Global Manager: The Needed Skills

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When an engineer becomes a project manager or program manager, he has to interact with the customer in his day to day activities. To manage the customer, and to lead technical teams, one should have good leadership, managerial and administrative skills. In this article, I would like to discuss some of the skills needed to become a global manager in this high technology era.

Indian economy is growing day by day. Many industry specific companies are becoming conglomerates. Yearly, we are adding thousands of people to our work force in IT, BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and ITES (IT Enabled Services) sectors. There is lot of requirement for skilled professional managers in these industries in India. In all these industries, people are working for Fortune 500 clients. Customer relationship management became a challenging task for senior managers. Usually customer interaction won’t be there in early stages of career in IT industry. When an engineer becomes a project manager or program manager, he has to interact with the customer in his day to day activities. To manage the customer, and to lead technical teams, one should have good leadership, managerial and administrative skills. In this article, I would like to discuss some of the skills needed to become a global manager in this high technology era.

Cross-Cultural Experience
These days’ project managers in Indian IT industry are managing engineers from different parts of the country with different native languages. And the challenge becomes more intense when you have to manage global teams with people from all over the world. These kinds of teams you find frequently in USA. There manager has to be sensitivity to cultural issues. Once a software engineer goes abroad, he has to work with diversified people. Research indicates that diversity improves productivity. That’s why many companies are going for diversified teams in IT industry.  IBM is an example for the diversified workforce.

Needed Skills for Global Manager
There are basic skills needed by a global manager. Leadership Skills, Mentoring Skills, Communication Skills, Presentation Skills, Marketing Skills are compulsory for a global manager. The global manager should be committed towards deliverables. He should always try to get good customer satisfaction index and to make customer delight. A global manager should be aware of social, political, technological and economic environment of his business. He should be aware of the company’s internal strengths and weaknesses. He should also be aware of the external opportunities and threats for his business.
 
Other Needed Skills
Time management skills, negotiation skills, financial statement analysis, people management skills are also main contributing factors in making a manager successful. There is lot of need for developing soft skills and conceptual skills of the managers in these the emerging industries to take the up coming challenges in Indian industry. 
 
Management Education in India
Formal business courses like MBA, Management Development Programs (MDP) provided by the companies really help the experienced executives in learning management/business concepts. Providing management education to the executives having experience of more than 5 years is really very helpful. They will be in a position to appreciate the management concepts. IIMs, XLRI, and MDI are well known for providing management development programs to the working executives. All India Management Association (AIMA) is also providing executive education in India. AIMA conducts management games for students and management competitions for young managers in India. Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Centre for Organization Development (COD), and Institute of Public Enterprises (IPE) in Hyderabad are also providing management education to the working executives.

Management Education across the world
There are many reputed business schools in USA, Europe and few in other parts of Asia. Many companies in west are proving management education in reputed business schools like Harvard, Wharton, Kellog and Stanford. In Europe, London Business School, Oxford, and Insead are giving excellent executive education. National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Asian Institute of Management, Manila are proving world class management education in Asia.

Business Literature
Global magazines such as The Economist, Fortune, Inc., Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, BusinessWeek give good global exposure to the managers and business executives. In India, there many business magazines such as Business World, Business India, Business Today, Businessgyan, The Smart Manager, Indian Management, and Business & Management, which give the business knowledge in Indian context. These days many of these magazines cover Indian Industry well. The daily business news papers like The Economic Times, The Financial Express, The Hindu’s Business Line, and Business Standard cover daily business news in India. The global business dailies like The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Asian Wall Street Journal, and The Investors Business Daily give the picture of global business scenarios. Making a habit of reading some of the mentioned business news papers/magazines gives global exposure to a manager. The information available on the Internet is also very useful. The www.businessweek.com, www.ft.com, and www.economist.com have lot of business related information.

Management Gurus
C.K.Prahlad, and Late Sumatra Ghosal are well known for their strategic and general management thinking capabilities. According to the recent article published in The Economist, C.K.Prahlad says, companies can grow by helping the poor in this world. He says we can develop the economies with the help of poor people. Like this, there are many well known management professors of Indian Origin in this world. C.K.Prahlad and Gary Hamel’s “Competing for the Future” became book of the decade during 1990s for Strategic management.
In companies like Siemens, IBM, and Citigroup, you find many Indians working as senior level managers. Companies like Satyam, Wipro and Infosys are taking experienced people from different industries and using them in Consulting, customer relationship management and program management areas. IT industry is becoming more interdisciplinary day by day. You find people with different backgrounds in IT, ITES and BPO areas.  We should provide excellent management education to our young managers and help them in becoming global managers.


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About the Author: 
The author has 10 years experience in IT industry. He works as freelance consultant in IT industry. He has Bachelor of Science, Master of Computer Applications, Master of Technology and Executive MBA from India. He worked in USA, Ireland, India and Finland as Software Consultant. He worked as employee or Consultant to companies such as IBM, SIEMENS, Interwoven, Wipro Technologies, Citicorp, Nokia, Salomon Smith Barney, SIAC, DSET Corporation, IONA Technologies, Birla-Horizons International, and PCL Mindware.  He has few publications in Management. His articles were published in The Hindu, Indian Management, Businessgyan, Business & Management, The Global Educator, Computers Today and CSI Communications.  He has interests in both technology and management.

   G.P.Sudhakar
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