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Case Study of Schindler Holdings in India: Problems Faced by Silvio Napoli India Assessment Answer


You will be given the following case and are required to answer the following questions:

Bartlett, Christopher A., Michael Y. Yoshino, and Perry Fagan. "Silvio Napoli at Schindler India (A)." Harvard Business School Case 303-086, February 2003. (Revised November 2006.) You should NOT do any external research apart from what is in the case-study and they should directly answer the questions that have been asked for the group assignment by relating it to their learnings during the module. The case study will not be discussed during lectures. 

Reflect on the following (3000 words: approx. 400 words for each of the 7 aspects)

1. Silvio’s personality and its impact

2. Cultural differences and its impact

3. Perception of Silvio vs Perceptions of Team

4. Dynamics between Silvio and his team

5. Effectiveness of Silvio’s communication and leadership

6. His successes and failures

7. How would you change or restructure the plan?

Answer

Harvard Business School Case Study

Introduction

The purpose of this assignment is to reflect on the provided case study of Schindler Holdings in India. The case study unfolds the difficulties being faced by the country manager Silvio Napoli in India for the Switzerland based company. The case study also provided information regarding the preparation of the market entry strategy of the company under the new country manager. The discussion of the business plan and how the external factors in India affected the decision-making of Silvio Napoli was also provided in the case study. Then a reflective account of the impact of the personality of the new country manager of Schindler Holdings will be discussed in the report.   

1. Silvio’s personality and its impact

Silvio Napoli seemed to have a dynamic nature given the fact that he used to be a semi-professional rugby player who graduated from Harvard University with Masters’ in Business Administration. In regards to his athletic background, it is also deduced the man was disciplined, energetic, headstrong and a risk taker who preferred to overcome challenges. This was significant for his decision to expand the business of Schindler Holdings in India. He was also someone who planned ahead of schedule, which was evident from the aggressive business plan he chalked out himself for execution in India. Silvio Napoli also possessed self-confidence, which kept him going throughout the difficult times in India. At the time when he was presented with the offer, his peers assumed that it would be fanatical for someone to go into a developing nation to expand the business and might jeopardise the career growth. Napoli has confidence in him that he would able to establish a business in the country even if it had high stakes. This signifies that the man had the courage and confidence to do what was necessary (Bird and Mendenhall, 2016). It was also highlighted in the case study that Silvio Napoli was open-minded and was ready to accept situations that brought changes willingly. This facilitated his mission to expand the business of Schindler Holdings in India. The case study pointed out that there was need of a manager who would be flexible and looking for a challenge. In order to accept the cultural differences, it was necessary for the company to hire someone who generalist in nature. It was also evident from the case study that Silvio Napoli was resilient in nature that was evident from the series of health issues that affected his family immediately after they had moved to India. This was helpful because Napoli was able to withstand the resistance that the company was facing in establishing the business in India for more than two years (Bird and Mendenhall, 2016). As a leader, Silvio was described as impatient, impulsive and hard taskmaster when things did not get done the way he needed. He was also ticked off when the deadlines were not met by the employees, and the general pace of work was slow in India. This gave rise to an organisational culture, which was proactive, responsive, open and informal. The employees felt at times that Silvio Napoli would over-communicate with them in ways to meet the expectations of the work.

2. Cultural differences and its impact

In a country like India, it was necessary for someone who was accustomed to the working cultures or having connections with many people to get a job done. It was necessary to be open to new challenges within the country. It was also required to keep an open mind and be flexible with respect to the situations within the developing nation. The first challenge that Napoli felt was the changes in the geographic location with India. The constant relocation and shuttling between Delhi and Mumbai made it harder for Napoli to adjust to new life and make developments with the new business plan. The differences in the medicals, education and the residential settings made his personal life very difficult. There were also challenges in adjusting the change of management style (Stahl and Tung, 2015). Napoli reloaded that in order to get the work done he would need to look for people he could trust since a lot of people offered services after hearing he represented a known Swiss company looking for investment in India. It was different for Silvio Napoli to reconsider his decisions as the usual organisational culture was different. In India, one would have to know a lot of people in order to get the work done. In the case of Schindler Holdings, it was necessary to determination, diligence, integrity and high ethical standards in work. Therefore Napoli hired experienced businessmen, active young professionals with in-depth knowledge and efficient HR managers who would help in building the company from scratch. Retrospection into the experience of Napoli's work in Sweden where it was necessary to be extra careful in front of the people who were close to the management was important. In India however, the concept of favouritism was contrasting to that of the beliefs of Napoli. It is also important to establish a professional relationship effectively with the employees who were not the case for Napoli (Stahl and Tung, 2015). Instead, his team members described him as overly expressive. Although, communication is an important aspect of the business but Indian culture the people in authority do not usually that too much attached in the operations services and the employees are conformable doing their work in their own time.  Another issue that he faced while setting up the business in India is that the pace of doing work within the country was slower than his liking and that made him impatient. 

