This interview by China Daily News of Lenovo’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer struck me as an interesting example of what is happening to way companies do business around the world today.
Well, here’s a photo of the SVP & CMO, Deepak Advani, with CDN’s US based correspondent. Lenovo is headquartered in the United States with the accompanying snippet from the article.
Advani: Yes, actually I am Indian American. I was born in India.
Then I moved to America. I graduated from Wharton School of the
University of Pennsylvania. Then I became an IBM Vice President. I was
in IBM for 13 years being the head of strategy and marketing for IBM PC
business. IBM is a very very international and global company. I spent
a lot of my time outside the United States, in Brazil, in Japan , in China. Today I have became an executive of a Chinese company.
Thomas Friedman put it well, the world is flat. In the new world
there are more and more companies where your nationality or even the
place you live is not as important as the power of your ideas. For me,
in fact someone put a picture of me on the web and said I was a symbol
of the new world: someone who was born in India and lives in the United
States but now does marketing for a company in China. That is the
reality of the world.
Everyday you dealt with people from different nationalities and
different cultures. What I learnt early on in my career is that there
is real power in diversity because the customers you are selling to are
diverse. If you can’t understand what their needs are and how they
think and the importance of cultural differences, you will never be
successful on a global scale. So I often try to tap into the power of
diversity. On my teams there are always people from different
nationalities and different cultures. Some of them are more aggressive
and would talk a lot while some are more reserved and they would think
more and talk after thinking. In some cultures you talk and think
later. As long as you can get ideas out of different people from
different cultures, you can then do a better job serving your customers
who happen to be heterogeneous.