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Case Questions Develop a written report analyzing the situation, identifying the problem, and answering the questions: I will attach the pdf of case.Information on situation and problem at hand:1. What could Pathak have done differently? 2. What could the company have done differently? 3. How can the situation be improved now?1. Data Analysis- Assess major, relevant, consolidated factors about the situation to be resolved.- Include analysis, assessment of implications, your thoughts, etc.2. Problem Definition- Define the problem or situation which needs to be resolved- Do not list symptoms3. Alternative Solutions Analysis- Do this , And then list pros and cons and assessment4. Recommended Solution- Do that (don’t repeat analysis or rationale here, just state recommended action from your alternatives analysis)- Use prescriptive format5. Implementation- List actions needed to be taken to make the plan work. In response, include timing and responsibilities.Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
Case 4 Anuj Pathak Returns to India
Prepared by Professor Meenakshi Sharma, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.1
The pleasant February morning had taken a perplexing turn for
Anuj Pathak. He had reached the office after a jog at the beach as
had become his habit in the last few months in Mumbai. He had
barely settled at his desk to review his schedule when the Vice
President, HR, Gopalkrishna Pillai, had called him to his office.
Pillai had begun with a general question about how Pathak was
settling in. “Quite well!” Pathak replied. “I am very confident
about showing solid results at the earliest.” But Pillai had looked
concerned, and said, “I’m not so sure. What I’m sensing is that
people are quite unhappy with your style. I’m not mentioning
any names, but some people from your department have even
put in requests for transfers to other departments. They say you
are standoffish and extremely critical. I am afraid that the lack of
rapport with people around you will impact your performance.”
Anuj was shocked. “I have a strong track record of performance.
And I’m here to succeed! Of course, I know how essential it is
to take people along and keep morale high,” he said. “We know
your track record and have big expectations from you, but you
need to reflect on your style,” said Pillai.
Pathak had been excited about returning to India and making a mark at Impact Finance Ltd. (IFL). He thought he had
been settling in well but Pillai’s words had stopped him in his
tracks. He came back to his office, feeling deflated and perplexed. He couldn’t figure out where this was coming from. “I
have consistently proven my leadership qualities and now my
style is being questioned!” he thought. Everyone in the head
office and in his own division team had seemed welcoming
and friendly to him. But all of that seemed questionable now.
“Has it all been mere formality or simply duplicitous behaviour? What have I missed?” He had always found clear and
direct communication to be the most effective. “That is why I
have been so upfront about my direct style and my democratic
way of functioning and involving everyone in decision making. I have not insisted on hierarchy when it comes to objective
thrashing out of ideas. I have been very specific in spelling out
the targets and have given clear and explicit feedback so as
to get the best out of each person. This is how I have always
got the best work out of people and delivered results. Why
has it led to such a state now?” What really upset him was
the charge of being unfriendly and critical. “If this was true,
why would I have had an open door policy, tried to learn their
names, and encouraged clear communication?” he wondered.
He was baffled by what he could only think of as the strange
reaction of people at IFL. He had been slowly realising that
settling back in his own country was harder than he had expected it to be. “But it shouldn’t be so different on the professional front! After all, the ways to get results are not affected
by geography. And professionals everywhere should have the
same standards!” he thought. Was his dream of a successful
career back in India going to be shattered or could he recover
and improve the situation?
Coming Home
When, as an ambitious young man of 22, Pathak had left in
June 1997 for postgraduate studies at Monash University in
Melbourne, he had not imagined he would become an expatriate for nearly twenty years. After completing the programme,
he had been thrilled to get his first job with a financial consultancy firm in Singapore. Within about four years he moved
to a large MNC in the US. Except for about two years with
a start-up in the Financial Services sector, he had worked at
strategy consultancy firms. He had been thinking off and on of
returning to India and had now decided to do so for both personal and professional reasons. In his visits prior to deciding
on the move, he had caught up with Chandrashekhar, his old
senior in college back in Bhopal, who was now a Managing
Director at the Impact Group. Chandrashekhar had given him
a glowing picture of the boom in the Indian economy and the
developments in the financial services segment, especially the
vast potential of the private sector. Pathak’s brother-in-law who
worked in one of the new private sector banks in Mumbai had
also given him a thumbs-up, speaking highly of the opportunities in India.