3. Perception of Silvio vs Perceptions of Team

Silvio Napoli began his work in India with an ambition to build a management and employee workforce effectively. Napoli was working with a had a meeting during the night after the members finished their responsibilities in the previous job. The employees and the new recruits had to be educated regarding the team management to forge the team for the future. According to Napoli during the formation of the team, the discussions and interactions make it easier to understand each other's management styles and characteristics. He was known by his former managers as a level-headed and strong individual in his management style (Răducan and Răducan, 2014). He always wanted things to get done before the deadlines and as not the case for the Indian employees. The employees and subordinates under Napoli described him to be over-communicative, impatient, hard pleaser and taskmaster. This was so because he would get very upset when the tasks were not ahead of schedule and got delayed. This is why the employees felt that Napoli was strict as a manager. As per the opinion of the director in the HR department, Napoli had a lot of energy which he focussed his attention to an issue. It was also his habit to make others dwell on the direction on which he is focussed to get it resolved as soon as possible. However, the managers described Napoli to be kind, easy-going and patient. This meant that his approach in dealing with employees and managers was different. There were definitely questions on how Silvio Napoli being so different would be able to run a business start-up in India, but his determination made it possible at the end (Răducan and Răducan, 2014). This was something his employees took from him and helped the company reach success. All these employees, as well as manager, also described him to be tough when things did not go his way or when he had to get something done including meeting deadlines. There were both contrasting opinions regarding the organisational culture of the Company. On one side it was described to be proactive, responsive, open and informal but at the same time, it was also lean and efficient (D’Innocenzo et al., 2016). The balance of experience, planning and aggression to take the business plan forward was something that helped facilitate the establishment of Schindler Holdings’ elevators in India.     

4. Dynamics between Silvio and his team

Napoli selected Mehar Karan for the role of managing director in the company for his understanding of the Indian culture, market which he gained experience in his service to the hospitality industry. MK might have been reluctant, but he had the practicality to understand that every experienced man had to report to younger talents at some point in the business. He was excited by this dynamic and accepted the change for the sake of the business start-up and expansion (Zhang et al., 2015). Napoli was quick to recognise the MK was sensitive to relationships and organisational power and he diplomatically handled the situation by stating he would take time to find the people he trusts in the organisation. As for the field operations manager, Napoli hired TAK Mathews who had almost a decade of experience in working for Otis India. This was an opportunity for Napoli to integrate someone with technical expertise and in-depth knowledge of the elevator industry in the management. He was ambitious, hands-on and dynamic who provide insightful input in the business strategies to make the business start-up successful (D’Innocenzo et al., 2016). The team was in desperate need for an engineer to resolve the technical issues for the business for which an engineer with 24 years of experience with Otis India was recruited. There was also the recruitment of the HR manager and the chief financial officer for the company which consisted of the core management team. It was a challenge to prepare a proactive, responsive and skilled workforce in a cultural environment like India where the pace of work is dependent on the industry connections and the influence you have. The staffs confessed that Napoli was a hard taskmaster and a difficult man to please. He would communicate overly and become impatient when deadlines were not met. He would make sure that the issue that requires his attention becomes the collective problem for the team. However, at times he easies just an easy going as per the opinions of the managers. According to the management, Napoli and MK were different people with different believes, but they both were able to come to middle grounds regarding the business and the future of the company putting their differences aside. Napoli was definitely pulling strings and making decisions all by himself and MK was there to guide him understanding the Indian culture and the industry trends. MK also had better business connections than anybody in the team for which his advice and input was considered by Napoli.

