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Money and market

International trade experts need to be aware of the global trade environment, factors affecting it and relevant regulations. They need to stay updated on the latest market dynamics, policies and practices.

education Updated: May 15, 2012 17:02 IST

The lowdown
International trade experts need to be aware of the global trade environment, factors affecting it and relevant regulations. They need to stay updated on the latest market dynamics, policies and practices. A foreign trade expert’s job is not limited to any specific segment such as marketing, shipping and packaging, or functions-related to export management, pricing, sourcing, costing, export market research, distribution, freight marketing, export finance, documentation, and foreign exchange. It is a combination of all of the above and more. With the opening up of the market, global trade barriers have been knocked down. A truly global marketplace has become a reality in both the physical and virtual realm

Clockwork
There are no fixed timings because you might have to work according to various time zones. However, a typical day shift would be like this:
9am: Reach office
10am: Analyse trends
Noon: Feed actual trade negotiations; give inputs for trade policy-making, including domestic trade
2pm: Meet industry contacts
4pm: Keep an eye on key agreements being signed all over the world
5.30pm: Take stock of the day’s work and various negotiations that are taking place in various industries; plan for the next day
6pm: Leave for home

The payoff
A trainee gets between Rs. 2.5 lakh and Rs. 3.5 lakh per annum, while a manager may expect around Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 15 lakh per annum

Skills/TRAITS
* Awareness of practical issues, quantitative techniques
* Good domain knowledge
* Knowledge of trade policy issues

Getting there
There are several long-term and short-term courses offered by many institutions in India. Postgraduate courses in international business and supply chain management offered by top management institutes, too, are good for candidates looking for a career in foreign trade

Institutes and URLs
* Indian Institute of Foreign Trade New Delhi and Kolkata www.iift.edu
* Symbiosis Institute of International Business, Pune www.siib.ac.in
* Centre for International Trade and Development, JNU, New Delhi
www.jnu.ac.in

Pros and cons
* Unlimited opportunities
* You are involved in policy making
* If the volume of foreign trade goes down, job demand will come down drastically

An MBA in international business will help you reach senior positions in the industry in a relatively short span of time KT Chacko, director, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi