Reputation on the Line?
Indian Management|April 2017

How best can you shore up the image of your organisation when it hits a rough patch.

Mukund Menon

I like what Jeff Bezos said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room.”It takes a long time for an organisation to build a reputation and brand to become what they are known for and what they stand for in the eyes of the world. It takes time and effort for a company to sustain its reputation by engaging individuals through their diverse culture which is reflected in their day to day performance. While it takes a long time to build a reputation and brand image,it does not take too much time to destroy one. The fall is too steep and it takes a miracle or an extremely painful journey to rebuild lost reputation. And mostly, it will not be the same.

Ethics and governance

We have seen classic examples of how once great organisations with good reputation and brand image have gone down in a short period of time. Satyam is a classic example—the incident gave a jolt not only to people within the company, but also to the entire IT industry, Indian corporates, and the country itself. It was considered a great risk for the future of global companies in the country, and for the livelihood of several talented individuals and customers who had faith in the industry. The government stepped in immediately and did a wonderful job in restoring normalcy and did everything possible to ensure that the image of the country and the industry is protected with the future in mind. Today, the company has rebranded itself and regained confidence in the marketplace, and among people and shareholders. It was a herculean task, indeed.

We need to remember that when a reputed company goes down the drain, the media and the marketplace are active with whatever information they have on hand, and managing those with the right information is important from a futuristic perspective. It was a wake-up call for all corporates to tighten their belt with respect to corporate governance.

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