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China beckons Indians

China beckons Indians
Highlights

Indians enjoy a reputation for getting jobs anywhere. They adjust to climate, food and even difficult bosses.

Indians enjoy a reputation for getting jobs anywhere. They adjust to climate, food and even difficult bosses. But China, although right next door, has been a no-no. That is changing. More and more Indians take up jobs in both Mainland and in Hong Kong. After ignoring each other mutually, and after being cold shouldered by the Chinese, the Indians are slowly gaining acceptance in the Chinese job market. Smart, they realise that the best way to please a Chinese is to be punctual and take copious notes when the boss is discussing things.

A report says China is becoming a favourite for Indians, given their increasing acceptance in managerial positions. Indians are being offered higher salaries – fifty per cent and more. It is also a bright plus point on their curriculum vitae. Against a slow five per cent annual growth rate in the recent years, the Chinese intake of Indian executives and managers rose by 20 per cent last year.

But it has been slow and delayed, despite burgeoning economic ties because of several reasons that need to be understood. One reason is the mutual distrust between the two neighbours. Indians are wary of Chinese technology for perceived security reasons. To think of employing a Chinese national in a key position would still be a no-no for an Indian employer.

The Chinese are returning the compliment. It is heartening that this is changing, at least from the Chinese side. How and when the Indian employers shed inhibitions would need careful watching. Part of the problem has been the Chinese work culture. Some years ago, Indian diamond and jewellery hands were detained and needed political intervention to get them released.

This may have put off Indians. But then, is there a place that is problem-free, where the employer is waiting with open arms to give jobs? The Chinese, too, are adjusting to the environment of working for, and working as, MNCs. Large Chinese companies like Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo, ZTE Corporation, Fosun, Alibaba and Bright Food are hiring Indian managers.

They add to the numbers in non-Chinese multinationals such as Cisco, General Motors and Nestle, are also filling their China offices with Indians. Placement experts say the Indians enjoy greater acceptability over the Americans or Europeans because they are used to mid-level technology.

They are familiar with and can anticipate problems in a developing economic environment. Third, they come with a measure of varied experience, even if coming straight from India. The knowledge of English language and ability to understand complex marketing conditions also favour the Indians.

The largest Chinese intake of Indian executives is in telecommunications, fast-moving consumer goods, manufacturing, IT and IT-enabled services, banking, healthcare, and chemicals. They are offering senior positions: from project manager and project operations head right up to general manger and country manager. All this is a good augury. Almost every country does business with China and with India. The two should know and work together.

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