RAVI UPPAL – Managing Director & Group CEO JINDAL STEEL & POWER LTD.
What is the difference between MNCs and indian companies?
MNCs basically have presence globally, having operations in different countries. Most of the mnc find their origins in USA Canada japan etc Indian companies are also trying to become mnc The natural definition of mnc is companies coming from the developed countries. I started my career in public undertaking in India. And then eventually I moved to Europe and spent about 15 years there. Working for MNCs is little bit different from working for an Indian company They are system driven value driven and very formal in their set up whereas an indian company is much informal as compared to mnc which is 80% formals Culturally very different as i moatly worked with European countries and which was very enlighting experience.
Which says that to think at the back of your mind how it is there as compared to how it is work back home
And you make conscious effort to learn their culture as opposed to certain things that we are not that formal and organised that you make such corrections and improvement all the time. So indian concern is whether you take a company a mnc in making larsen and toubro as they already gone to other countries and they already had busbess over there so long and haven’t set up their business there Lt is still called mnc in making Company like jspl is also mnc because we have presence in several continents by way of our mining operations plant in oman south africa etc but i still call them mnc in making There are many factors which will favour us and our demography is youthful highly it savvy New technology savvy as opposed to the european where societies are ageing. Earlier the family business were promoted and led by the generations but now there many new business set ups are coming up like ecommerce.
Why it is indian brand is not known world wide whereas a foreign brand is known world wide?
There you have to distinguish between two things A product brand and company brand Company brands are big in size in capital etc But whereas product brands like panasonic sony etc are known for their products and are available world wide as they are engineer based products and if we talk about apple brand is known for innovations Lenovo is second largest producer of computers Acquired ibm and give lenovo as name It takes lot of effort to create a innovative product which sells lot of countries globally. We haven’t produced any innovative product yet In 1991 we were living a very controlled economy. We first went to expand quantities. Everybody started focusing on quantity. China they dint go for brands initially but now they are thinking that they should go for brands. More than 50% steel is being produced for chinese worldwide And we are coming to 2nd in terms of steel Cement they are number 1 Cars they are number 1
What kind of challenge does jindal face worldwide And as a CEO what kind if strategies you follow regarding the perception of people for industry like steel? How do you plan jindal steel to be a global brand purse? What is that value preposition jindal is giving to its customers which you think is not copiable by others?
Brand can be for an organisation Brand can be for a product Brand for product goes normally on the strength of innovation and novelty and the unique value offering, it can come from the smallest country or can be from the major country Since we have a commodity business we cannot have a brand for a product What we can deliver as organisation is company that delivers values, keeps its promises or which is diff from others
The whole strategy is to build brand value in India and out of thirty best five plants comes out from India and we are on the 16th slot in terms of productivity, energy efficiency
What becomes your brand strategy ?
Good companies perform well in high seasons and lean seasons Only the business model changes what the focus are The strategy what we follow is we go for services and on the installed basis We started signing up with the amc’s for the services We found what are the market opportunities which are the niche markets and from where you can get the better returns We pushed very hard into rails Rails is a very attractive product We went to Iran and took 150 % business of rails from Iran Single order of 1000cr with 500 cr of profit
What kind of leadership qualities you follow and does it change according to the situation?
Leadership style has to be dynamic You cant have one type of leadership all the time I absolutely agree because you react according to the situation If it is bad time your leadership style change and if the business is growing and having good time your insight changes You have to be flexible and adaptable in your style Most importantly you should be good example to be a leader. Making people to set their targets and making them to achieve all. I deeply focus on execution of ideas this is universally and globally true. Many companies did fail because they fail in proper execution of ideas .for this i think you need to be a very good listener and need to follow a day to day hierarchy to have enough control over the processes, checkpoints .as one can not do everything so hierarchy is very important .
We started in a very small way i keep on telling that whenever we have management meetings or a board meeting you took age profile of all the board members .75% employees are 30 yrs in age but there is no one who is representative in board meeting where all the decisions are taken . So i tell them whatever decision we are taking its according to our own perspective disregards to those 75% employees .young gen thinks so differently even my younger son he has so different mind and thinking process . I always surround myself with young people as there is so much learning from them and all my executives and assistants they all are in the age group of 27- 30 yrs .i think that is what keeps you updated .new technology these young minds are so good at it..sometimes I told them to come and teach me some new things but for that you should have that flexibility that you can learn from them . But i think in many organisations they dont have mix blend of age groups .Older people have lot of wisdom with them what can happen what not .and the younger people have the energy and exuberance so you have to marry the two together . One thing i practice in life is i never fix friends on people . Because if you fix and think that he can do this she can’t do this that’s not done . Because you dont know a person’s capability.
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