5. Effectiveness of Silvio’s communication and leadership

I have evaluated that Solvo’s communication and leadership has increased effective team management and increased the performance level of the team members from top to bottom level of employment. I have observed that Silvio’s team selection was over-focus on providing strong headed and single-minded manager. As per communication, Silvio called for a staff meeting in which he observed that the team members recruited by him have been working late night with a common motivation. It is important to communicate with the team members to let the motivations consistent for the organization (Sultan et al., 2018). I believe that Silvio has encouraged its recruited team to follow up their respective seniors and top-level management to increase the flow of information that increases coordination and cooperations within the workplace.  I believe, communication has increased team enthusiasm and has increased the better scope for increasing their productivity in the market. I think the requirement of communication is needed by different leaders for conveying their working, focus, planning and target setting, so that team members are able to provide their time, skills excellence and productivity over the elevator project stated. However, the acceptability is another point of concern in which the employee’s acceptability towards the leader’s communication required to be matched. I have evaluated that some for the team members of Silvio have stated that leadership style of Silvio is considerably impulsive, very hard and impatient; he usually gets angry of the specific task in to meet on time. However, the leadership effectiveness suggests the fact that being an organization CEO and managing leader, Silvio plays a vital role in leading its team members towards productivity and company targets. It has evaluated that head managers of Schindler India have observed Silvio leadership and management style is equity-friendly and engaging, Silvio has a lot of energy and much patient although gets tough while the work is not done in a proper process and scheduled time. The effectively of the leadership includes motivational perspective, that states working with the team members for proper guidance, direction and; leading to complete a specific task for the company (Kong et al., 2018). I think the leadership style introduced by Silvio has provided a proper working environment for the employees, adjusting with new cultural aspects, Silvio has made recruitment of head managers in respect of their skills and experiences so that proper working environment could be created. I believe those leadership tactics applied by the CEO of the company is motivational in regards to letting employees understand their roles and responsibilities to introduce their skills for completing targeted tasks accurately.

6. His successes and failures

Silvio Napoli has come to India for establishing the elevator producing company Schindler to the Indian marketplace. In the process, I have analyzed that Silvio has gone through different key challenges and success. As per the business planning of Silvio, he made the acquisition of Mumbai based local technical collaborator Bharat Bijlee Ltd, which has helped the company for being the market leader through generating a market share of 12-15%.  In addition, Silvio wished for an effective and proper team for the new project in India, thus has made recruitment for head managers who are strong, skilled, experienced and determined towards their goals. The recruitment of the right peoples and creating an accurate and effective working team has observed as another success for Silvio. He was an impulsive motivator who believed in being a monk and a warrior in concern to work in the Indian corporate world and achieve success and accurate and reliable manner. Silvio has been able to generate respect and proper respect among the top level management of the company. Through, Silvio market research and market competition analysis, he has introduced a unique selling point of elevators so that the product could perform better in relation to its competitive products availed in the market like Otis India.  


Under his supervision and management, Silvio has observed that managers handing company Indian subsidiary have provided orders for non-standard products, which has also affected for resulting in an increase in its costs in the market.  I have evaluated that Silvio has faced an increase in the production costs for the elevators in India due to high rise in the customs duties for importing components and raw materials for elevator production and rise in the transfer of prices for the low-cost materials and components. On the other hand, Silvio also faced challenges regarding the decline of requested components, designs, materials and other sources of production and installations of the elevator that has been demanded from the European plant of Schindler.  Another challenge which is faced by Silvio was from the management and employees of Schindler headquarter in India, the issue which has been faced was Silvio has generated fearful respect, which has been one of the hurdles to communicate with the team member and workers of Schindler in India. Silvio has also faced some of the criticism from his team members in India, as a working team have started believing that Silvio has manager is the impatient, aggressive and arrogant behavioral approach.  

7. How would you change or restructure the plan?

In order to evaluate the strategy for the Swatch project I think might be effective in case of the Indian market. It was difficult for the Swatch project to be successful in the Indian industry context according to my opinion. A newer perspective in suggestion to the customisation of the product might impart effective sales and increase the gross margin of the business. Talking into consideration the perspective of the customers which was facilitated by MK might be effective in this scenario. Following this, the increased investment in developing this strategy might be necessary for the business. I think that in order to secure the demographic for the products Napoli might customise the services. Developing the products as per the organisational culture should be the first priority and experimenting on the customer demand would be assessed. The test run would eventually provide the trends in the elevator industry, and Schindler would be able to develop their business empire in India. It might also be effective for the company if the chief financial officer is able to interpret the market situations effectively and forecast the potential predictions for the test run of the business.  This would highlight the competition in the market and the gaps in the manufacturing unit for the business. 

The low-cost margin and high-end profit is one of the planning segments introduced by Silvio for developing its product in the Indian market (Oldman and Tomkins, 2018). I think Silvio has its business planning for the Indian market in regards to two basic elements, which is selling focused line products in the market and outsourcing key manufacturing and logistics functions. I believe that the quality of raw materials matters to increase the standard and reliability of elevators produced and installed in the market. Despite introducing raw materials designs, components and other resources to be imported from the European plants, Silvio might also introduce an Indian manufacturing unit, and with the help of local suppliers as well as local elevator component producing company, Silvio might be able to reduce the cost of production and maintenance low-cost pricing of the elevators.  

Conclusion

The discussion provides important lessons to the fact that good managers might have difficulty in becoming good leaders. The business in an international context exponentially increases the risk of driving a start-up business. It is necessary to be open minded in the operations and recruiting the management team to develop trusts and promote business growth over the course of time

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