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First of all, I am grateful to Dr. J.D. Singh of this Institute to have invited me to address you who are going to be the business leaders of  tomorrow.

Business Management in the last 10 years has undergone an immense amount of change. I would like to mention some of the changes which have resulted in changes in the style of management required by business entities.  The service sector has grown and the communication revolution has forced the managers of  today to be more interactive.

I shall, at this time, take you through a brief history of Dabur India Limited (DIL).

Founded in 1884 by my great grand father Dr. S.K. Burman, it is today  an institution with a turnover of USD 400 million or about Rs. 1800 Crores.  How did this come about ? what are the challenges the company had to face for surviving in today’s world.

Right through to 1990, DIL was managed by the family and one member of the family took the reins in leading the company.  While this kind of management was adequate, the family members also took complimentary roles to the leadership, if the Head of the company looked after marketing, then the complimentary role was played by another member who looked after manufacturing.  When the lead was taken by someone from manufacturing, then the complimentary role was played by another family member  for marketing.  It was, thus, a very co-operative kind of management, and the staff and workers considered a part of the family.  It was a paternalistic style

Around 1995, the company engaged McKinsey and Company to advise how the future of the company could be managed.  Upon their recommendations, the family moved out of day-to-day management and it is now left entirely to the professional managers to manage the company. The family looks after only strategic issues, ethical issues and directions which may be required by interacting at the Board of Directors level. Today each manager is held responsible and accountable.

The advantage of this kind of set up is that the professional managers can be transferred or fired for incompetencies, if found wanting. It could not have been possible to fire family members if anyone of them was found incompetent.  You, yourself have seen how the family squabbles can ruin a company.

India as a developing nation has undergone a series of economic reforms in the last 1-1/2 decade, which initially posted chanlleges to the domestic industry.  However, Dabur took these challenges as opportunity to draw the road map to excel in this changing scenario with well defined vision.

Organic & Inorganic growth patterns are being followed worldover.  Dabur took initiative at very early stages, augmented its current resources and expanded its existing business portfolios.  At the same time set samples by taking over several allied business portfolios to establish a clear market leadership.

However, these are are the things of the past. Today, the business scenario is changing with a pace faster than one  can envisage.  World has become one market place.  The technological advancements made in the field of Telecomunications, Electronics, Information Technology has fuelled this process, wherein inventions are made by the hour.  Customer has become the king and is more demanding than ever before whereby the role of business managers has become more challenging and exciting. Creativity and innovation have become distinct ingredients for success.

Taking a recent example of Mr. Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, the Steel Tycon has taken the world by storm.  In a short span of time, he has risen to become an icon for business leaders to follow.  He recognized the immense potential of Indian Managers and driven by his great visionary powers built the largest steel empire.

The metamorphosis of business environment in terms of technology, economy, and leadership has a propelling effect on the role of business managers to equip themselves tobecome global managers.

This evolution has given birth to many more opportunities to the potential managers.  The conventional autocratic style of management has become extinct giving way to management by consensus, participation, empowering people with responsibilities, knowledge, retaining talent pool, encouraging team playing are key ingredients of success.  Hence, there is a clear role for each manager in the making.  Thus, an opportunity exists for each one of you.

It is your skills, attitute and the burning desire to excel that will define the inroad to success and achievements in the global play field.

If I clearly sum up,

  • World economy is undergoing transformation posting major challenges to be taken as opportunities for business growth.

  • Clear vision, impeccable well planned execution, proactive leadership are essential for leading the organization to success.

  • “World as one market” needs managers with global  thinking.

  • Creating and Innovating are essential for continuous growth.

  • Transparent, Participative and Receptive form of management will continue to predominate the industry.

  • Encouraging, Developing and Retaining is the key to build human resource pool for the organization.

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