Symphony: Growing Through Internationalization

S. Ramnarayan, Sunita Mehta, E.S. Srinivas. "Symphony: Growing Through Internationalization", 2019
Discipline: Organizational Behavior
Industry: Manufacturing
Length: 16p
Subjects covered: Organizational behavior, International acquisitions, Internationalization, Leadership, Change management, Learning, Execution, Turnarounds
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Symphony Limited, an air cooler company decided to buy International Metal Products Company (IMPCO) in 2009. IMPCO, based in Mexico manufactured industrial coolers that complemented Symphony's product line. Additionally, the acquisition provided Symphony access to the US market. IMPCO, however, was a loss making company and was on the verge of bankruptcy. On taking over IMPCO, Symphony dealt with several issues like financial crisis, operational inefficiencies, low employee productivity, IMPCO's poor brand image, lack of product innovation and weak sales and distribution. This case briefly describes the history of Symphony and outlines the various challenges faced by the organization in turning around IMPCO. The case closes with another opportunity that lands on Symphony's lap - acquisition of Munters Keruilai Air Treatment Equipment Co Ltd (MKE), an air cooler manufacturing company in China. Like IMPCO, MKE was also a loss-making air cooler company. But otherwise, the challenges and the context were starkly different in the two cases. Achal Bakeri, founder and CEO of Symphony wondered how the Symphony team should approach the newest challenge.

Learning objective:
Understand that an entrepreneurial journey often runs into a few setbacks and failures; but these crises also become sources of valuable insights if we're willing to learn from them. Understand the nature of challenges in international acquisition and the importance of managing `hard' and `soft' issues for successful acquisitions. Recognize the elements of effective execution. Gain insight into the nature of turnaround process. Analyze leadership characteristics of Level 5 leaders.