he Godrej Group is one of the oldest and most diversified firms in India. From a lock making company in 1897 to a present day conglomerate – the transformation has been phenomenal. It provides us a rich insight into a company that successfully adapted to a dynamically changing environment.
Once synonymous with locks and safes today it has presence in FMCG, consumer electronics, engineering, IT and other fields. Safely ensconced in the protective environment of the license raj, the liberalization of ‗91 and the ensuing challenges from the MNCs provided yet another stimulus for change. The company shed its image of a closely held family business and moved from a family-owned family managed to familyowned professionally managed organization. The movement has been gradual and marked with a number of hindrances. This can be attributed to the organizational inertia which tries to maintain the status quo.
The two major companies of Godrej group – Godrej & Boyce and Godrej Industries Limited, have sea change of difference in organizational culture and focus areas. While, Godrej & Boyce continues to focus on consumer, industrial and office equipment products, Godrej Industries Limited is more dynamic and focuses on range of sectors including FMCG, retailing, food, IT, real estate, etc. It gives a lot of independence to its affiliate companies and subsidiaries in decision-making. However, the control of Godrej family exists with family members having full control or as board members in some of the companies. The company had other shares of troubles as well, for instance unsuccessful partnership with P&G.
Despite all the troubles, the second and third generation of Godrej families (fourth generation has entered the fray recently), continued to follow the vision of its founders. They diversified, ventured into new areas, and became global. However, they never allowed majority ownership to any of their foreign partner and survived when most of...
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