European Business Schools Offer Good Value For Your Money

The MBA qualification was invented in the USA more than a century ago, and the USA still boasts five of the top ten business schools in the world. However, as of recently, European business schools are on the rise, and Europe is becoming an increasingly popular destination for international MBA students. Is a new trend taking shape?

Top business schools in Europe have reached the same level of quality as their American counterparts. Still, the European MBA experience is quite unique. What benefits can a European MBA offer to students?

The most obvious difference between the European and the American MBA programs is in their duration: it takes much less time to obtain an MBA degree from a European business school. Generally speaking, an MBA course in the USA takes two years to finish, while in Europe an MBA can be finished in only twelve months, or less.

This way, an MBA student can return to the workforce faster, which brings significant financial savings. Additionally, many European MBA courses can be studied part-time. This alone makes studying in a European business school more attractive for many MBA hopefuls. However, the curriculum is basically the same as in the USA: a European classroom experience can be quite intensive!

The schools, and the classes you attend while studying in Europe, are smaller than in the USA. Smaller classes provide both an opportunity for students to learn from each other, and better interaction between students and their professors.

The average age of MBA students in Europe is higher than in America. That translates into longer work experience requirements, though. The median work experience for European MBA students is about seven years.

European business schools offer a truly international experience: in the top schools, more than sixty percent of students come from abroad! And, the old continent is inherently multicultural, with its mixture of nationalities, languages and customs.

Most European MBA programs are either taught in English, or are bilingual. Earning their MBA degree in Europe gives students an excellent opportunity to develop their foreign language skills, or even learn a new language.

Studying in Europe, an MBA student can develop international professional networks, and prepare for a global business career. That’s why multinational businesses recruit heavily on European MBA campuses.

While an MBA from an American business school still holds its value, for many reasons, MBA students will continue to look past the top universities located in the USA. The number of triple-accredited business schools in Europe is growing. Graduates holding a European MBA are reported to have higher median starting salary than their USA counterparts. There may indeed be a new long-term trend emerging.

Business Cards – Then and Now

Business cards can be termed as the most important entity for any modern day professional. It is not difficult to understand why. Business cards, after all divulge such important information about an individual like his name, the organisation he is working in, the post he holds, his contact numbers and his e-mail ID. In addition to all this, business cards also give information about the organization one works in and the type of product it churns out. Surely, anything that gives such important information about any person can be nothing, if not important.

No surprises then those business cards enjoy very important status amongst people. However, it would be interesting to know how this phenomenon of business cards started. Well, business cards came into existence in the 15th century in China. In those days, their use was confined to the people belonging to the upper strata of the society. They used these cards to announce their arrival in a house hold. With the passage of time, this practice was picked up by the others as well.

In Europe, business cards marked their arrival in the 17th century. And England is the country that holds the honour of using the business cards for the first time in Europe. The merchant community held its strangle hold over the use of business cards initially. These cards included the name of the stuff sold by the merchants. One unique thing about the business cards used in England in those days was the use of maps guiding people to the shop.

Today, however, business cards have undergone complete change and are available in a wide variety of colours, design and price range giving people ample option to choose from. Though its would not be out of place here to state that simple business cards with all the information would be a far better bet than a flashy one.

Continental Europe Warming Up to Indian Markets

The executives of the Indian IT industry are known for their sense of style, but there is a flip side too which Indian geeks should really focus upon. Ever heard of caste and gender prejudice stalking the IT corridors?

According to a survey carried out by a London-based outsourcing advisory firm though Europeans appreciate our dressing sensibilities, but caste and gender discrimination have left a more bitter taste in their mouths. The later has an high impact on the former.

The firm surveyed almost 35 top companies across Europe, asking them to talk about the obstacles they face while doing business with their Indian counterparts.

Different countries had different versions.

Nordic region companies talked about the awkwardness in attitude of the Indian men when it comes to interacting with their female counterparts. It is often observed that Indian teams sent for sales pitches don’t comprise even a single woman. On the other hand the people they are pitching too are generally women.

Business deals are generally fixed during drinks and dinner but Indians generally lack the adeptness to manage it.

Another disappointing factor that has come to the fore is that respondents felt that Indians over commit and also are not very flexible when it comes to sharing information.

Further, Indians working onshore in Europe made little or no attempt to assimilate with the local people, rather preferred socializing and living with other Indians.

However, despite all these negative feedbacks, Continental Europe is proactively looking forward to do business with Indian Outsourcing companies.

Significant goings-on have already been observed in the Benelux which includes Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg as well as Germany.

Nonetheless, the Nordic countries are showing much more interest. Nordic countries are home to heavyweight companies like Ikea, Nokia, Shell and Ericsson.

According to a top source from a leading advisory firm, if one communicates with 10 companies in Germany for potential business prospects, in all probability only two will respond. On the other hand, if one contacts 10 companies in Nordic, rest assured at least 7 will give a call back.

That continental Europe is upbeat about India is justified by the fact that India major TCS is doing a good business here. TCS has witnessed its European share doubling to 30 percent in the last 10 years.

Moreover, though Europe looks upon India as a traditional country, the continent by far has not been able to do away with its rigid mindsets.

Europe still looks at IT as an integral function of the company and therefore hesitates when it comes to outsourcing the same. Case in point being: German Pharma giant Bayers and chemical major BASF. Though both these have international operations, however they still retain IT services in house and employ almost 20,000 people for the job.

However, global meltdown has put the companies on a contemplation mode. By now they’ve figured out that outsourcing is the key to cutting costs. However, Indians have their own set of challenges when trying to enter these markets.

In continent Europe, business is based on relationship-building, unlike the US and UK markets, where businesses are purely revenue-focused.

When it comes to UK and US markets, Indian IT companies just send a few people on project basis. Here they focus much more on the verticals and are not at all regionally focused.

When it comes to European markets, Indians just can’t do with knowing the business nuances, they need to know the intricacies of the culture as well.

Some big players like TCS, Infosys, HCL and Cognizant realizing the potential of the European market have started investing here in a more sustainable fashion.

As Indian companies slowly but surely seem to grab the eyeballs of more and more clients, the European companies in turn are warming to the idea of off shoring and working hand in hand with Indians. The best parts being they even have opened up to the idea of accepting Indians in the IT consultative or advisory space.