I live in Delhi, India since September 2014. Our two offices in Delhi and Bangalore also covers the South Asian markets of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, the Maldives and Bangladesh.
What is your background?
I have a Master’s Degree in Business and Management from Stockholm School of Economics and have previous experience from both studying and working abroad; in the UK, US, Norway and South Korea. Most recently I worked as a Business Director at Stockholm School of Economics IFL Executive Education.
What can a day look like?
As a Consultant you work in big and smaller projects together with Project Managers and Associates. India as a country is vibrant and diversified and so is Business Sweden as a workplace. Although you have your plans and your projects you never know how the day will turn out when you get to the office in the morning and you have to be prepared that unexpected things comes up that you need to focus on. We have many different stakeholders that poke for attention from customers to the Embassy, the head office and Indian or Swedish ministries. Projects can be big or smaller and vary from large market analysis or setting up meeting schedules with potential clients or partners for the Swedish company.
Describe a project you have been involved in and what was your responsibility?
I just got home to Delhi from a Business Delegation to Dhaka. The delegation comprised of 11 Swedish companies within the infrastructure sector that wanted to explore and/or further develop their businesses in Bangladesh. In my role as the Project Manager for the delegation I had various tasks within the project: everything from planning the program together with the Embassy in Dhaka, to managing sales, budget, customer requirements and reporting. The scope is very broad and you have to handle everything from strategic issues: “What is best for the Swedish stakeholder in this context?” to very hands-on things like making sure the bus driver knows the way to the next meeting.
What is it like to work in India and what have you experienced regarding cultural differences?
There are huge differences between the Swedish and the Indian cultures which is of course also reflected at the work place. One if the central differences is reflected in a survey done by Times Magazine asking: “Should the boss have all the answers?” where 79 percent of the Indian responders said yes meanwhile the figure for Swedes was seven percent. The Indian business culture is much more hierarchical and at the same time more flexible than the Swedish and you have to learn how to navigate in the new environment.
How do you know if Business Sweden is the right work place for you?
In order to succeed at Business Sweden: both in terms of work performance and personal achievements I think you have to be open minded, flexible, business oriented and have a genuine interest for growing Sweden internationally.