The Key to Successful Global Expansions


What succeeds at home may not work overseas.  This is the claim of the chairman of an Indian company that has embarked on global expansion across 36 countries and five continents.  He maintains that often it is the past successes that can lead to blindness in new contexts and that attitudes such as ‘our formula has worked successfully now, why change it’ can severely hinder the successes of organisations as they embark on global expansion.
A recent McKinsey & Company article ‘Butter chicken at Birla’ examines the experiences and recommendations from the chairman of Aditya Birla Group.  As the company expanded into new countries that were culturally unfamiliar, there were many dilemmas that arose – most of them unforeseeable.  Building trust, leading and working within cross border teams, sharing a sense of cross border kinship, respecting and straddling cultural traditions and recruiting global talent across borders are just some of the issues that Aditya Birla Group experienced and tackled.
This article offers a refreshing view of the lessons learned from a culturally intelligent organisation that has successfully expanded from an emerging market into the global arena.