New book on doing business in India by Roland Berger’s Managing Partner in India Wilfried Aulbur

  • India’s gross domestic product set to grow more than 7 percent per year to reach 3.3 trillion dollars by 2020
  • Despite being very attractive to foreign firms, India is not an easy market to develop
  • The automotive, chemical, pharmaceutical and medical device markets are particularly promising
  • The book highlights some of the formulae adopted by companies that operate successfully in the Indian market against the odds
  • India is a good starting point for foreign firms looking to invest in other emerging economies

MUMBAI, India, 19-Dec-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — India is already the seventh largest economy in the world and looks set to climb further up the global rankings. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts more than 7 percent annual growth for India’s gross domestic product (GDP) through the end of the decade. With economic output thus set to total some 3.3 trillion dollars by 2020, the country will have the same level of GDP as Germany in 2015. This makes it an exciting potential market for foreign firms, especially those operating in the automotive sector, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry and the medical device business – but it is also a difficult territory to conquer with numerous obstacles to be overcome. Author Wilfried Aulbur, Managing Partner with Roland Berger in India, portrays the challenges and illustrates how they can be mastered in his new book, Riding the Tiger.

In his detailed treatment of the subject, Aulbur employs specific examples to highlight how domestic and international corporations alike can operate successfully in India’s dynamic markets. The book is not an academic essay dealing with the subject from a bird’s eye view: it is based on the specific experiences the author has had personally in more than 15 years of living and working in the country.

India: A fast growing market with inherent risks

Emerging economies are attractive to foreign firms keen on claiming a slice of the considerable potential they offer. Economic growth rates are often higher than those in developed markets, but these countries are also more prone to being affected by crises beyond their borders. Not to mention the significant effect of home-grown factors like corruption, the uncertain legal situation and political instability. These uncertainties pose difficult-to-quantify risks for businesses. Companies that want to operate successfully in this kind of environment therefore need to be resilient, flexible and agile enough to act fast.

“India is no exception,” explained the book’s author Wilfried Aulbur. “It’s only a few years ago that the government and public sector were rocked by corruption scandals: projects were halted, investors withdrew their money, relations with raw materials suppliers were put on ice. Economic growth slowed as a result; companies were compelled to look to efficiency measures and cost cutting to survive. But now, a cautious optimism has returned.”

Specific examples: Learning from successful companies

The book Riding the Tiger puts the factors behind business success in India under the microscope. The author presents 16 specific examples drawn from leading Indian and global conglomerates as well as smaller firms and start-ups. Key elements in their success are operational excellence, innovation capacity and the right management structure.

“But it’s also very important to have a nose for new opportunities that may suddenly arise in the market,” explained Roland Berger Partner Aulbur. “That said, companies do need to be able to adapt their strategy fast if they find themselves heading toward a dead end. Success in the Indian market depends on having the capacity to spot mistakes fast, the ability to correct them and the will to adapt to constant change.”

With its complexity and its creative chaos, India is a perfect mirror of the VUCA world we live in today, a world that is ever more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. “In this respect, the country is a perfect training ground for companies also interested in operating in other emerging markets in the future,” said Wilfried Aulbur.

Riding the Tiger by Wilfried Aulbur is published by Penguin Random House. The hardcover is available at USD 30, ISBN 9788184007534.

Maximilian Mittereder
Munich Office, Central Europe
+49 89 9230-8180


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