Monday, December 16, 2013

President Mukherjee's 10 commandments for Indian PSUs

President Pranab Mukherjee and Union minister Patel during the Global PSE Summit in New Delhi  
PRESIDENT Pranab Mukherjee says that listing more PSEs on stock exchanges would augur well for transparency and accountability of the PSEs. The President talked about some key measures to improve the quality of Indian PSUs while inaugurating the Global PSE Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the department of public enterprises, ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises in New Delhi on December 12-13. Find out these 10 commandments spelled out by this former finance minister...
1. President Pranab Mukherjee who was also an astute finance minister suggested that the more and more PSUs should be listed in the stock market. He said: "Listing of PSEs on stock exchanges... will allow millions of small and large shareholders to participate in their ownership, the collective action of which could stimulate the PSEs to better their performance."
2. The President talked about a level playing field between the private and public sectors. To quote him: "Much more needs to be done to provide a level playing field between the public and private sectors in terms of flexibility of operation and quicker decision-making."
3. Mukherjee also asks Indian PSUs to study the successful models of their global counterparts. He said the experience of government-owned companies varies from country to country. "While each government has attempted to leverage the resources of their PSEs, the models differ. The public sector model in different nations is a study in contrast. But by studying such models, we can evolve a suitable format that converge the needs of our economy and society."
4. Management is key for the success of any PSU, asserts the former finance minister. "To my mind, the foremost challenge of Indian PSEs today is to increase their competitiveness to deal with market forces. Management has to be of the highest professional level, enabling the attainment of global benchmarks in productivity and efficiency and meeting the multiple objectives expected of contemporary global enterprise."
5. He said smaller PSUs must study and emulate the success stories of their big brothers. "Their business practices have to be studied and appropriately disseminated to other similar and less successful PSEs. Management of human resources, including dealing with the existing skill gap as well as forecasting and preparing for skills required in the future, have to be accorded priority."
6. President urges the PSUs to focus more on technology development and innovation. "Industrial growth calls for high priority in technology development and innovation. Developing new products and processes, entering new markets, and addressing new consumers have to be an ongoing business strategy. PSEs have to take a leading role in espousing such business behaviour."
7. Asks the PSUs to go global and grab the enormous opportunities thrust open in the aftermath of globalisation. "A large corporation has to seek global opportunities to leverage a dynamic and thriving marketplace. Many PSEs have active programmes of overseas engagement. They have to strategize to seize the commanding heights of the global economy," summarises the President.
8. Prescribes a "strong supply chain that links public and private firms." Such a supply chain, to quote Mukherjee, "has the potential to benefit our industrial sector and economy immensely."
9. Mukherjee also talked about strategies like smooth and facilitative systems for vendor payment, greater use of information technology, and greater engagement of smaller firms have to be adopted to keep industrial operations stable and enable growth of all firms in the value chain.
10. Give more autonomy to the PSUs, says the President. "As vital members of a thriving industry sector, PSEs must drive overall industrial and economic growth. It calls for increased autonomy to enable PSEs to meet the demands of the market in a responsive manner." 

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