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How diversified should Indian Business houses be?
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Can Indian business houses convert postliberalisation challenges to their advantage? What changes will they have to make to survive, grow and compete in the borderless and toughly competitive world of 2020? Can the traditional family business shed its history of feuds, professionalise its management, be more transparent in its practices and learn to live with lower levels of control? What holds the key to the future - diversification or divestment? Can Indian business houses use joint ventures and strategic alliances to access technology and gain a global foothold? In the present knowledge era, can we successfully tap our human capital to competitive advantage? The Round Table discussion this time deals with a host of such issues in charting a route map for the Indian business house to destination 2020. K R S Murthy underscores the need for Indian business to invent a model of management based on its own premises and values, in order to compete effectively in the global arena. For S Raghunath, one definite way ahead for the Indian business house is through joint ventures and strategic alliances, and he probes the factors that make for successful alliances. Taking the focus vs diversification debate further, Rishikesha T Krishnan concludes that diversification needs to be built on a foundation of competitiveness in some core businesses. One of the expectations from the economic reform programme initiated in 1991 was that Indian companies and industries would become more competitive. As a logical corollary, companies were also expected to initiate action for technical upgradation. Have such upgradations really happened in Indian …

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