Pathak’s parents were living in Indore since his father’s
retirement from government service in the state of Madhya
Pradesh. Since they were getting older, and his mother had
been diagnosed with a serious ailment, it was becoming difficult for them to manage on their own. Pathak was keen to
get back to India so as to help them on a day-to-day basis
rather than just financially and during his annual, or at best,
biannual brief visits. As the only child, he had a nagging sense
of guilt that he lived a comfortable life overseas, while his
parents aged. He had not meant to be an expatriate all his life.
One thing had led to another, and what he had told himself
would be a few years, had turned into nearly twenty years
away from home.
Having been overseas since the age of 22 and enjoying professional success in different parts of the world, he felt that he
was an Indian at heart. At the same time, his numerous relocations had made him feel that the world was becoming quite flat
and professional success knew no borders. He had also been
hearing the buzz around Asia. The West was taking special note
of the rise of India and China and there was talk of the 21st
century as the Asian century. His visits back home had shown
him how the older systems were rapidly transforming. He felt

now was the time to have the best of both worlds – to be with
his parents in their old age and give his daughters deeper roots
in India, while on the professional front, he could ride the new
wave of growth in the country.
About three months later, he felt happy about having
moved his parents to Mumbai. He had been given a flat in a
posh Mumbai suburb. However, it was a quite an adjustment
in terms of everyday life to move from Boston to Mumbai.
His daughters, aged seven and five, were finding it most challenging. They had been happy with the idea of coming to
India where the grandparents spoiled them and it was all a
great holiday. But after about two months, Anuj and his wife
were taken aback when the younger one had declared one day,
“Okay, this was fun, let’s go home now!” Telling her that this
was now home, had unleashed many tears. The girls had now
started at a well-known private school. The high fees and the
infrastructure of the school were a surprise to him. However,
he was happy with it, hoping that this would help make the
transition easier for his daughters. He himself had studied at
government schools in the small towns his father used to be
posted in, and had been surprised to be told that even middleclass people now aspired to send their children to expensive
private schools. Numerous such schools catering to rising aspirations had sprung up all around the country. The girls were
still finding their feet in the school and had been behaving
uncharacteristically with temper tantrums and whining. But
he was sure they would soon make new friends and begin
to like the school. He knew it would have been much harder
to return when they were older and had become more entrenched in life in the US. His wife had relatives in Mumbai
and had been looking forward to being closer to them.
However, a few months into the move she seemed stressed by
the challenges that kept cropping up in the smallest of things
as she tried to handle the domestic front while he got busy at
work. She had worked as a counsellor and psychotherapist
after completing a degree in the US, but had decided to take
a break before looking for new career opportunities in India.
Getting things organised in the new city was taking a lot of
time and energy, but she hoped that in a couple more months
she would have the home front organised and could turn her
attention to her career. Pathak’s mother’s deteriorating health
also demanded time and energy from both him and his wife.
Although he knew that the doctors here were as competent,
if not more, than the ones abroad, his unfamiliarity with the
hospital systems and other procedural matters made things
somewhat challenging. Fortunately, some of his wife’s relatives had stepped in to help out and that had helped considerably. He felt things were largely under control at home and
he could get going at the office with full energy.
The Organisation
Impact Finance Ltd. (IFL) was one of the top twenty financial
consulting firms in India. Set up in 1997, it was part of the
Impact Group – a USD 8 billion group of companies in the
technology, manufacturing, infrastructure and finance sectors.
The company’s operations were divided into five divisions,
namely Retail Finance, Infrastructure Finance, Corporate
Finance, Housing Finance and Investment Management. With
Retail Finance as the core, the other divisions had been added
over the years to harness the synergies in order to best serve
the full range of the needs of consumers. The company was
headquartered in the Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai, with
a country-wide network of offices.
Anuj Pathak Joins
Around the Christmas break of 2013, Pathak had started looking for openings in India that would be exciting and rewarding.
When the opportunity to work at IFL came up, it seemed like
exactly what he was looking for. In his initial meetings with the
management team, he felt valued and respected for his stellar
track record. He felt comfortable among the capable professionals who had impressive credentials. Being among fellow
Indians felt good after years of being in a small minority. He
was confident that his successful track record in diverse locations had given him the necessary skills to fit in anywhere.
