Globalisation's next Indian episode is gathering momentum. With Indian troops fighting key world battles in services and technology for some corporate giants, some of them are fast deputing global leaders to be based in cities like Bangalore and New Delhi.
America On Line (AOL), the Internet and media giant, marked a milestone in this on Monday when it named an international chief who will function from Bangalore. Maneesh Dhir (42) will be the new head of the Time Warner Inc unit’s international operations, working out of Bangalore as executive vice-president, an elevation from his current rank as senior vice-president.
AOL has key operations in India including back-office and call centre functions, which are critical for a service-based organisation. In fact, the trend was started in December last when Cisco Systems announced the appointment of Wim Elfrink as Chief Globalisation Officer, with a plan to shift him to Bangalore from the United States. Both the title and the shift marked the significance of an operation in which the breaking down of geographical boundaries was critical.
Elfrink's latest promotion will bring the Dutch polyglot far from his Western comfort zone, as he is bringing his wife, two daughters and the family dog from suburban Silicon Valley to southern India. However, his job profile is not local but global.
AOL on Monday named Dhir to replace Joe Redling, who left in the recent restructuring that brought Randy Falco from NBC to become AOL chief executive. Redling had worked from the company's global headquarters in Dulles, Virginia.
AOL and Cisco are leading global battles out of India, but some companies are increasingly using India as a base for near-shore markets that include other countries in south, southwest or southeast Asia.
Korean chaebol Samsung Electronics recently named HB Lee as the Regional President and CEO for the company’s South West Asia regional headquarters, to India.
In the new role, Lee who will re-locate to New Delhi in February, will oversee the company’s operations in the Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) region in addition to all Samsung subsidiaries operating in India.
That would include markets such as Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
"The appointment of Lee as regional president is symbolic of the parent company’s focus on the Southwest Asia region and specifically India," said Samsung India Electronics Pvt Ltd President & CEO SH Oh.