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The world of international management is no longer limited to jet-setting corporate trouble-shooters or seasoned expatriate managers. It is difficult to identify a product or service that is not somehow influenced by a cross-boarder transaction of some kind (Thomas, 2008, p. 3). In the Harvard Business School case study entitled “Silvio Napoli at Schindler India”, Silvio Napoli faces many leadership and management problems. His plan was to make money for the company despite the challenges, but in the end, he found he had little support from the firm as he struggled with many different issues. This report explores which cross-cultural problems might appear, if a Swiss company tries to build a subsidiary in India. Napoli, a 33-year-old Italian, had arrived in India with his pregnant wife and two young children and had quickly set about creating an entirely new organization from scratch. Since March, he had established offices in New Delhi and Mumbai, hired five Indian top managers, and begun to implement the aggressive business plan he had written the previous year while head of corporate planning in Switzerland. The plan called for a $10 million investment and hinged on selling “core, standardized products,” with no allowance for customization. To keep costs down and avoid India’s high import tariffs, the plan also proposed that all manufacturing and logistics activities be outsourced to local suppliers (Fagan/Yoshino/Bartlett, 2006, p. 1).
Lack of support from the European branch
One of the first problems that appeared was the absence of information exchange. For example, when the transfer cost prices increased 30 %, the company never warned him. They simply admitted that his pricing six months prior had been correct, but costs increased. If Napoli was warned of the issue, he would have known earlier and could have passed the cost onto the customer. By the time he found out about the price increase, it was too late to correct...
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