Family control of the boardroom is loosening as India plc opens up its doors to international expansion and overseas investors. New research from the RSG 2010 India Report has found that only 11 of the top 25 companies in India have a family controlled board.
The imminent launch of Mahindra & Mahindra’s flagship SUV vehicle onto US soil – a move that has been in the pipeline since 2007 – indicates more than a simple reawakening of India’s global corporate ambitions.
Well aware of its stated position as ‘a microcosm of the country of its birth’, Mahindra’s expansion is indicative of the rising sophistication in Indian business strategy - good news for law firms, domestic and foreign.
Anand Mahindra, the vice chairman and managing director, recently revealed to RSG’s managing director that the company selected Strawberry Frog, the US advertising agency, to come up with an appropriate branding campaign. The resulting ‘RISE’ slogan focuses not only on the empowerment of the individual in the imposing Scorpio 4X4, but also represents the literal ‘rise’ of corporate India as much as Mahindra’s expansion in the US.
Recent speculation regarding Essar Group’s potential $3 billion listing on the LSE, as reported in the Financial Times on 8th March, was the most notable name in an emerging trend of Indian corporates looking towards London.
A recent article by DNA India notes comments by LSE officials last week that at least seven Indian companies were looking to list within the next few months. Grant Thornton partner, Fiona Owen, predicts a rush of over 70 Indian companies looking to issue equity on the exchange.
The news provides a timely boost for the LSE, which is still reeling after Rusal’s rejection in favour of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange earlier this year. There are currently 31 Indian companies quoted on the three main LSE markets – AIM, PSE and International Main Market – with only 12 on the latter. Of these, only one company (CESC Ltd.) has ordinary shares listed here.