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Indian IT Firms Harvard’s Latest Study Guide
si Team
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Guess what’s going to be taught at the Harvard Business School soon - business models adopted by mid-tier Indian IT firms like MindTree and Zensar Technologies, which have emerged unscathed from the downturn. Some well known names in the Indian IT industry are also part of this new case study by Harvard.

Among the list of personality profiles the students of this high profile B-school will delve into will be names like S Gopalakrishnan, CEO Infosys, Anand G Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra and Mahindra, Britannia Industries MD, Vinita Bali, and ICICI Bank Chairman, KV Kamath.

David A Garvin, the C Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration at the B-school, is on an India mission, building up case studies along with his research associates on the two midsize companies. They are conducting extensive interviews with top 25 senior executives of Indian firms to understand the distinctive qualities of the Indian business environment, organizations, and leadership.

Garvin says that the economic meltdown and the aggressive growth of emerging markets were among the reasons to study more about Indian companies, which have surfed past the difficult times successfully. “What I found is that companies like Infosys take the perspective of multiple stakeholders. Shareholders are important, so are the executives, employees, customers, and the public. It is different from the U.S. where shareholder views dominate,” Garvin pointed out. He says that organizations such as Infosys have a wonderful system of planning for a slack. “They move around their resources, because there is a fair degree of unpredictability in the environment.”

The case study Garvin is focusing on will include workplace practices like innovations in terms of knowledge management at MindTree and innovative human resource practices and vision community at Zensar. “The distinctive aspect of these companies is their management practices. MindTree has a distinctive culture, because they have a very strong value system, like sharing and their belief in collaborations,” says Garvin who first visited India in 1969. “Zensar has got a vision community, where a cross section of the organization is empowered to develop proposals on major policies and issues of the company. You don’t see this form of empowerment very often,” the Harvard Professor adds.

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