Article: The L&T view: Today, it is all about imagineering

C-Suite

The L&T view: Today, it is all about imagineering

In conversation with the leaders of Larsen & Toubro about creating innovative organisations
 

Balancing between action and reflection is an ongoing exercise and we have many mechanisms to encourage this balance

 

What do you see as the one organizational strength that makes L&T unique in your industry?

U.Dasgupta: Among the different factors that make L&T a successful organization, I believe a strong
reputation is our biggest organizational strength. This reputation has been built by consistently being in the forefront of the industry, with a strong company ethos focused on providing value to the customer - faster, better and cheaper in case of engineering & construction projects and finally with a culture of hard work and effort across the
organization.

How does this reflect in your organization structure and your corporate culture?

S.C. Bhargava: Organization structure should not be an impediment for growth. There are some functions that play an essential role in maintaining our strength of customer centricity and excellence in execution - like for example, the quality control team. Which is why this team reports to the management team directly. The rest of the organization structure is aligned to the aim we have set to achieve, without becoming a barrier for improvement and growth.

M.S. Krishnamoorthy: The core strengths of L&T corporate culture are the opportunity for challenging and exciting jobs, due to the access of new technologies and methodologies; a strong sense of pride and purpose, due to the contribution that we have to our country’s development; and the aspiration for career growth, our management team is largely people that have risen from within the organization.

Companies evolve organically as a response to market forces, opportunity and competition. How has been the evolution of L&T core strengths?

Yogi Sriram: As a company, L&T has evolved, over the years, from being a company of engineers, focused on engineering excellence to empowering people to ‘imagine’ how we can leverage our end-to end capabilities in new fields. This evolution has changed the business landscape we operate in but the core of our organization remains the same - Pride, Respect for the individual and Caring for people. The phrase that now fuels the spirit of L&T is “Imagineering” that has replaced the words “We make the things that make India proud”, which still kindles pride in the hearts of every L&T employee and their families

How do you encourage managers to balance between Action & Reflection, between Opportunities & Capabilities – as both execution and strategy play a key role in value creation?

U.Dasgupta: Balancing between action and reflection is an ongoing exercise and we have many mechanisms to encourage this balance. For example, we have many learning sessions that we run once the projects have been completed to explore the learning opportunities from each project. For ongoing projects, we also have regular reviews that help us in identifying strengths and areas of improvement. We also use cross functional teams extensively, to study past and current projects on how we can execute better, faster and cheaper. We also engage with external consultants to get their independent view and capture it in this reflection process.

What is your view on outsourcing of non-core functions and if this can contribute to this process of nurturing and developing key competitive advantage?

Yogi Sriram: When it comes to outsourcing, we are careful about choosing areas where vendors can deliver. L&T does not outsource activities where complicated technology or engineering is required.

S.C. Bhargava: Outsourcing is used in two areas, either where you are looking at taking an advantage in terms of differential cost in any given area or where you are looking at building upon the strength of your outsourcing partner, as an
alliance to build on their expertise. The latter one might not be cheaper, but it provides higher output and creates opportunities for improvement. In our case, customer centricity and excellence in execution is paramount, wherever we are able to ensure that quality is maintained or improved we look at using appropriate partners.
 

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Topics: C-Suite, Strategic HR

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