“And, after all, this is home!” he thought.
In October 2014, he accepted the position of Senior Vice
President and was made Head of the Housing Finance division.
With the departure of the earlier Head who had left after the
performance of the new division did not match projections, it
was going to be imperative to bring about changes to business
strategy as well as to revitalise the team.
On the day he joined, Anuj had a meeting with the top
management team. They welcomed him and expressed great
confidence in him and an eagerness to benefit from his new
ideas. The Senior Managing Director, Prabha Srinivasan, introduced him to the team and welcomed him to the Impact family.
During the tea that followed the formal part of the meeting, he
was happy with the general feeling of bonhomie and warmth.
He noticed that people were very courteous and respectful in
their behaviour. He put it down to good old Indian traditions.
Overall, he felt a good vibe, and concluded that it was going to
be a great place to work.
Interactions with Departmental Team
and Senior Management
Immediately on joining, Pathak called a meeting to get to know
the team and to share the way ahead. As he shook hands, he
asked each one how they would like to be addressed. He told
them that a very formal style created unnecessary barriers and
that they were all to call him Anuj. He stressed that they were
going to drive results together and the required revitalisation of
the department would mean tough stretch targets. A complete
focus on the task would be expected from everyone, including
himself. He assured them of his help and support in enabling
the best performance from each of them. “I will be always accessible to all of you and will have an open door policy. I am an
open-minded person and value direct communication, honest
feedback, and critical thinking. I’m sure you don’t need to be
told about the importance of questioning everything rigorously
so as to come up with robust ideas,” he told them. Everyone
seemed very appreciative and some people came up and told
him that they welcomed the breath of fresh air that he had
brought in. Anuj felt happy that he had clearly laid out his expectations and preferences and had set the tone for engagement
with the team.
As time passed, he could not help noticing that the style
of his team did not match the expectations he had laid down
so clearly. At departmental meetings, hardly anyone questioned
his ideas. In fact, people spoke very little, allowing him to
drive the discussion and when they did speak, it was to concur with his views. They were respectful and attentive, but if
he asked for an opinion, they would demur and wait for him
to say something. Invariably, they would go on to agree with
his interpretation. On the other hand, whenever he wanted data
and information, they would do so very efficiently. He knew
they had invaluable experience but he wasn’t sure why they
were not more forthcoming with suggestions and assertive in
challenging him or being critical of the ideas of each other. He
decided that he needed to demonstrate his own critical and direct style and people would soon become comfortable using it
In meetings with other VPs and the MDs, he found everyone to be polite and appreciative of his input. The overall
tone of discussions was courteous and there were few disagreements. Although he sometimes got the sense that there were
some cliques that affected the way people responded to issues,
he was not able to get a very clear picture. He observed that
people generally did not openly challenge or contradict each
other during discussions. He found this surprising as he believed that it was best to discuss matters objectively and treat
disagreement and criticism impersonally. Dissension and disagreement on tasks or issues, in his experience, were not to be
mixed with people’s regard for each other. “There can be no
two ways about this – clear and direct communication whether
one agrees with the views of others or not, is essential. And so
are objective handling of issues and high level of critical rigour.
Without these, one would never get the most robust ideas,” he
told people from his own division.
On the whole, he noticed that his colleagues in middle
management and the technical staff seemed quite deferential
towards senior management. He tried to be informal with everyone, hoping to make them comfortable by showing that he
did not stand on ceremony. He got to know many by face and
tried to remember their names and departments. However, so
far he had not been able to get to know any of them very well.
Even those in his division did not seem to respond to his attempts to make them comfortable at official interactions. On
the other hand, he received invitations to family events and
informal parties, especially from some of the other VPs and
from his divisional colleagues. He assumed it was done simply out of politeness, because he and his family did not personally know them. Moreover, except for Chandrashekhar, he
found it not really necessary to see any of them socially. He

had never believed in socialising with work colleagues and
felt that it was best to keep work and personal life separate.
Anyway, he had his hands full in his personal time and had to
look after his parents’ needs. He also had to help his wife in
handling the girls who were finding it a little challenging to
settle in.
