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Turnaround Wizard Image Credit: Outlook Business
Turnaround Wizard Image Credit: Outlook Business

Turnaround Wizard

Riding on calculated risks and consistent performance, Motherson Sumi transformed itself into a global autoparts giant. And it is neither stopping here, nor changing its strategy one bit

Himanshu Kakkar

There are no uncles and aunts here. If you are related to me, you aren’t allowed in this company,” Vivek Chaand Sehgal declares categorically. Which is kind of ironical, when you recall that his company started back in 1975 as a silver trading outfit in partnership with his mother and was even named after that — Motherson. But considering that the $9.1-billion Motherson Group of today bears no resemblance to that tiny enterprise of 40-odd years ago, it’s clear that separating management and ownership is just a tiny aspect of the kind of transformation the Delhi-based group has undergone.

That’s underlined when you try to fix a meeting with Sehgal. As dates are tossed around and changed repeatedly, Sehgal’s communication team explains wryly that the founder and chairman of the auto ancillary conglomerate is out of the head office in Noida for as many as 300 days in a year. He’s raking up frequent flier miles visiting Motherson’s 230 facilities in 33 countries and, probably, hunting for prospective acquisition targets. Finally, a long discussion with Sehgal and top management later, it emerges that it’s hardly a hunt.

“We don’t go after companies. Carmakers themselves have asked us in the past to solve the problems in component companies by

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