Friday, June 30, 2006

Nicholas Piramal flying towards UK

Nicholas PiramalIndian pharmaceutical major, Nicholas Piramal, has signed a pact to buy global pharma giant Pfi zer’s UK facility. The deal has been signed by Nicholas Piramal’s wholly owned UK subsidiary, NPIL Pharmaceuticals (UK) Ltd. (earlier known as Avecia Pharmaceuticals), which will acquire Pfizer’s Morpeth facility in UK, on an asset purchase basis. This is the third in a string of acquisitions by Nicholas Piramal in UK. Earlier, it had acquired Rhodia’s Inhalation Anaesthetics in December 2004 and Avecia’s Custom Manufacturing, in December 2005. With this acquisition, Nicholas Piramal is targetting an annual turnover of $200 million from custom manufacturing.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

You meet the meanest people on a...

In reality, Honda faces many critical issues in India. And the biggest of them is its lack of presence across segments. According to SIAM, the compact segment (A2) registered a growth rate of 15%, the mid-size segment (A3) grew by 8.14%, the executive segment (A4) declined by a negative 9% and the premium segment (A5) grew by 7%. Honda is currently present only in the least growing segments (A3 & A5), and thus is losing out on volumes. Worse, Honda is now launching the Civic in the A4 segment, the only negative growing segment.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

When America discovered its placebo in a racehorse…

Seabiscuit was a small horse, beaten down, no good to look at or any better on the race-track; he was an underdog and people made sure he was treated like one. This was the racehorse Howard would go on to purchase and then place under the training of Tom Smith, a man whose love for horses transcended their racetrack worthiness. And finally he brought in jockey Red Pollard – who’d been left bruised by the tides of life, and like Seabiscuit, was bitter and angry, caught as he was in a continuous scuffle with the world.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


When Michael Gorbachev came to power in 1985, USSR was already on its way to collapse. He publicly announced that the Soviet economy was in deep trouble and needed immediate reorganisation. Although the ex-Russian President employed a number of reforms during 1985-91 in order to transform the stagnating, inefficient Russian economy into more decentralized market oriented economy, he could not save USSR from disintegrating. After the August Coup of 1991, his most famous plans of peresetroika and glasnost eclipsed and proved to be a disastrous failure.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Iron Maggie rusts

When she won her 3rd term, Tory legend Margaret Thatcher became the first British prime minister in more than 160 years to do so. The Labour Party was in tatters, and the Iron Lady had reached heights few could comprehend with a far-right ideology where the state ceded space to the private sector. She was ‘raring to get to work’ to privatise water, electricity, airports, and some said, anything that moved.

Friday, June 02, 2006


The companies we studied approached the challenge of platform focus in remarkably consistent ways. Specifically:

1. They put credible chief growth officers in charge: In every successful case, the head of an NGP unit, or chief growth officer, was a future contender for the CEO position or a unique senior executive with credibility, organisational skill and a deep interest in opportunities beyond the current mix of businesses.

2. They put an organised and empowered team in place to identify and develop new ideas: The NGP team should consist of three or four senior executives, who possess a thorough understanding of the company’s markets and operations and are also entrepreneurial and have experience in building new businesses. They should have the authority to take big decisions quickly on major investments, and they should be able to advise the operating managers they recruit for the businesses created on the platform.
3. They have NGP units that are independent and embedded: They have to be independent, because looking for NGP opportunities requires an ability to step out of an existing business model and culture. While a strong measure of freedom is important an NGP unit must be well embedded in the corporation in order to identify existing knowledge, processes and assets.

4. Th ey guarantee financial independence: Typically, we found that in successful companies, investment capital for the unit was separated from the budget and operated as a discretionary enterprise growth fund of some kind. The fund investments were authorised by the investment committee or a representative group within the executive team office.

5. They systematically defi ne the processes of NGP creation and the roles of various participants: In the successful companies we studied, the CEO framed the challenge, then the executive team selected the chief growth offi cer, created the unit, identifi ed new domains and took stock of core capabilities. Th e NGP team shaped new platforms, identifi ed capabilities to be assembled and noted potential acquisitions. Th is careful attention to articulating the process of platform innovation & related activities builds companywide commitment to the idea of NGPs.