Driving the Turnaround Plan for the Division
Within two months of joining, Pathak had drawn up a turnaround plan for the division. His plan had been approved by
the President and he was keen to roll it out at the earliest.
It was a tough plan and the team would need to be driven hard.
But it was unavoidable if they were to come out of the decline
in which the division had fallen in the last two quarters. A new
way to envision the market and design innovative responses
through new analytic tools would involve a sharp learning
curve for all involved. There was no denying that some people
would find it aggressive and unrealistic but there was no way
around it – tough measures were needed in tough times. Pathak
recalled it clearly, “I knew it was not going to be easy but I
had never shied away from tough decisions and I knew how
to show results. I had a very capable team that was technically
sound and very hard working. Therefore I was confident that
with the right support and a clear direction, they would make a
success of the plan. I could not expect everyone to agree with
the finer details but I knew they were all committed to improving the division’s performance. As the leader, I had to go ahead
and not be slowed down by unrealistically attempting to get
everyone on board from the start. I could also not be satisfied
with anything short of perfection in the quality of work and
in meeting deadlines, however tight.” He felt that he had been
making sure to clearly spell out the expectations from the team
and provide clear feedback to avoid misspent time and effort.
“I was happy to walk around and meet individuals and groups
and to not mince my words when it came to critical assessment
of performance. Letting people continue with no direction and
empty positive words is not going to get results.” Initially he
would even stop by the coffee room and try to catch up with
people on the progress of the initiatives. “But I found the tone
of the interactions quite informal and even casual, with people
talking of personal and domestic matters. I could also see that
most people interacted with others at similar levels and were
uncomfortable in the presence of a senior person. I stopped
these visits and began to rely on frequent meetings to get updates and to give my feedback.”
However, as weeks passed, he felt that the pace of progress
on the tasks he had assigned was not very satisfactory. So he
stepped up the uncompromising tenor of his orders and minced
no words in his feedback. His experience was that this was essential to avoid any ambiguity and provide clear directions to
teams who had to execute plans. Although this was proving to
be an uphill task, he hoped that the team would soon pick up
steam and he would not need to spend so much energy and time
in constantly following up and pushing them.

A Sudden Reality Check
However, today’s meeting had brought him to a grinding halt,
pushing him to introspect. He wondered what had happened.
“Where had the charges of being haughty and unfriendly come
from? Why were people misunderstanding my intentions?
After all, I have been true to myself and encouraged them to be
comfortable. As for being critical, there are no two ways about
the fact that objective feedback needs to be shared and as professionals they should know that!” He was puzzled that proven
methods of delivering results by firing up large teams had led
to such dissatisfaction and demotivation. Perhaps he had got a
team of difficult people. Or perhaps they resented him as someone who had been brought in laterally. Perhaps he needed to reattempt rapport-building and enhancing his personal credibility,
he tried to tell himself. But before he could do that he would
need to understand where his style had backfired. He knew
that if this state of affairs continued, his hopes for making a
mark with his performance would be seriously jeopardised. He
had been inducted at a senior position with high expectations.
“How am I to meet these in such a situation? My advancement
on the fast track depends on delivered high performance but I
am stumped! What am I missing? Is this particular team somehow not gelling with me or has my long stint overseas made me
a stranger back home?”
He knew that he needed to gain the trust of people around
him and be able to connect with them so as to draw out the
best from them in terms of fresh ideas and critical feedback.
Perhaps he was wrong in his easy assumption that he was on
familiar ground in the swanky office that reminded him of those
in overseas locations. He was not sure what he could do to fix
things before they got out of hand and the hopes with which he
had moved back to India withered away.
