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'Indian students keep their studies flexible'

Rachel Nicholson, Yann Tschallener, Eva Verriele.

GLOBALISATION INDEED has given birth to a new breed of managers with an international perspective. Call him or her "international manager".

The ability to adapt themselves to different environments and conduct business is coming sharply into focus. Accordingly, B-schools that matter have incorporated in their curriculum "international management" as part of their programmes.

And with more and more Indian B-schools tying up with foreign universities, the trend towards an international profile of the programmes will surely benefit both the educational system and the industry.

Part of such a trend are 32 students from Ecole Superieure de Commerce (ESC), Pau, which is in south France, on an exchange programme at the Ohio-Manipal School of Business, Bangalore.

Grabbing opportunities

Their aspirations are simple: to work anywhere in the world. The opportunities are there and they are making investments to grab such opportunities.

Here in conversation with The Hindu EducationPlus are Rachel Nicholson, Eva Verriele and Yann Tschallener.

Rachel Nicholson: I am here from January to June following the MBA programme in OMSB. We come from a French business school in south France.

Eva Verriele: We have courses with Indian students. We have discovered the country and it is so different from France. Part of the course is DBE (Domestic Business Environment) and we are getting familiar with the Indian economy.

Rachel: I had no knowledge of the country before coming here. We are learning now about its culture, religion, economy etc. We are getting an insight into Indian education and how Indians work in companies.

Eva: There are differences in the way Indian students study. We have a methodology and everything is planned, whereas Indian students keep it flexible.

Rachel: In class, French students take down notes whereas Indians mainly listen and they do a lot of last-minute study. They work late in the night whereas we work over a longer period of time.

Eva: Despite last-minute study, they seem to do well.

Management education

Rachel: The main management education everywhere is the same.

Eva: In India there is a lot of presentation, whereas in France we have one or two presentations. I think it is better over here, it gives the students lot more confidence, making presentations in front of a group.

Rachel: We are in the second year of a three-year business school in France. We are actually not following a MBA programme, but we are here for the experience of being in an Indian business school.

Eva: We had options of going to European countries and the U.S.

Rachel: Some have gone to England, Spain, Germany and the U.S.

Eva: About 70 students have gone overseas from France, of them 32 are in Bangalore.

Yann Tschallener: India and China are going to take over major businesses. They are going to take prime place in the world economy and we are gaining first hand knowledge of the change taking place here.

Eva: A number of students go to England, U.S. and Germany, but it gives lot more value if one goes to an atypical country.

Rachel: It shows that we are ready to move to another continent and to adapt to a different culture. In Europe, the culture is more or less similar.

Eva: We are learning how Indian companies are run.

Rachel: We have been working with Accenture, Bangalore Central, Food World etc. We are doing live projects. We are working on a HR project at Accenture. Within the company, they had a narrow view of what was happening with regard to recruitments. We tried to reduce the waiting time for candidates.

Eva: I worked on a project in Bangalore Central mall, trying to figure out the customer satisfaction levels and the relative position of the mall. Two issues we noticed: surplus staff and lack of professionalism and poor packaging. I have suggested downsizing the staff.

Yann: I too was working with Accenture. Despite the size of the company, they have lot of problems hiring people.

Rachel: An international manager is the one who can adapt himself or herself to situations in any country.

Yann: Now, businesses are happening globally. With outsourcing becoming a trend, as managers we have to be flexible to adapt to different countries. Our careers will depend upon our mobility.

Eva: We can learn from the internet and yet be global, but there is no comparison with the experience one gains of how businesses are working.

Rachel: Our school in Pau sends many students overseas.

Yann: Our school has projects in Asia and is currently discussing with different business schools. The tie-ups should materialise next year.


Rachel: Last-minute things do happen in a business environment.

Yann: In a business world, you have to plan carefully. But there would be occasions when last-minute skills have to be fine-tuned. India has not developed mainly because of the government policies, but now with reforms taking place I hope it would get sorted out.

Rachel: The business world in India is developing and also Indian education. The literacy levels are going up.

Yann: Some of us went to visit families here. In Europe, we have more of nuclear families and people are selfish. Here, there are lots of joint families and they are interested in looking after one another.

Rachel: We have not gone to the countryside, though.

Eva: There is a lot of contrast in India. In cities such as Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi, there are similarities with the developed world, but there are wide gaps within the city.

Yann: You have big buildings and next to that you have slums. I think with more and more people getting educated and development happening, it is likely that the standards of living will go up.

It is not easy to increase the living standards of such a huge population.

Rachel: I think the changes will happen lot earlier than expected.

Yann: India is very involved in education. There are highly skilled persons and they will help the growth of the country.

`Not good enough'

Eva: The way India does business is not good enough. Business skills need to be improved substantially. When we do internship later, we will get a better idea of how businesses are conducted here.

Rachel: I will be doing internship at Shahi Exports.

Eva: My internship is at Ogilvy Advertising.

Yann: I will work for Manipal Apparels.

Rachel: I will be looking at global opportunities, maybe India. It's a lovely country and there are going to be lots of job opportunities.

Eva: I will be getting into audit and that will allow me to travel. Yann: I am really keen on working abroad. I cannot think of staying at the same place for long.

Rachel: Opportunities mean finance, career prospects etc. Money is also a consideration. Eva: I would take a job which satisfies me, giving precedence over money.

Yann: We spend about 20,000 Euros per year. Our budget here is 4000 Euros.

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