Our acquisition strategy is very clear: 3×3. Three continents – Asia, Africa and South America, and in three categories where we have strong positions – personal wash, household care and hair care.
People should be encouraged by things like awards given for corporate governance practices.
Corporate governance should be done more through principles than rules.
Politicians and bureaucrats must learn to stay away from the day-by-day functioning of business.
There must be an opportunity that matches with our strategy. Just because we have a gap, we don’t want to go and acquire anything and everything. What we acquire should fit in with our strategy, human resources and market expectations.
When we acquire businesses in the developing world, we estimate if the growth opportunities are strong.
We own only a small percentage in Omnivore, but we manage it. It is basically a venture capital fund to help newer enterprises and provide them with the funding they require in their early stages of development.
We started the 10/10 objective in 2011, and that time, our turnover was about Rs. 15,000 crore. We would like to have a turnover of Rs. 1,50,000 crore by 2021. This will be through high growth in domestic and international operations as well as through acquisitions.
We have a company, Geometric Software, which is into engineering services software. We have a company called Nature’s Basket, which is into gourmet retailing. Both are specialized companies.
We are not into financial services, and we are not interested also because we find we are better in branded marketing enterprises.
Our expectation is that by 2050, which is a long time away, India will be the largest economy in the world, overtaking both the U.S. and China.
There are too many politicians in the world and too few statesmen.
In 2008, when the global financial crisis struck, it was a bad year for a lot of developing countries, and it manifested itself in consumer confidence.
A good monetary policy follows inflationary expectations and not historical numbers.
From our group, we’ve had joint ventures with a lot of international companies: Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Sara Lee, currently with Hershey’s and Tyson. We’ve learned a lot of the best practices.
When you are growing at a rapid rate, there is bound to be some inflation. I think a 5% rate of inflation is something that we should take in our stride.
If global oil prices or commodity prices are high, then it is bound to create inflation. So, we should not be too worried if the inflation is created by global commodity prices. When they come down, inflation will automatically come down.
You can’t have a regime which continuously subsidizes things; as inflation rises, you keep prices of certain things unchanged.
I’m not too involved in day-to-day matters. I only supervise at the board level.
It’s a mistake to believe technology rests outside India. We compete very successfully.
We find it much better not to try and take the Godrej brand across, but use very strong brands we have acquired in different geographies and push them.
We have very strong succession plans across all group companies. But we do not comment on it. The retirement age is 60 years, but it does not apply to family professionals who work in the business.
The Godrej group is expanding rapidly. However, we are not diversifying much.
I feel the Godrej brand has generally come to signify trust to most consumers. 400 million Indians use one or the other Godrej product on a daily basis, and they have come to accept it. We will, thus, continue positioning Godrej strongly on the trust platform.
We continue to look at accretive and synergistic acquisitions both in the domestic as well as international markets. Our emphasis, thus, will be on strategic acquisitions, and we will not be doing it just for the sake of making our name bigger.
We were licencees of Sara Lee Corp’s air freshener brand Ambi Pur, which they sold to Procter and Gamble. So we handed it over to Procter and Gamble. Now we will introduce our own brand of air freshener.