In today's age of globalization, multinational management has become instrumental for successful organizational growth. Multinational management refers to the process of effectively working with teams of different cultures and countries. If I get the opportunity to have an international job experience, I would like to visit India for an assignment. India is one of the fast growing markets in the world. With the US still staggering under the aftermath of sub-prime recession and a weak job market, it is the time to take advantage of the booming Indian market and get exposure to the work environment in India, which, I believe, will facilitate me later on multiple aspects after I acquire a position in the USA. In this paper, I will elaborate on how my work experience in India will help me in future job prospects in the USA and the concerns I have regarding working in Indian culture.
Benefits of Working Abroad
Reasons are aplenty for my decision to choose India as a destination to further my career. First of all, though the current job market of the USA is still showing a sluggish growth curve, the Indian job market is booming. The IT and telecommunication sector in India, which is one of fastest growing industries in the country, is reported to have 31% rise in demand for professionals (TOI, 2015). The demand in the IT sector in India is constantly growing. Apart from the IT sector, the labor demand is also high in the fields of auto industry, biotechnology, aeronautics, and consumer electronics. The Indian business market is showing a huge rate of prospects. From yoga to pharmaceuticals to alternative energy to Web 2.0, Indian business entrepreneurs are competing for market share in practically every business area. As per the report furnished by Consultancy Dealogic, the Indian corporate sector in 2007 conducted mergers and acquisitions worth $60.1 billion, which was a 109% hike from the previous year (Teje, 2008).
An increased number of organizations from the Indian market are making entries in the global market. With expansions and acquisitions by Indian business leaders taking place all over the globe, many Indian companies are giving competition to their western counterparts in terms of recruiting young talents from the market (Teje, 2008). In this vibrant job market with lots of opportunities in various sectors, I will be able to get a secure job with good growth opportunities. Job security and vertical growth opportunity are the first benefit I will gain from moving to India. Also, for expatriate workers, the salary offered is high compared to the standard of living. I will be able to save a lot of money as the expenditure is much lower than the salary offered to expatriates, which increases the saving potential. In the US market where the salary growth is almost non-existent, India, on the other hand, is witnessing almost a 10% growth in employee salary year on year. This will help me increase my remuneration quickly.
Secondly, every year thousands of Indian graduates join the job market. As compared to the US based organizations that are retrenching employees to deal with the effect of recession, Indian companies are hiring. The good thing is that Indian economy, which even a few years before, was not open to expatriate workers, is changing slowly by welcoming qualified expatriates and granting them work visas (Gottipati, 2012). With a population of over 1 billion, though the competition in the Indian job market is fierce, candidates with foreign degrees, especially earned from the US universities, are high in demand (Teje, 2008). As many clients of the Indian companies are US based, it will be easy for me to get a high level position in India. Still, not many US employees are willing to go for long term assignments in India. However, the requirements for expatriate workers, especially US workers, are high (Gottipati, 2012). This will give me an opportunity to launch my career at a level much higher than what I will be able to achieve working only in the USA. Also, in a high growth market, moving up the corporate ladder is much easier when the whole organization is growing. This means that if I can perform and learn fast, then I will be able to not only move up the ladder fast, but also experience working in teams and learn how to lead teams in India.
Finally, by working in India, I will gain valuable work experience about the work environment in developing markets. As the Indian market is fairly similar to that of other South East Asian economies, this experience will give me good idea about the working culture of the fastest growing region of the world. This international experience will provide me with huge leverage when I will be back home in the USA. As most of the US based companies are outsourcing their manufacturing operations to countries such as India, China and Thailand and outsourcing the services mostly to India, anyone with international experience in these countries will be of high value (Teje, 2008). My international experience will give me a huge leverage in the US job market when I come back from India. Not only it will give me leverage in the job market but also will make my business understanding much better. Different cultures work in different ways and knowing Indian way of working will certainly help me understand how work cultures varies from the typical US work culture. This will help me become more efficient while working in a multi country and multicultural environment.
Concerns for Working in Indian Culture
There are three primary concerns I have of living and working in India. The first concern is that Indian culture is markedly different from western culture. Indian culture is conservative and not liberal like the western culture. In the USA, men and women mix freely, but in the Indian culture, people are still conservative when it comes to free mixing between the members of opposite sex. Shaking hands and hugging, which are western forms of greeting, are still off limits in certain sections of India, especially with women (Goswami Sharma, 2013). Besides, one has to be careful while talking to women in India. The free conversation that I am used to in the USA with people irrespective of gender might not be taken in good light there. Indians are also religious by nature. As part of their religious devotion, a good chunk of Indian population follows vegetarian diet. Especially, in places like Gujrat and Maharashtra where a good percentage of population is vegetarian, sometimes people refuse to rent out an apartment to people who consume meat or follow non-vegetarian diets (Yadav and Kumar, 2006). Hence it will be a challenge if I ever visit these places on work purpose.
