The Silk Road Rediscovered

Anil K. Gupta, Girija Pande, & Haiyan Wang Jossey-Bass How Indian and Chinese Companies Are Becoming Globally Stronger by Winning in Each Other’s Markets

Anil K. Gupta, Girija Pande, Haiyan Wang, Jossey-Bass (Wiley), 2014 By 2025, China and India will be two of the world’s four largest economies. By then, economic ties between them should also rank among the ten most important bilateral ties worldwide. The Silk Road Rediscovered is the first book ever to analyze the growing corporate linkages between India and China. Their leaders are well aware of these emerging realities. In May 2013, just two months after taking charge, Premier Li Keqiang left for India on his first official trip outside China, a clear signal of China’s foreign policy priorities.

The Silk Road Rediscovered is the first book ever to analyze the growing corporate linkages between India and China. Did you know that:

India’s Mahindra is the fifth largest tractor manufacturer in China?

Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover unit is the fastest growing luxury auto seller in China?

India’s NIIT is the most influential IT training brand in China?

China’s Huawei has its second largest R&D center in Bangalore and employs over 5000 people in India?

Shanghai Electric earns its largest revenues outside China from India?

As these developments illustrate, pioneering Indian and Chinese companies are rediscovering the fabled Silk Road which joined their nations in ancient times. Winning in each other’s markets is also making them stronger and whetting their appetite for further global expansion. This book examines how Indian companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Mahindra Tractors, NIIT, Tata Motors/Jaguar Land Rover and Sundaram Fasteners have figured out how to win in China. Their experiences may inspire and offer lessons to other Indian companies. The book also examines how Chinese pioneers such as Lenovo, Huawei, TBEA, Haier and Xinxing have made a strong commitment to India and are beginning to realize the fruits of this commitment. The key lessons that emerge from these analyses are: the odds of success go up dramatically when executives adopt a global rather than local-for-local perspective and are skilful at learning on the ground.

Table of Contents

Foreword – William Antholis, Managing Director, The Brookings Institution

  • Ch 1 Asia’s Best-Kept Secret: Growing Economic Links Between India and China
  • Ch 2 Succeeding in China: Opportunities and Challenges
  • Ch 3 Leveraging India’s Home Country Advantages: Tata Consultancy Services in China
  • Ch 4 Making China A Second Home: Mahindra Tractors in China
  • Ch 5 Partnering with Chinese Institutions: NIIT in China
  • Ch 6 Driving Indirectly into China: Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover
  • Ch 7 Committed Pioneers: Chinese Companies in India
  • Ch 8 A China Roadmap for Indian Companies
Executive Summary In May 2013, barely two months after his election by the Communist Party Congress, Premier Li Keqiang embarked on his maiden official visit outside China. The first stop on his tour: a three-day visit to India, a clear signal of China’s foreign policy priorities. Like many neighbors, the relationship between India and China remains full of tensions, economic as well as geopolitical, that are unlikely to melt anytime soon. We predict however that, by 2025, economic ties between the two countries will be among the ten most important bilateral ties in the world. By then, China and India are likely to rank among the four largest economies in the world. Both are also launching global champions across a range of industries from technology (Tata Consulting, Infosys, Huawei and Lenovo) to heavy manufacturing (Tata Motors, Mahindra, Geely and Chery) to consumer goods (Godrej and Shuanghui). Given the size and growth rate of the two economies, Chinese and Indian companies with global ambitions have little choice but to look across the Himalayas and see one of the world’s largest markets sitting right next door. Economic ties between India and China have been dominated so far by trade rather than investment. Bilateral trade between the two grew from less than US$3 billion in 2000 to US$69 billion in 2012. In contrast, the stock of direct investment has been small. However, the picture is changing rapidly. India’s Mahindra Group is now the fifth largest tractor manufacturer in China with a market share of about 9-10%. Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover subsidiary (JLR) has been the fastest growing luxury auto seller in China and is now investing in a manufacturing plant as well as R&D facilities. China’s Huawei has its second largest R&D center in Bangalore and employs over 5000 people in India. Lenovo is one of the top three PC companies in India. And, Haier manufactures refrigerators at a plant in Pune. These are just some of the developments presently underway and illustrate how pioneering Indian and Chinese companies are busy rediscovering the fabled Silk Road which joined their nations and served as the avenue for economic links and mutual learning in ancient times.

The Silk Road Rediscovered is the first book ever to analyze the growing corporate linkages between India and China. It is the product of the authors’ academic rigor combined with their wide-ranging and deep executive and consulting experience. Importantly, it also brings together the authors’ diverse national backgrounds as well as upbringing and professional experience across several cornerstone economies - India, China, Singapore and the United States.

The authors trace the historical ties between the two civilizations, the recent history of geopolitical tensions between them, how their citizens view each other, and the future of economic links between them. They look at the potential opportunities and challenges that China will offer during the coming decade to foreign companies, including those from India. They present insightful case studies of the China journeys of several Indian companies including TCS, Mahindra Tractors, NIIT and Tata Motors/Jaguar Land Rover. These case studies may inspire and offer lessons to other Indian companies contemplating a move into China. The book also includes case studies of pioneering Chinese companies – Lenovo, Huawei, TBEA, Haier and Xinxing - that have made a strong commitment to India and are beginning to realize the fruits of this commitment. The authors close by offering a China-focused strategic roadmap for Indian companies.

The Silk Road Rediscoverd is targeted at the leaders of Indian and Chinese multinationals for whom the other country could be a supplier, a customer, a competitor, and a partner and who view their Himalayan neighbor with a sense of mystery and perhaps trepidation. It should also be of high value to the leaders of multinational corporations (MNCs) in the U.S., Europe, Japan, South Korea and other countries. Success of major Indian and Chinese companies in each other’s markets is bound to strengthen them, whet their appetite for further global expansion and create stiffer competition in the future. Thus, it is important for MNC executives to know what’s afoot. The book should also be of high interest to policy-makers, scholars as well as business students worldwide with an interest in the rise of global champions from India and China.

Endorsement

  • "To become really global, Indian business must extend its footprint to China. A must read."
  • - S. Jaishankar, Ambassador of India to the United States and former Ambassador to China  
  • “This book could not be more timely. Gupta, Pande and Wang explain well how companies in both countries can leverage off each other.”
  • - Kishore Mahbubani, Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore  
  • "With its trenchant analysis and wide as well as deep perspective, this book is an indispensable guide."
  • - Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra  
  • "Brilliant analysis. I recommend this book highly to the leaders of not only Chinese and Indian companies but also to those of any aspiring global enterprise."
  • - Guo Ping, Dy Chairman & Rotating CEO, Huawei Technologies  
  • "Provides a timely strategic roadmap for Chinese and Indian companies to succeed in each other’s markets. Essential reading."
  • - Ajit Rangnekar, Dean, Indian School of Business  
  • "Directs the searchlight on a key global relationship – that between India and China – focusing on their economic ties. An important study."
  • - Nirupama Rao, fmr Foreign Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs and former Ambassador of India to China and the U.S.  
  • "A pioneering book....Lays out the case for mutual engagement and provides detailed analyses."
  • - Ratan N. Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons Ltd. (1991-2012)  
  • "A pioneering work which should be on the desk of every global manager. Gupta, Pande and Wang have left a legacy which will inspire many keen observers of global forces shaping our world."
  • - Shane Tedjarati, President & CEO, Honeywell Global High Growth Regions