Friday, December 16, 2011

An Article I Wrote in my 2nd Year at College (2010)

MNCs : Behind the curtains

‘There was a time when Blackberry and Apple were just fruits.’ – A Facebook Group.

A decade ago, we welcomed the new millennium with great enthusiasm and hopes, and as the time flew by, our living standards grew exponentially. But, the most significant change, which is visible all around us, has been, in our mindsets. Today, our choices are highly influenced by the brands we believe in, the brands that carry value, that guarantee service, that have had a remarkable history of sales to boast of. The youth today, is not satisfied by just owning a branded product, but also dreams to be a part of this brand, part of this revolution which has added a new dimension to our lives: the MNCs’ revolution. Let’s look at what exactly are these MNCs, that the whole world is going gaga over ?

Google, Apple, BMW, Adidas - today, these labels are no different to an average citizen of a country. The story would have been an altogether different one, if a particular ‘idea’ hadn’t originated. Thus, the founder of the company is the most important person in an MNC and generally continues as the CEO, as he has the required vision. Had Steve Jobs not got the idea of digital music software from an internet pirate, we would still have been alien to the word ‘iPod’. Also, the Ikea wouldn’t have been among the leaders in low-cost furniture, had Ingvar Kamprad not stumbled upon an opportunity to manufacture flat pack furniture. On the other hand, there exist companies who play exception to the above rule. For instance, Eric Schmidt, is appointed as the CEO of Google, founded jointly by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, so as to oversee operations in a more efficient and professional manner.

Managers, which are generally different for different host nations, are responsible for chalking out the strategy of the company’s operations as the strategy is the key to a flourishing business. Different criteria are considered for classifying managers in a company. They are organized on the basis of product specialization, consumer specialization or region specialization. Each manager in a different nation needs to develop different strategies e.g. Tata Nano, which is yet to be sold in some countries like USA, is being modified according to the emission norms of that country. Also, Google has recently decided to end its operations in China due to the various censorship issues, and the no. of growing hackers whom it had to confront there.

Further, the operations of a corporation are divided into certain fields namely finance, marketing, research & design (R&D), production etc. This division of tasks allows the company officials to focus better on enhancing their respective outputs. Each field has the capability to act as a twist and turn around the fate of the company. Google guys deserve accolades for financing their operations through an innovative bidding operation for advertisements, in which the second bid goes only one cent lower than the first one. Similarly, other fields, like production, with Adidas and Nike getting their shoes manufactured by more efficient workers i.e. Taiwanese, may work wonders for the company.

Apart from the above mentioned officials, a significant share of the success tasted by a company is attributed to exterior supervisors, which include The Board of Directors, Auditors and the Company Lawyer. The Board of Directors is a body of elected or appointed members, who jointly oversee the activities of a company and are answerable to the stakeholders for the company’s performance. Auditor refers to the person or a firm responsible for the audit of a company. Audits are performed to ascertain the validity and reliability of information and also to provide assessment of a system’s internal control. Fresh in our memories, is the recent Satyam Saga, which is suspected to be initially propagated through a loophole in the operations of its auditing firm, Price Waterhouse Coopers. Then, the last but certainly not the least, is the Company Lawyer, who, by applying his corporate law knowledge to the best, streams the company out of the courtrooms, flawless as ever.

Thus, to cut a long story short, the MNCs are much more than just their brand name and logo. It is the magnified version of a dream that a common man cherishes in his childhood, and is turned into reality, by the hard work of a large pool of ambitious people. So, the next time you plan to buy a branded item, keep in mind that a whole lot of employees and managers out there, are awaiting your positive response eagerly.