Secondly, Indian work culture is hierarchical. People senior in position are addressed as 'sir' or 'madam'. One is expected to pay respect to and follow the suggestions and instructions of the seniors, who take the opinions and suggestions of junior members rarely into account, whereas in the USA, the opinion of every employee, irrespective of his position, is valued and respected (Goswami Sharma, 2013). Besides, it is accepted norm in India to stay at the workplace for about 10 hours or more, whereas in the USA, the official work hour is 8 hours and working for 10 hours is an exception. The usual day at office begins early in the morning in the USA at 8 a.m. and ends by the evening at 7 p.m., whereas in India, people reach office late by 9.30 a.m. or 10.30 a.m. and stay late till 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. Indians stay in the office even when their job is done as leaving after the bosses leave is seen as a sign of hard work, whereas in the USA, people are more focused on the quality of work. One may leave the office if his or her job for the day is done (Goswami Sharma, 2013).
Thirdly, I have grown up in an Individualistic culture in the USA where personal freedom, space and opinion hold more priority over group, but India has a collective culture in which people like to stay in groups and give group opinion and choice more priority than personal freedom and choice. Indians also prefer working in teams rather than individually, whereas the concept of team in the USA is characterized by each member fulfilling an individual role and responsibility. As Indians are accustomed to a hierarchical work culture instead of a self-directed team approach, assimilating into the team concept of Americans is difficult for them. Hence, I believe that it will be a challenge for me to adapt myself to the collective culture of India and adjust my working style to suit the Indian culture.
How Work Experience India will help in the US
As discussed earlier also that working in India will be beneficial and influential in many ways when I come back to the USA. I will get a huge leverage in the job market because of my international experience and working with a culture completely different from that of the USA in several aspects. This can jumpstart my career in the US after coming back from India. I will be able to secure a good position with a good salary in a good company easily.
Apart from getting help in the job market, I will also gain valuable personal experience. As Indian culture is completely different than the US culture, this experience will enrich me in several personal fronts. The USA has an individualistic culture where personal freedom and opinion are given more importance. Everyone here has an opinion and they are free to express that irrespective of their position in the organizational hierarchy. However, in India, the culture is collective. Most of the decisions even at corporate level are taken based on consensus. The corporate culture in India is also highly hierarchical. Individualistic style of working often fails in such situation. Experience in India will provide me with valuable input about how to successfully work with people of other cultures with different style of working. When I will be back to the USA and will be working with people of other cultures, this experience will improve my style of working in a multicultural environment. I will be able to respect and value the cultural differences of my coworkers and will learn to coexist with them in harmony.
In the modern world of globalization where physical barriers between workplaces have diminished, multinational management has emerged as a key to success in the global scenario. In order to get an experience of working with other cultures, if I need to visit a country on short or long term assignment, I will choose India as my destination. There are three parimary reasons behind my choice. Firstly, India is a growing economy and unlike the sluggish US job market, Indian job market is flourishing. Therefore, moving from the slow economy to fast growing economy like India will provide me a job security. Besides, as compared to the salary offered to expatriates, the standard of living in India is low, I will have a good saving potential. The salary in India also goes up by 10% every year unlike the USA where the salary growth is 1% or almost non-existent. Since India has a high demand for workers with a degree earned from the US universities, it will help me in launching my career at a position higher than I would have been able to in the USA. The growth of Indian economy will also help me in clambering up the ladder of success quickly. The culture of India being similar to that of other emerging markets of South East Asia, my work experience in India will help me deal with people of South East Asian countries in the USA easily. Also, the exposure to work amidst a culture markedly different from my own will help me value and respect the cultural differences of my colleagues in the USA and work in harmony.
Goswami Sharma, P. (2013). Understanding the world business culture. The Times of India. Retrieved on 21st July, 2015 from <http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/work/Understanding-the-world-business-culture/articleshow/17191117.cms>
Teje, M. (2008). Indian job market calls to U.S. graduates. Indus Business Journal. Retrieved on 21st July, 2015 from <http://www.indusbusinessjournal.com/ME2/Audiences/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=06F42489DD6C4E0D8A8E128FB187ED49&AudID=2A49137C8BBB4CAB9F23C2A2692E1395>
Gottipati, S. (2012). Expats Flock to India Seeking Jobs, Excitement. The New York Times. Retrieved on 21st July, 2015 from <http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/expats-flock-to-india-seeking-jobs-opportunity/?_r=0>
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