Globalization has rendered the world interdependent. It has also created a space where geographical boundaries are of little importance. This has brought businesses closer. India has stepped up to its role as a major contributor to the world’s economy. One of the critical strategic levers that it needs in abundance is managers who can act, think and work in a global environment.

In a DDI study, 62% of the multinational executives described their preparation for their global role as fair or poor, coupled with is another data point which states that the second biggest globalization business challenge is demand vs supply of global executive talent.

“A global economy is characterized not only by the free movement of goods and services but, more important, by the free movement of ideas and of capital." – George Soros

In order to position itself as a major economic force to reckon with for a foreseeable future, India needs employees who are global citizens in their approach and mindset. This should not be mistaken with aping of only accent, mannerisms (like eating habits), displaying confidence in voice and body language. To be truly global requires deeper sensitization and appreciation of softer aspects like collaborating, working and encouraging diversity and inclusion, reciprocating relevance of deadline, etc.

  1. The organization’s view and capability along with an individual’s own inclination and exposure becomes important in creating a pool of global leaders
  2. Colleges emphasizing on cross-cultural awareness (harnesses through exchange programs, international faculty, and curriculum) prepares students for global roles in an effective manner.
  3. There is still scope for improvement in the early stages of development as the lessons learned at this stage usually become guiding principles throughout one’s life.
  1. Building upon this logic, there is a very high result orientation in Indians. The need to complete a task quickly, with a sound degree of precision, and against all odds is inbuilt in Indian managers.
  2. This is also the result of the environment in which a lot of Indian managers have grown up.
  3. The area that needs to be immediately addressed is building a higher degree of social and cultural competence in order to co-create long term sustainable value.
  1. The proverbial “jugaad”– the Indian version of innovation and creativity is deeply embedded in the collective consciousness of our society.
  2. The possibility of creating a solution with limited resources, in an ambiguous environment with a race against time (where time is always stretchable) and a thousand other activities is one of the finest recipes cooked and served daily in majority of the businesses operating in India.
  3. Indian managers are usually unperturbed in a crisis situation as work is done and crisis have become synonymous.
  1. Inherent competitive nature has its roots in rampant competition found in every sphere of life, right from schools to colleges. The reality of 100% cutoffs is a testimony to this.
  2. The psyche of the Indian manager equates being success and competency to being number 1. This is the biggest impediment that organizations need to deal with when they are preparing Indian managers for global roles.
  3. Organizations are working hard to crack this code. They are dabbling with a lot of development methods, tools, and techniques. Providing exposure, coaching, mentoring, training programs, conferences, etc. to build up the manager.

“Many of the western economies are likely to get more and more closed. They are getting much more into a protection zone. Therefore, the acceptance of other cultures is not going to be high" -Bimal Rath

Western economies ruling the roost is a thing of past now. The last decade and a half have seen emerging markets entering the limelight in the business world. BRIC economies created a lot of positive economic sentiment. The growth rates of a lot of big eastern countries have been zooming up, with some plateauing post the global financial crisis.

The liquidity flow from the western countries to the emerging markets was one of the reasons for catapulting growth rates of certain economies including India, during the years 2003-2007.

“Certain mannerisms and skills are relevant and true for any nationality. Maybe we are not putting enough efforts to polish our managers better." – Praneet Mehrish, HR Advisor, Consultant, Coach at ORGMENTOR

This can be interpreted as obvious signs of some form of mild protectionism that the west may be forced to adopt, and therefore, in the long term, which part of the world promises to be open and egalitarian in its business and economic philosophy is a mootable point.

Point to ponder over is, are we creating global leaders keeping in mind the demands and opportunities that will unfold with respect to the projected future global economic situations or are we simply going by the rules of the past?


As organizations acknowledge the need of developing global leaders, the move is largely restricted to classical methods like classroom training, coaching and mentoring, etc. What is not assessed is whether the individual manager deserves the current position or has he reached there merely by virtue of riding a tide of economic growth and industrial boom.

Creating more global leaders means creating long term business strategy and this requires sharp focus. Rotating people in different geographical territories and being coached by mentors with a global portfolio, is perhaps one the best way of achieving this objectives.

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