India’s biggest export to the world – the omnipresent CEO

international corporations are hiring indian ceos to manage their global business operations

when satya nadella took over the reins as the third CEO of microsoft, the corporate world was not surprised. for the past several years, large global multinationals have witnessed the appointments of indians in c-level roles, more specifically the CEO position. there is an increasing trend of indian leaders assuming key positions in global companies and this could very well be attributed to their experience working in emerging markets and complex business environments constrained by skilled resources. in addition to highly skilled managerial competencies and a multi-cultural work experience, indian leaders are also adept in english, the global language powering businesses across the world.

why do multinationals prefer indian CEOs?

most multinational corporations headquartered in the us, uk, and europe have their global front and back offices operating out of india. companies such as pepsi, hp, and ibm conduct their business critical operations from india and arguably so, since india and china top the list of countries in the asia-pacific region that are fast emerging as the most profit-yielding economies in the world. then again, this trend of looking at india for talent doesn’t stop with c-level recruitments. with a highly skilled and talented resource pool graduating out of top indian universities, MNCs are luring young talent from india to occupy important positions and eventually head their global business divisions. some of the reasons why indians make it to the top brass in huge multinational conglomerates are:

quality education and exceptional managerial skills

india is known for its educational strength. the subcontinent is home to world-class engineering and business schools such as the IITs and IIMs, which have produced some exceptional talent over the years. these graduates are not only highly qualified, but also come with the necessary skills and business acumen to head critical business functions. 

experience working in diversified environments

business in india is affected by the economic and political scenario prevalent in the country. as such, indian CEOs and senior level executives have a rich experience working in complex and differentiated environments marked by extreme volatilities and pressures. when indian executives look for jobs outside the country, they are already adept at working in any kind of environment and are therefore at ease working in a more structured and process-oriented western workplace culture.

willingness to work in different geographies

this is another factor that works in favour of indian executives. by and large, indians are comfortable working in different geographies and in different business cultures. this makes it easy for them to acclimatise to the working patterns of the west and this is a very important consideration that global companies look for when finalising their core executive team. 

good knowledge of emerging markets

the world is looking at india and a few other asian countries as a potential market capable of turning the economics of business around in the coming years. this is one of the main reasons why mncs hire indian ceos to helm their business affairs as indians come with a thorough knowledge of the indian and asian market.

indians are slowly but surely capturing the global market with their innate skills and an ambition to reach the top of their careers. the world economy has undergone a drastic change with innovations in technology and business strategy and major companies across the us, uk, and europe are eyeing indian talent to ensure a speedy and consistent boost in business. this trend of indians occupying key positions in global board rooms is only likely to increase in the coming years owing to mass globalisation and subsequently more leverage on emerging markets. some of the top indian executives who are the face of some of the biggest international business houses:
1. satya nadella – CEO, microsoft
2. anshu jain – Co-CEO, deutsche bank
3. gunit chadha – Co-CEO, asia/pacific, deutsche bank
4. indra nooyi – chairman and CEO, pepsico
5. shantanu narayen – president and CEO, adobe systems
6. ajay banga – president and CEO, mastercard
7. sanjay jha – CEO, globalfoundries (former CEO, motorola mobility)
8. sanjay vanjani – CFO, motorola mobility
9. sunil sood – CEO, vodafone india
10. sanjay mehrotra – Co-founder, president and CEO, sandisk
11. piyush gupta – CEO, dbs group holdings & dbs bank

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