The Tribune - Spectrum


, September 29, 2002

Write view
Meeting the challenges of a new economic order
Randeep Wadehra

Business Management and Globalisation
edited by G.S. Batra and R.C. Dangwal. Deep & Deep, N. Delhi. Pages: Vol.1 – xiv+405; Vol.2 – xii+308; Vol.3 – xiv+514; Vol.5 – xii+472. Rs 3500 for the four-volume set.

Business Management and GlobalisationDURING the past decade there has been a paradigm shift in the conduct of commercial activities in India. Shedding the socialism-laced mixed economy blueprint, our policy makers have embraced the free market doctrine with globalisation and liberalisation as guiding principles. With the opening up of our economy, local business organisations have been exposed to foreign competition, thus heightening the awareness for efficient utilisation of the various factors of production, and making economic reforms inevitable. Excellence has become the corporate buzzword.

Despite the feel-good syndrome drummed up through media hype there are several problem areas in our economy. The study points out that our balance of payments situation is none too happy for such reasons as deceleration in the domestic oil production growth rate, repayment obligations to the IMF, spurt in imports due to the liberalisation and high fiscal deficits. Similarly, our PSUs’ performance has been dismal. India’s export performance is much below its actual potential. Development of product groups already identified for export promotion has suffered due to poor execution of such basic programmes like capacity enhancement, quality upgradation, packaging etc. It is lamentable that other developing countries, which once lagged behind us, are now far ahead in export markets.

The new scenario makes it imperative that marketing be of the highest international standards. Innovations need to be constantly introduced in our marketing techniques. The seller has to take into account several factors like consumer awareness, product quality, packaging, design etc. while evolving marketing strategy. Again, different products and services require different approaches, e.g., tourism industry is service oriented and has to keep fickle consumer tastes constantly in focus, while electronic goods marketing needs to focus on technological features based brand promotion.

The role of banks in the new economy needs to be pro-active. Bank managers now feel impelled to go out and identify the areas that need financial support for development. Such corporate projects, of course, need to be not merely viable but winners in the long term. Again, banks need to shed their traditional sloth and ‘bureaucratic’ mindset in order to cope with the dynamics of a liberalised economy.


Needless to say that with the competition becoming stiff, primary, secondary as well as tertiary sectors need major restructuring. Product quality needs to be modernised and infrastructure augmented; services ought to be consumer oriented and innovative ideas should be actively encouraged. Therefore, the managerial perspective must be in sync with the changing times. Human resource development becomes imperative here.

Specialisation in the workforce has already reached highly sophisticated levels, yet the limits are constantly extended. Super-specialisation is no more the prerogative of medical fraternity alone. Today, human resource management is the most important factor in running any enterprise. With liberalisation, the corporate sector is making massive investments in human resources. Every organisation worth its salt has a separate full-fledged HRD department. Various restructuring schemes are being employed to ensure optimum manpower planning and proper career plotting. This is being facilitated through scientific recruitment and training techniques.

This four-volume set suggests that when the international business environment is undergoing rapid transformation and a new world economy is sought to be actualised through multilateral trade agreements, it becomes necessary to restructure agriculture, industry and related sectors of the economy to meet the new challenges emanating from such transformation. The first volume — a collection of papers contributed by management experts — attempts to highlight the emerging issues of globalisation and liberalisation. Chapters like ‘Global trends in accounting’, ‘Globalisation and its policy implications’ etc are thought provoking.

The second volume comprises writings on marketing management, practices, policies and emerging trends in global business. The contributors argue that marketing is what sets the economy in motion. Scientific market management makes the economy strong and dynamic. Rich in case studies, this volume offers insights into such diverse fields as rural marketing in Garhwal hills, tourism marketing, market-oriented farming etc.

The third volume studies developments in financial services, institutions and markets. The contributors deal with the economy’s structural facets, problems and scope. They argue that financial innovations have changed the whole composition and functioning of commercial markets. The response of foreign investors to the liberalisation process has been ‘very encouraging’.

The fourth volume points out that in order to cope with the challenges of survival, competitiveness and growth the business management discipline becomes all the more important. An organisation’s management evolves through a mix of science and art of administration, i.e., imaginative utilisation of available scientific knowledge and resources. Therefore, argue the contributors to this volume, while constructing business management models sufficient allowance should be made for practical wisdom – the experience gained through on-field or shop-floor work.

This comprehensive and well-researched study of the various aspects of our efforts to meet the challenges of a new world economic order should interest management and economics students.