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2017's Top #3 Corporate Wars That Make India a Battleground

Any feud within the corporate circles garners interest not only from domestic players but from the international community as well.
2017's Top #3 Corporate Wars That Make India a Battleground
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We are not even through the second month of 2017 and India’s corporate sector is brimming with the hottest battles of its times.

India being the fastest growing economy in the world is center focus to investors as well as global giants. Stalwarts from every sector are seeing an early-entry opportunity in India. The government is doing its bit by launching campaigns & organizing investment summits in most states.

In such times, any feud within the corporate circles garners interest not only from domestic players but from the international community as well.

Tussle at Tata Sons

The ouster of former Tata Sons’ chief Cyrus Mistry by the board last October can be called just the tip of the iceberg of problems the Ratan Tata-Mistry feud exposed.

The $100 billion ‘salt to software’ conglomerate’s board announced the helm of leadership to be taken over by Tata Consultancy Services chief N Chandrasekharan this year. Post Mistry’s sacking the board has been fighting a legal battle that has opened a can of worms.

Dissection of the company’s various business running into losses and the board allowing certain businesses to run on emotions made headlines for months. Mistry has fought back allegations of mismanagement and not following the company’s culture fiercely.

In the tussle for supremacy, the Indian corporate culture took a beating exposing India’s first multinational to public scrutiny worldwide.

Mis-Information at Infosys

India’s first IT company be listed on Nasdaq has seen bitter times lately. Co-founder Billionaire Narayana Murthy, often called the Father of the Indian IT Sector, raised corporate governance issues at the second-largest Indian IT services company.

Having stepped down as the CEO of the company in 2011, Murthy is known for offering his esteemed advice on matters that may impact India & Infosys time and again.

This time he picked up the issue of corporate governance against current CEO Vishal Sikka’s compensation package along with severance packages extended to two former employees. In a battle of words, the company has clarified the issues raised by Murthy have shareholders’ approval and called its board independent.

Murthy called off the fight with the company board stating his confidence saying he’s confident the IT giant he co-founded will deal with the concerns raised about corporate governance. Infosys clarified Sikka's compensation was at par with his global peers, rubbished any battle with the founders.

Flipping Out at Flipkart

Flipkart’s woes aren’t new. The Indian unicorn which was the first startup of India to make it big has been battling tough waters since last year.

Top-level exits started last year with one reaching its peak in 2017. The company that is backed by Tiger Global announced its largest investor would take up the CEO’s role. Kalyan Krishnamurthy replaced founder Binny Bansal to drive a revamp of the company’s ailing business.

The operational control of the company was handed over to Krishnamurthy by Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal spurred by Tiger Global’s push.

Exodus continued after Krishnamurthy took up the CEO role. Saikiran Krishnamurthy, former head of Flipkart's logistics unit Ekart, Surojit Chatterjee, SVP and head of product, and chief marketing officer Samardeep Subandh resigned.

Passing on the baton after a long decade did not look like the easiest choices for the Bansals. Without a public spat or a battle of words, venture capitalists took over the operations of the firm that the Bansals ran for 10 years.

Last year, Sachin Bansal was replaced by Binny Bansal as the CEO on the basis if underperformance. 

Edition: March 2017

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