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But then, Unilever has been one of the firmest believers in the power of the global ‘Indian’ CEO. If Ganguly’s example was quoted in the 90s, T. Thomas – Chairman of HLL in the 70s – had already triggered off the dynamite within by being promoted to Unilever’s global board as a Director in 1980. Though Thomas spent almost 10 years with Unilever in London, there were HLL’s other Chairmen – like K.B. Dadiseth, who got promoted to Unilever’s global board in 2000, the phenomenally famous M.S. Banga, who got promoted to the global board in 2004, and the most recent board of directors entrant, the blue-eyed boy of Unilever, Harish Manwani – who furthered the halo around Indian CEOs being considered not only possessing exemplary strategic skills, but being top class leaders too. Manwani,in fact, was asked to head Unilever’s Asia and Africa operations in 2005; similar to Arun Adhikari, MD of HLL (Personal Care division), who last year went on to head Unilever Japan! Manwani at that time had quoted the official Unilever line, “Arun’s experience in leading a large FMCG business in a complex market like India will be of critical importance in his new role (as Chairman, Unilever Japan).”
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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2008
An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).
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