20 JULY, 2023: Dr. R Sridhar, Former Head, Corporate Human Resources, ITC Ltd., and Mr. Prasad Gantasai, Senior Vice President and HR Global Head, Wipro Ltd., delivered guest lectures on ‘Managing Growth’ at ITC and Wipro, respectively, to PGP students at IIMB as part of a ‘Corporate Strategy’ course offered by Professor Deepak Chandrashekar.
Dr. Sridhar explained how ITC leveraged vertical integration and diversification to grow. Discussing the growth strategies implemented by ITC, he said relatedness of businesses contributes to the success of a corporate entity. He pointed out that corporates suffer from conglomerate discount when they venture into every business without relatedness. Further, he elucidated how the headquarters of corporates add governance cost for the purpose of obtaining economic gains without nurturing the businesses that form a corporate. “Top of the bottle should not be a bottleneck,” hew added.
Mr. Prasad spoke about the competitive landscape of Wipro and its growth trajectory in the IT industry. Specifically, he talked about the role of inorganic growth in terms of mergers and acquisitions to access new capabilities and enter new markets. He emphasised the need for due diligence before an acquisition. Citing examples of both successful and failed acquisitions, he explained the importance of integration strategies in reaping economic synergies from acquisitions. He said it is better to let some acquired businesses to be independent and some others to be integrated completely based on the psychological and cultural distance between the employees of the acquirer and the acquiree.
Both guest speakers provided the students with exposure to practical challenges that corporates confront while they grow. This helped students to link theories learnt in class to real-world challenges.