It has been a trend that Indians became the CEO or president in multinational companies. No exaggerate to say that there is definitely an Indian face in the managerial teams of Fortune 500. Not only the world has felt this significant change, but also Indians themselves could not help to ask: why are always Indians?
The most famous ¨Time¨ Magazine has once analyzed the phenomenon that India largely ¨export¨ CEOs. In the article, it has concluded the following reasons to explain why multinational companies prefer Indian managers; naturally enjoy a diverse culture, capably react to complicated situations, highly self-adjust to the most competitive environment, pay attention to business ethnic, and the last but not the least, think in English.
It is very hard to explain the situation in a couple of words, but it is worth to discuss the truth behind.
- The Increasing Number of Indian Executive Managers
Warren Buffet always is the center of the finance world. Therefore, millions of entrepreneurs would like to pay for a huge price only want to have a dinner with him and hopefully could learn something. However, it is a mystery that the Stock Godfather pays his attention to a young Indian talent named Ajit Jain. Buffet has even said he would appoint Ajit as the CEO of Berkshire with no hesitates as long as Ajit wanted.
Statistic data shows that in the FORTUNE 500, Indian is second number of nationalities among ¨CXO¨ (e.g. CEO, CFO, etc.), right after Americans.
Not only multinational companies, but also the world´s leading business schools have gradually affected by Indian force. In the recent years, Harvard Business School, Chicago Booth School of Business, and INSEAD have selected Indians as the new deans.
- The Diverse Culture Experience
India is one of the most diverse countries, which exists various nations, castes, religions, languages and cultures within the same boundary. It would be abnormal to have the same answer if one asked the same question to different Indians. It is a common for Indians that everything, everybody should be different. It is their nature to embrace every kind of differences in the whole world.
The CEO of MasterCard Mr. Ajay Banga once mentioned his childhood. His father is an officer of army so that since very young he moved frequently because of the position mobility of his father. The ever-changing environment has contributed in various ways of his success; easily make friends, welcome to different opinions, quickly adapt to a new environment, etc.
Besides, the idea of diversity is not only making every one standing under one umbrella. On the contrary, the diversity ensures everyone could have its own space to practice its culture or belief, while everyone could respect to the others´.
Although living in the most cosmopolitan city NYC, on his way to office, Mr. Banga is always listening to the traditional hymns of Sikhs on radio. Also, he still keeps a traditional Sikh outlook; an uncut beard and the big Sikh turban. However, he also melts himself inside American culture. Like everyone else, Mr Banga is a big fan of American football and listens to all kinds of music, even including Lady Gaga. All of these make him outstanding and interesting, while make him get really close to the people.
- The Good Training in the Indian Chaos
Is it possible to do business in India? Most international companies face a very big question mark before enter Indian market, because it seems impossible to follow normal rules in the interpersonal communication, especially, with officers from Indian government.
The book ¨Cold Steel¨ fully reflected the harsh external environment in Indian. It tells a story how Mittal steel fights for the hostile acquisition of Arcelor (the largest steel corporation from EU) while faces the strong objections among the public.
Inevitably, Indian business elites are growing up along with all these obstacles; complicated government relationships, highly alliances depending, strong legal barriers, etc. Therefore, in a more business-friendly environment like Europe or US, their strong skills in negotiation, complex problem-solving, and comprehensive coordination make them like gold shine in the sands.
- Competitive Environment and Education in India
Indian business talents are comfortable with any severe competitive environment. Why? Because they fight against with it since they were kids. ¨Three Idiots¨ is an interesting movie reflects the real life of Indian white collars. As you can see in the story, Indian children start to prepare for IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) or IIM (Indian Institute of Management) when they were 16 or 17, because the enrollment rate is thousands of a million. Though these two schools has no fancy buildings, their student has achieved a high reputation by highly competitive young talents and all graduates can directly enroll in the FORTUNE 500 with an irresistable salary.
- Highly Value Business Ethics
¨Bhagavad Gita¨ is a conversation between prince Krishna and Arjun in the Indian epic ¨Mahabharata¨. Inside it has discussed a lot about the relations between body and soul, internal world and external world, etc. It emphasizes how to get stronger and more powerful through self-improvement, rather than through comparing with the others.
Indra K. Nooyi, for example, has been influenced from this traditional literature. Served as vice president of PepsiCo, she chose the concept of ¨Healthy Food¨ for corporate strategic transformation, which finally has achieved a huge success. Besides based on a careful market research, the decision was also based on her living pursuit of healthy diet philosophy. Industrial experts believe that Indian executives has the edge over others because of their highly consider to business ethic. They value not only the internal financial performance, but also would like pay attention to make benefits to all the stakeholders inside their business field.
- Powerful Indian English
Though many people are still making fun of the Indian-English accent, no one can deny their strong English communication skill. English is widely used in the daily life among Indian people, and middle-class people are very familiar with the culture from English-speaking countries. Their thinking in English makes Indian easily get accepted by the western society, although they are wearing robes, turbans and a weird accent.
Above all, the success of Indian talents in the worldwide business world is made by their individual ability and hard-work, instead of their Indian nationality. As Ajay Banga notes, “You are who you are because of what you do, not the color of your skin.”
Edited by Simeng Zhang
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