Kumar Mangalam Birla: 'Indian Corporates Need More Accountability'

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Kumar Mangalam Birla, the Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, said Indian companies need to hold themselves accountable to global standards of governance

Written By Nisha Qureshi | Mumbai | Updated On:
Kumar Mangalam Birla

Indian corporates need to hold themselves accountable to global standards of governance if India wishes to re-shape the global economic order, Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said on Tuesday, September 17. Birla said, with changing times the core business philosophy is rapidly moving away from shareholder capitalism to stakeholder capitalism which includes investors, customers, employees and value chain partners.

Indian companies should hold themselves accountable

"For India to reshape the global economic order, Indian companies will have to hold themselves accountable to global standards of governance. I believe this cannot happen by running roughshod over minority shareholders,"

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Birla said issues such as professional CEOs acting as promoters and founders wielding undue and disproportionate clout also needs to change, he added. So from tourism to health care to data sciences, the sheer scale of the Indian economy will ensure that India's imprint is felt on the world. 'It will be a two-way engagement with the world, global companies will seek to harvest India's growing and robust consumer market which is slated to cross USD 6 trillion in the next ten years', Kumar Mangalam Birla said.

The tourism sector has a huge potential

'There is one severely under-exploited sector and that is tourism. Only 11 million foreign tourists come to India annually. This is roughly the same as Bali and possibly close to half of what Barcelona gets, If Stonehenge in the UK can get close to million tourists in a year, the historic world heritage sites of Hampi and Gaya and Ajanta Caves have the potential to get ten times more. Tourism alone, I believe, can be a $100 billion industry. Same is the story with various sectors in India. The country for example, can be centre for the development of healthcare solutions, in the digital domain India can generate trillions of data points due to its sheer size  and hence it could position itself as a hub for data analytics industry globally', Birla said.

Kumar Mangalam Birla also commented on globalisation and asserted that globalisation is here to stay. 'The current climate of protectionism and trade friction will make you believe that globalisation is under retreat. I don't believe so, I believe it is a process and trend that is irreversible, not many would be aware but just two weeks ago a Made-in-China cruise liner was delivered to an American company,' Birla said. Notably, despite all the commotion, bilateral trade between the US and China this year will still be close to USD 600 billion. The wheels of globalisation, according to Birla is that they are definitely not coming off. Global trade, in fact, is increasing at a pace of 3-5 per cent every year.
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Birla proposes nationalism without barriers

Kumar Mangalam Birla also commented on current trends of business in the country. 'So how does one reconcile apparently divergent trends of globalisation and nationalism? I want to propose a new model of globalisation one that is founded on openness, transparency and mutual trust," he noted. He further said: "A model where compulsions of commerce do not obliterate national identities, where globalisation is not just about foreign market share. I call it nationalism without barriers. I believe, we the corporates can show the way', he said.

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