News: India's business leaders' dilemma: When to choose their next leader?


India's business leaders' dilemma: When to choose their next leader?


to be written


While the management fraternity talks about leadership development and building talent pipeline, India’s largest business houses seem to be a step behind as they struggle to find the right answer to this one question – how to choose the next leader?
April 20th saw 75 family-owned businesses in deep discussion trying to find the answer to this one question hanging on everyone’s mind. Interestingly, this meeting included John Ward, Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Centre for Family Enterprises at Kellogg School of Management, and MV Subbiah, Ex-Chairman of the Murugappa group - a conglomerate that successfully transitioned from a family-run business into a professionally managed one were, is speculated to have resulted in crucial findings that will probably help these organizations find the answer to the most crucial dilemma.

India’s three corporate behemoths, Infosys, Tatas and L&T, face the challenge of an absolute absence of any method to find the right heir who can lead such huge empires. While Infosys may be a little better prepared given their investment in leadership development, the other two, it seems, do not have appropriate plans in place. The struggle is as the Tata Group missed its March deadline to announce Ratan Tata's successor, and L&T is on the edge as they are expected to announce AM Naik's replacement by March 2012. If these business behemoths do not turnaround the right answers on time, it will make India popular for messing up its successions. This might be a lesson for many others to take a serious note their existing processes to nurture leaders and make transparent decisions. An interesting trivia here is that according to Bain Corporate Governance in India Survey, 2009, only 25% boards actually discuss succession planning.

Topics: Updates, C-Suite

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