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Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Two of my newly joined MBA colleagues and myself were trying to analyze the prevalent culture in the top business conglomerates of India. Most of these family led businesses are going through interesting times. They are hiring MBAs in large numbers and developing a mindset that shifts from a traditional hierarchical culture to a young and open culture.

At the same time we were also discussing the problems and the challenges that such huge organizations are likely to face during this process. One of the most important skills we realized is how to deal with people. As an MBA from a leading school, it’s easy to find your first post MBA designations as managers or senior managers (talking about laterals only). These same roles are sometimes even termed AVPs in some organizations. Now there will be a person (twice your age), who has risen from the grassroots and has remained loyal to an organization. But, his designation is officially lower than yours. This provides a difficult situation and dealing with such man-management issues is likely to be one of the biggest challenges.

There is also a kind of cultural mix. Its easy to find a boss, from whom you can learn so many things, and at the same time the traditional support staff can create delay in the execution of various processes. Extremely competitive people as well as the lousy ones will inhabit the same office. Dealing with all these varieties effectively, with due respect to caliber, age and range is quite a challenge.

Its easy to create a job profile which boasts of planning, international business, project execution, fixed asset management, site monitoring…and what not…but at the end of the day all these boils down to the same issue…people management…. technical stuff is always the same (basic finance, accounting, operations etc)…and not the rocket science variety…at least at the level I am in.

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