Why global companies prefer Indian CEOs
The art of being a great leader is to lead by example. This statement is often heard or read by many, but the definition of leaders in the corporate world over the years has gone through a drastic change, where there is more responsibility and credibility that has been added to the word ‘Leader’. In today’s evolving economy, the work of a leader is not limited to overseeing the organizations but they need to motivate a diverse group of manpower, work across organizational boundaries, improve efficiency and achieve growth. Externally, they face a complex and globalized environment, which is always changing.
On a global platform, companies have become multi-cultural. As communication becomes more faster and the world becomes more digital, we will continue to see Indian workforce including senior level executives exploring job opportunities abroad.
Apart from that, some of the world top business school (IIM), engineering colleges (IIT) and medical colleges (AIIMS) are based out of India, which produces world class skilled workforce which is capable to lead many companies in India and abroad. We have seen that over the last few years a lot of global companies including Fortune 500 companies are being led by leaders (CEO, & COO) from Indian origin. These senior level executives are not only the bi-product of good quality education but also are experienced and skilled in their respective field of work. Indian skills are renowned globally and 2013-2014 holds testament to the fact that global companies are now open to hiring non-native CEO’s. Hence the question arises that- why are Indians being preferred as CEO’s or top leadership position by global companies? Global companies have been expanding and foraying into different markets across the world and hence require leadership that is well acquainted with working in different environments and here Indians prove to be a better bet as they have a rigorous educational background and are exposed to working under varied circumstances. Along with that, India being a multicultural nation, individuals are more receptive to working in different geographies and that is why we see a large number of Indians going abroad to study and further work in those countries to make a lucrative career. This gives them an opportunity to adapt to uncertain environment which later on helps in the tacking unforeseen business challenges. Also, foreign leaders consider Indian executives to be of superior talent and with the skill set of that caliber, cracking and entering into new markets successfully has been a capability that Indian leaders bank upon. Not only that, Indian CEO’s can adapt better while dealing with multi-cultural workforce which has become more prevalent in foreign countries including some of the top IT, FMCG, Telecom companies of the world.
Due to the kind of this kind of exposure an experience of working under different work environment coupled with the right skill set makes the India leader much sort after than many of its counterparts. Indian CEOs work more towards execution rather than just giving direction. Additionally, Indian CEOs tend to put long term goals ahead of short term gains and also possess strong business ethics and sense towards achieving the larger targets.
Another perspective that can be looked upon the growth rate and opportunity the Indian market has to offer to foreign companies. In order to enter into the Indian market, global companies need someone who is well aware of the market scenario and can help in seamless operations within India. Hence hiring a CEO based out of the home country gives the company an extra edge to move further.
It is now being observed that a leader or a CEO has to be a well-rounded individual who can not only look after the working of the company but execute the vision of the company and take it to the next level. He/ She have to look at the bigger picture and while making important decisions. Another point to be noted is that Indian CEO’s should remember that strategies across geographies vary and one has to change according to the needs of the company and the market that they are catering to.
Overall, time and again we have seen Indian leader proving their metal on the global platform, but we see that there is still room for improvement in handling touch situation at work and once these gaps are met, sky will be the limit and we will see more Indians in the ‘Global Board Room’.
Disclaimer: This is a contributed post. The statements, opinions and data contained are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of People Matters and the editor(s).