver, now chose to succeed.”

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