Posts tagged Cross-Cultural Adaptation
Bangalore, Jan. 28, The Park Hotel, M.G. Road
Ranjini Manian’s new book “Upworldly Mobile” was released by Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, Founder of Infosys, in partnership with The Park Hotel Bangalore, on a lovely Saturday evening.
A turnout of about 120 business, diplomatic and society leaders of Bangalore listened enthralled as Ranjini shared real-life anecdotes of her 16 years experience running Global Adjustments and interacting with clients from 75 different nationalities. In a humorous and lively way, Ranjini stressed the importance of Cultural Intelligence and adjustments in business life, using her business story with the visiting delegation from a major German automotive company as an example. Years back, she played a role in convincing the Chairman of the Board Dr. Norbert Reithofer about Chennai as the preferred location for their factory, by impressing him with small – but powerful – adjustments to the German culture, e.g. being punctual to the minute. From the same encounter she learned several lessons:
- As you advance in hierarchy ladder, people are simple at the top: For instance, Dr. Reithofer, instead of using the provided fleet of cars, asked for a bus for himself and his colleagues to see India first hand.
- You need to be careful with stereotypical assumptions: When Ranjini asked Dr. Reithofer why he didn’t bother about hierarchy, he said “Well, what is hierarchy, after you have read the book “Who am I” of Ramana Maharshi?” – the German understands Indian philosophy and it’s time for the Indian to speak up for himself.
- If you do something that resonates with someone’s culture, do not hesitate to point that out: When Ranjini dropped Dr. Reithofer back perfectly on “German” time – he noted this and Global Adjustments was soon chosen as the preferred vendor for moving their employees to India.
Mr. Murthy, Founder of Infosys – India’s first company listed on the NASDAQ, New York – and currently independent director of several corporate boards (e.g. HSBC, Unilever, NDTV), stressed the need for Cultural Intelligence in today’s India. In his opinion, there could have been no better time to release a book like “Upworldly Mobile”, as Indians have a lot to learn from other cultures and consequently have to make many adjustments. Ranjini’s book would therefore be very useful in getting to understand the nuances of other cultures, without losing our own cultural roots, he pointed out. Becoming Upworldly Mobile would bring more prosperity to all sections of society – including the less privileged ones, he added.
Mr. Murthy ended by sharing four cross-cultural tips for Indians with his audience, drawing from his experience in leading a 130,000 employee multinational company – Infosys:
- Become “thick skinned”
- Increase integrity
- Say “yes” only after considering consequences
- Stay friendly but don’t get intimate
Find out what he meant by watching the video below:
Craig Storti, world famous Guru in the field of intercultural communications and cross-cultural adaptation and the author of several standard works, including Culture Matters, a cross-cultural workbook used by the U.S. Government in over 90 countries, appreciates Ranjini’s work with the following email:
Just finished Upworldly Mobile. An excellent blend of very practical advice and yet touching on much bigger themes. I imagine that not just Indian readers but many others will find it very helpful. I was especially pleased to see you using “We And They.” It’s one of my favorite cross-cultural literary references, and I too used it as the frontispiece years ago for my book: The Art of Crossing Cultures.
I had forgotten that you were going to reference yours truly in this book and was delighted to see what good use you made of some of my thoughts.
All the best