Business and Culture in India, a My Kilpatrick Experience by Manu

Manu Gupta is one of our Senior Consultants who  has been in the headhunting business for over 12 years. She joined the team 4 years ago and has worked on a wide range of tailor-made projects for our clients. Working from her home country, Manu has had to perfectly align the working culture she is accustomed to with Kilpatrick’s international format, giving her a complete cultural experience.  In her My Kilpatrick Experience she gives insight into what she has learned from project challenges, culture differences and her take on the correct way to navigate them and be successful.


What is your role at Kilpatrick? How did you start working here?

My current position at Kilpatrick is Senior Consultant Managing to mid-senior level mandates. It requires managing clients and generating leads for growing the business from inception to completion. I had previously worked with Linda and she suggested that I go through with the interview and I joined the team. 



What do you like the most about working at Kilpatrick?

I enjoy the fact that Kilpatrick has an open culture which allows me to share my ideas and thoughts, it’s globally diverse and provides a healthy working environment.


How would you describe the team in India?

We have been working together for 4+ years now. We have gotten to know each other over a long period of time which has led to the construction of a cooperative and strong workforce. We really enjoy working together and pushing each other in a competitive but healthy way. We believe in learning new things constantly and share with each other our knowledge to grow together. The India team consists of Chris Tobit – Managing Partner, Linda Joseph Director Central Asia- Client Management, Acquisition, Business Development, Operations and Delivery, Neha Sutar: Senior Consultant – Delivery, Operations, Generating leads and myself. 


What cultural difference can you identify between Indian ways of doing business as opposed to the European way? What makes it unique?

  1. Small talk in other countries is considered a waste of time as opposed to in India where clients/candidates prefer projects to be spoken about in detail and include time to really get to know each other before getting into the business aspects.
  2. Timelines – In India, clients expect a much shorter turnaround period without compromising quality. We have to make sure we meet the deadlines but make sure we meet all the requirements. I would describe it as fast paced.
  3. Talent search in India is prioritized locally before going international. We place a lot of weight on supporting and growing candidates who are native to India for critical/leadership roles.
  4. Discrete reference check is a common practice in India unlike Europe where a confidential reference check cannot be conducted without formal permission from the candidate.

Our uniqueness is in the fact that we try to adapt to our clients needs by offering a value proposition which is in sync with the process that client wants to follow. All of this while maintaining the values and mission of Kilpatrick. 


What have you learned from working from India for an international company?

It has been great, being exposed to other cultures and working styles has broadened my perspective professionally as well as personally. When I attended the Academy in Milan in the first year of my employment, we had 3-4 days of very productive and full learning sessions with senior colleagues through team building activities. It allowed me to travel and meet my colleagues. I have also been able to join international meetings where we learn about how they run the business in other countries and what challenges they are facing and how they have adapted, especially during difficult times like Covid.


What’s the most challenging assignment you’ve had and how did you complete it? 

All of my assignments have been unique in their own way with the challenges changing constantly. I am currently working on a challenging assignment that has a very reduced talent pool. We have to carry out extensive networking and approach prospective candidates for a very niche role adopting non traditional methods. Hence we do a lot of storytelling and positioning of the client. Thankfully we have been successful and it serves as an example for us as a company worldwide.  


What advice would you give to other professionals seeking to expand their horizons?

My advice would be to allow yourself to do things which are out of your comfort zone. A person always learns something if allowed to experience challenging & difficult things. Don’t be afraid of failures because they bring along lessons that will be key to your success in the future.


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