This article is dedicated to successful Indians at the helm of a lot of global companies; and many more still to come.
What do you think is one of India's leading exports? Time magazine has recently given an interesting answer to this. It says that CEOs are one of India's most important exports to global companies.
Yes, if you look around the global boardroom, the evidence comes pouring. There is a long list of Indians heading global companies. Anshu Jain was recently named co-CEO of Deutsche Bank. This means that once Jeurgen Fitschen retires, we'll see an Indian leading Europe's most powerful bank. Vikram Pandit is already the top boss of Citigroup. Indra Nooyi heads Pepsico. Sanjay Jha heads Motorola.Vindi Banga once led the food and personal care behemoth Unilever before he became a partner at a private-equity firm. His brother, Ajay Banga, was last year elevated to the position of CEO of MasterCard. We could go on naming many more names. In fact, even Warren Buffett has an Indian by the name of Ajit Jain heading his reinsurance business. And he's also one of the probable candidates who will take over the reins of Berkshire H athaway from the Oracle of Omaha .
It's clear that Indians are the preferred breed for the top jobs at global companies. But what makes them so apt for the position? Let's go the other way round. What is it that global companies value the most apart from obvious things like knowledge and leadership skills? The answer is multiculturalism! In an increasingly globalised world, you need leaders who can easily merge into different cultures, adapt to different environments and have the skills to deal with changing and challenging business dynamics. Interestingly, many Indians grow up doing exactly those kinds of things.
India has a rich and varied culture. We have 29 languages, each of which is spoken by at least a million people. There are another 122 which are spoken by at least 10,000 people. Apart from linguistic diversity, we have people following different religions. So Indians learn early on to mix and adapt with various cultures and traditions. That puts them at ease when faced with similar situations in the global arena.
Secondly, Indians learn the precious art of negotiation pretty well given the political red tape that they have to face in their native country. They learn to kick open rigid doors or create new ones if the need be. The third important ingredient is the gift of the English language, a legacy left by our erstwhile colonial masters.
These facts are some which have led to more and more companies wanting to have Indians on board. Let's hope our entrepreneural spirit stays as strong as it is (if not become better) and more Indians find their way to the top around the world.
courtesy - Equitymaster.