Companies need vision and vitality for constant growth and prosperity, according to T. Hanuman Chowdary, former IT advisor to the Government of Andhra Pradesh. Delivering a talk on ‘Why Big Corporations Fail?', organised by the Department of Business Administration of P.B. Siddhartha College of Arts and Science on Tuesday, Dr. Chowdary said of the several factors that determine the rise or fall of a company, the primary ones include hubris born out of success, an undisciplined pursuit of ‘more', continuous denial of risk and peril and what he called ‘gasping for salvation'.

Listing a number of companies that were reduced to history, he said Arbuthnot and Co. – Tulip Bubble, AT&T, Siemens, RCA, Zenith, Hindustan Teleprinters, Hindustan Cables, Hindustan Antibiotics, General Motors—Pan Am Airways, Enron Fannies Nay, Bank of America, and closer home and the very recent Satyam, had demonstrated how even giant companies could become a thing of the past.

Reasons

Touching upon the causes that foment rapid down-size of the companies, he said success entitlement arrogance; neglect of a primary fly-wheel, replacement of ‘what' with ‘why' and a steady decline in learning orientation was bound to spell doom for any big or small organisation.

Dr. Chowdary said unsustainable quest for growth often leads to confusing ‘big' with ‘great'.

Undisciplined discontinuous leaps, declining proportion of right people in key posts, erosion of cost discipline due to easy cash, bureaucracy subverting discipline, problematic succession of power and placing of personal interest above the organisation's were a sure-fire path to destruction.

The Director of the Centre for Telecom Management and Studies and the former Chairman and Managing Director of Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited also dealt at length on the issue of why turmoil seizes a company.

Explaining how certain prominent companies across the globe that had their place under the sun once came down crumbling and slipped into oblivion and how some other struck it really big, thanks to their thoughtfulness and vision, he cited cases of global giants like Ames & Wall Mart, Motorola, Rubber Maid, Merc, Hewlett Packard, IBM and Nordstrom's Rebound.

Convener of the Siddhartha Academy C. Dutt, director of PG centre K. Krishna Murthy, head of the MBA programme Rajesh C. Jampala and others were present.

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