Case Questions
Develop a written report analyzing the situation, identifying the
problem, and answering the questions:
1. What could Pathak have done differently?
2. What could the company have done differently?
3. How can the situation be improved now?
1. Cases of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, are prepared
as a basis for classroom discussion. They are not designed to present
illustrations of either correct or incorrect handling of administrative
problems. © 2017 by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Case 4: Anuj Pathak Returns to India
Ashley Tariq, Dejah Isom-Delpleche
ashley.tariq18@my.stjohns.edu, dejah.isomdelpleche18@my.stjohns.edu
Seminar in International Management 652
February 9, 2023
St. John’s University
Anuj Pathak Returns to India
Anuj Pathak, a native Indian returned to India in October 2014, where he accepted a position of
Senior Vice President and Head of the Housing Finance division at Impact Finance Ltd. (IFL), a
consulting firm in India. Anuj came back to India for various reasons. One main reason was to be
closer to his mother, who was not doing well physically. Another reason was for his family, Anuj
wanted his daughters to learn about Indian culture at a young age because it would be easier for
them to adapt rather than returning to India when they got older, which would be an even harder
adjustment. Pathak, very enthusiastic about his job, experienced some harsh feedback from his
boss. Up until this point, Pathak was confident in his leadership skills, which included
direct/blunt communication with his team. He only saw this way of functioning. Anuj Pathak did
not take into account that returning to India, there would be cultural differences which he would
need to adapt to. Pathak approached his leadership with a US based mindset, considering he
spent two decades in the US. There are some things Pathak could have done differently as well
as the company, but there are ways to improve this situation.
Situation and Problem at hand
Prior to moving to India in 2014, Anuj Pathak, who received his postgraduate degree from
Monash in 1999, worked as a consultant for various companies in the United States. This caused
the drift between his learned culture than in comparison to the culture he grew up in. In contrast
to previous decades, the western economy was stagnating, while Asia, particularly India and
China, was experiencing a significant economic growth. Pathak moved his base to India because
of the country’s swift economic development and because he wanted to try to surf the new
economic wave brought on by the boom. He had been inspired by Chandrashekhar, a close friend
he had during college, about the immense potential and potential for growth in the private
financial services industry, which only fueled his long-standing desire to go back home. Anuj
joined IFL as the division’s head of housing finance, and he was quickly adjusting to his new
surroundings and eager to produce results. The VP of Human Resources requested a meeting
with him at some point. He claimed that people find him to be cruel and unforgiving, and that
they have even requested that Anuj be moved to a different department as a result. He was
prompted by HR to evaluate his style. Anuj was unable to make sense of where all of this was
coming from. He claimed that in dealing with them, he had been open and democratic. He is now
considering whether his desire to pursue a successful career in India would be compromised or if
he will be able to bounce back. The case is told from Anuj’s perspective, so in Anuj’s eyes he
was only aware of his actions/words towards his team. However, Anuj did not mention that there
could have been a cultural difference in the way IFL operates. Anuj needed to reflect how he was
showing up as a leader and how his team was receiving his leadership style. Anuj’s issue was
primarily brought on by his perception of how the setting and people would be in comparison to
the working culture of people outside. The situation that needs to be resolved is what can Anuj
do to gain a better insight of Indian culture and how can he interact differently with his team in
order to inspire confidence, trust, comfortability, and liking from his group of workers. Anuj will
need to take away his aggressive/direct plans to something more suitable for his team.
What would Anuj need to do?
One suggestion for Anuj would be to look at India on the assertiveness and future orientation
On the assertiveness scale, India is not included however Japan is in the same Asian region as
India. This means that India is low on its assertiveness. The lower a country is on the
assertiveness scale means the society is less assertive and performs better with warm/cooperative
relationships. Anuj could learn to have closer relationships with the members of his team. Anuj
could have lunch meetings where the group discusses their personal life and actually get to know
the members.
On the future orientation scale, India falls under medium.
(This what I have so far)
Case Questions Develop a written report analyzing the situation, identifying the problem, and
answering the questions:
Information on situation and problem at hand
1. What could Pathak have done differently? 2. What could the company have done differently?
3. How can the situation be improved now?

Data Analysis
Assess major, relevant, consolidated factors about the situation to be resolved.
Include analysis, assessment of implications, your thoughts, etc.
Problem Definition
Define the problem or situation which needs to be resolved
Do not list symptoms
Alternative Solutions Analysis
Do this ………. And then list pros and cons and assessment
Recommended Solution
– Do that (don’t repeat analysis or rationale here, just state recommended action from your
alternatives analysis)
– Use prescriptive format
List actions needed to be taken to make the plan work. In response, include timing and

Purchase answer to see full

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