News & Highlights

  • March 2017
  • Alumni News

Weaving Success in India

“Once upon a time,” Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti begins as he recounts the history of weaving in India and the 89-year story of Nalli, his family’s iconic silk sari company. Chetti, interviewed by HBS Professor V.G. Narayanan, is one of 80-plus noteworthy business leaders from Africa, Mexico, Central and South America, South Asia, and Turkey whose wisdom and experience are now enshrined in the Creating Emerging Markets Oral History Collection at Baker Library. This winter, the HBS Business History Initiative, which launched the project, hosted a conference in India to celebrate the addition of more than a dozen in-depth interviews with Indian executives to the collection, including Chetti, Bajaj Group chairman Rahul Bajaj (MBA 1964), and Shahnaz Herbals founder and CEO Shahnaz Husain.

New Research on the Region

  • May 2017
  • Teaching Material

Aadhaar: From Voluntary to Mandatory

By: Tarun Khanna, Anjali Raina and Rachna Chawla

1.1 billion residents of India (99% of the population) had a unique biometric identity- Aadhaar- by 2017. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had in 6 years achieved an unprecedented milestone in emerging and developed markets. The objective stated was to create a corruption-proof social security infrastructure that enables the disenfranchised to access benefits without any diversion to middlemen and unscrupulous elements. Earlier a voluntary scheme, in 2017 GOI made it mandatory. What are the positive and negative implications of this, specifically related to economic development of the majority and the privacy of the individual?

  • May 2017
  • Case

Taj Hotels: Leading Change, Driving Profitability

By: Krishna Palepu, Anjali Raina and Rachna Chawla

Rakesh Sarna, MD and CEO of the Indian Hotels Company ltd (IHCL) was faced with the challenge of leading and embedding changes in IHCL to turnaround its trajectory. IHCL and its subsidiaries, headquartered in India, were a venerable hotel chain, collectively known as Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, and colloquially referred to as Taj Hotels. Taj Hotels, revered across India for their values and renowned for their hospitality, had been plagued with performance challenges since Dec’08. It was August 2016, nearly two years since Sarna had been recruited from the Hyatt Hotels Corporation, with a mandate to revive the flagging fortunes of Taj Hotels. Having introduced a number of changes , Sarna reflects on progress made and next steps required.

  • 2017
  • Working Paper

Learning to Manage: A Field Experiment in the Indian Startup Ecosystem

By: Aaron Chatterji, Solene Delecourt, Sharique Hasan and Rembrand Koning

Management styles and practices are important determinants of firm performance. Yet, substantial variation exists across organizations with regard to management, suggesting frictions in the broader diffusion of management knowledge. We argue that peer networks may allow for the diffusion of productive management across firms. Using a randomized field experiment with 100 high-growth technology firms, we show that founders who received advice from other founders with more “hands-on” management styles were more likely to reorient their own management activity and, subsequently, experience lower employee attrition and higher rates of firm survival eight months after the intervention. For founders who already had a more hands-on management style themselves, these interactions also increase top-line employee growth via an increase in hiring rates. Our study demonstrates management can indeed diffuse across young firms via networks, though the process might be uneven and slow in practice.

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Mumbai Staff

Anjali Raina
Executive Director
Namrata Arora
Associate Director, Special Projects
Saloni Chaturvedi
Rachna Chawla
Assistant Director, Research Services
Tanvi Deshpande
Research Associate
Anthea D’Souza
Associate Director, Financial and Business Administration
Kalpesh Hedulkar
Administrative Assistant
Mahima Kachroo
Research Associate
Rashmi Patel
Research Assistant and Educational Coordinator
Sanjivani Shedge
Executive Assistant
Inakshi Sobti
Associate Director, Community Initiatives
Rachna Tahilyani
Associate Director, Research

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