06 December, 2020

People, The Real Tree

Indian corporates master the game of takeovers. But integrating people? That's tough business.

People, The Real Tree
Earlier this year, when the Aditya Birla Group acquired Canadian aluminium-maker Novelis Inc, it got more than a ranking in the Fortune Global 500. Almost overnight, it also acquired over 12,800 people from five different continents who found it difficult to pronounce 'Aditya Birla', let alone work for an Indian conglomerate. It didn't help much that the Indian employees knew neither Spanish nor German.

As India Inc's appetite for takeovers, abroad or at home, grows only larger, it is coming to realise that not just financial and technological strengths and resources, it's people and culture that can make or mar business marriages. Kumarmangalam Birla, chairman, Aditya Birla Group, speaks for the entire industry when he says, "There is a whole new gamut of challenges that keeps arising—the magnitude and scale of which we have not dealt with in the past."

According to financial advisors Grant Thornton, India, there were 213 mergers and acquisitions (M&AS) in the first four months of 2007, with a total value of $42.92 billion. Of...


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