Thursday, March 1, 2012

Upwardly Mobile

Ranjini Manian is the founder of Global Adjustments, a Chennai-based professional services firm that helps foreign companies and expatriate managers adapt quickly to India. I have had the opportunity to hear her speak to a group of non-Indian managers, and she has a nice way of presenting Indian culture and dispelling the myths and mysteries regarding doing business in India.

In her latest book, Upworldly Mobile (Penguin Portfolio, 2011), Ranjini shifts her focus 180 degrees to provide advice as to how an Indian manager can be more effective in a global business environment. She covers a wide range of topics ranging from how to behave in meetings, to mobile and email etiquette, to communication skills. She emphasizes the need to retain one’s Indiannness, and at the same time reach out to the world.

This is a very practical book and will no doubt be of great help to Indians setting out into the global world of business. It’s infused with a spirit of pragmatism (in my cultural stereotyping, I see this as more like the Chinese!) but honestly, I found the tone a bit too gung-ho, and the advice an overly enthusiastic buy-in to the “flat world” philosophy. Worth a quick read though – it has some nice quotes from Gandhiji and Indira Gandhi among others, and the advice won’t do any harm.

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