Schneider Electric India: Leadership Challenges

Panda, Abinash;  ​Jain, Anshul;  ​Mishra, Samir. "Schneider Electric India: Leadership Challenges", 2017
Issues: leadership, adaptive leadership, plant-level leadership, power, hydro
Disciplines:  Entrepreneurship, Organizational Behaviour/Leadership
Industries: Manufacturing
Setting: India, Medium, 2015
Length: 16 pages (7 pages of text)
Intended Audience: MBA/Postgraduate
Publication Date: March 7, 2017

In May 2015, the new director at Schneider Electric’s plant in Rudrapur, India, faced a challenging situation. The company had an ongoing struggle with quality issues and consistently missed its production targets. From a human relations perspective, employee engagement and morale were low and the shop-floor workers had very little respect for the plant’s management team. The new director quickly launched a program of human resource initiatives aimed to turn the plant around, but in the midst of his efforts, a sister plant submitted a high-volume order that seemed well beyond Rudrapur’s production capabilities. Against the advice of his superiors, and in the face of some resistance from his staff at the plant, the plant director accepted the order and used an adaptive leadership approach to implement several plant-level changes in the production processes at Rudrapur. While the team had made a lot of progress in improving the overall function of the Rudrapur plant, there was still a long way to go and a huge production hurdle to be crossed. Were the director’s interventions likely to succeed? Should he adopt a different approach to meet the challenges?

Learning Objective:
This case is appropriate for an undergraduate or graduate course on security markets, with a specific focus on market liquidity and market structure. It may also be used in an undergraduate or graduate course on competitive strategy to illustrate how incentives can change competition, especially across two almost identical products: the National Stock Exchange’s Nifty Index and the Bombay Stock Exchange’s 100 Index. This case provides an alternative scenario to order-driven markets, whereby a stock exchange is able to significantly improve liquidity by incentivizing traders to participate in its derivatives market. The case can also be used to revisit the basic terminologies in derivatives and the unique features of the Indian stock market. After completion of the case, students will be able to
  • debate the importance of liquidity and how stock exchanges compete for liquidity;
  • compare the purchase order concept prevalent in the United States with the liquidity incentives schemes introduced in India;
  • analyze how liquidity incentive schemes can be used for the benefit of the entire securities market; and
  • understand the basic terminology of derivatives and the unique features of Indian stock markets.