Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2014

Building a High Performance Culture at IDFC

by V.G. Narayanan and Vidhya Muthuram

Abstract

IDFC was set up in 1997 to direct private finance to infrastructure projects in India. Over the years, it expanded its capabilities to become a 'complete solutions provider' offering financing solutions including debt and equity, investment banking, brokerage and asset management services to clients in the infrastructure sector. With nearly 50% of its employees joining through acquisitions, there were significant cultural differences within the company. In 2009, the company embarked on a journey to build 'One-Firm' with a unifying culture and governance system across business groups. IDFC aimed to provide seamless access to products and expertise across business groups, increase its competitive position and maximize interactions with its clients. A critical component of the One-Firm initiative was a technology enabled performance management system that articulated metrics for individual and group performance, and aligned these with the overall performance of IDFC. While the new system had several strengths, it also raised questions on whether a common system allowed IDFC to recognize and retain talent across its diverse businesses. This case examines if a uniform performance management system provided autonomy and flexibility needed to build a culture of high performance across varied business groups.

Citation:

Narayanan, V.G., and Vidhya Muthuram. "Building a High Performance Culture at IDFC." Harvard Business School Case 114-077, May 2014.