Dec 14, 2007

Leadership - India's new export

With Vikram Pandit's elevation to the Citigroup top job, I guess we'll see lots of these sort of articles:
The change is visible on the board of the U.S.-India Business Council, once comprised only of executives from U.S. companies doing business in India. Now, the board includes executives from global companies with business in India, Indian-Americans heading global businesses and Indian companies with interest in the U.S.

Board members include Arun Kumar, head partner at KPMG International, Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo Inc. and Lakshmi Narayanan, vice chairman of Cognizant Technology Solutions, an outsourcing company that bills itself as "the best of both worlds."

At the same time, Indians who came to the U.S. to study 30 years ago have worked their way up the ranks of American companies. The latest round of promotions includes Shantanu Narayen, who joined Adobe Systems Inc. in 1998 and was appointed CEO this month.

Others have been in their jobs far longer, such as Ramani Ayer, chairman and CEO of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., who has led the company since 1997.

Some of the rising stars:

_K.S. (Sonny) Kalsi, managing director and global head of Morgan Stanley's real estate investing business, which has $88.3 billion in assets under management

_Meena Mutyala, vice president of engineering and product management for Westinghouse Electric Corp.'s nuclear fuel business worldwide.

_ Sheila Hooda, senior managing director, strategy at $437 billion investment company TIAA-CREF, who was previously a managing director in the investment banking division at Credit Suisse.

The rise of Indian-born executives such as Pandit, who on Monday was named CEO of Citigroup, the world's largest bank, follows by more than a decade the advances of Indian business consultants.

A handful of Indian-born academics, especially Ram Charan and C.K. Prahalad, long-ago established themselves at the upper echelons of business consulting; consultant and author Charan was reportedly the first outsider Jeffrey Immelt turned to for advice when he became CEO of General Electric Co.

Rajat Gupta, who joined McKinsey & Co. in 1973, was elected managing director of the management consulting firm in 1994, then re-elected to two more three-year terms in 1997 and 2000. Gupta is leaving McKinsey at the end of this year to concentrate on his board positions.

One of Gupta's latest gigs: Special adviser on management reform to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.