India has a strong sense of culture and community. Relationships are valued, especially if they are connected through families. If one looks back at the history of the country; from the subdued role of Indians whilst under the rule of the British, to where India is today, in a world of competition and globalization, one could say that there has been progression of resolve, thought and development.
India has a very large urban market, and a huge potential rural market. In the light of the credit-crisis and widespread perception of a flawed world economy management system, the Indian market can be tapped into by using innovative, sustainable and ‘different’ ways of doing business. In my opinion, there is potential for tremendous growth and opportunity, particularly if collaborations can be formed between Western organizations, who generally have a larger pool of resources and expertise, and Indian entrepreneurs.
Indians, in my opinion, are generally hard working people and have grown accustomed to competition and are resilient to difficulties and hard times. This could be considered a USP among its people.
The Netherlands can learn different perspectives of social relationships from India. The culture is softer, more colourful, and less individualistic than in Europe. The Netherlands should work more with India, since very useful business and cultural relationships, that may already exist, can continue.
In the Netherlands, where there is a demand for IT specialists, jobs are being created to attract knowledge migrant workers. This is already a good thing. Perhaps India can also learn from the Netherlands, for example, land and water management from a sustainability perspective.
I came here with as few expectations as possible. Coming from a multi-cultural background (Russian and Indian), the change in culture and atmosphere was not overwhelming for me but rather quite smooth. It is relatively easy to integrate as a student, especially if one knows Dutch. Further integration programmes around the country facilitate this.
There is a rising debate about the influx of immigrants into the Netherlands, and the implications this has for Dutch society. This may have led to some feelings of unrest and nationalism, which however still seem to be in check.
I feel that it is in the best interests of immigrants and long-term visitors to be open to the Dutch culture and language, and to be respectful and tolerant of one another. This promotes integration. I’d like to further point out that I feel this to be true for someone travelling to most other countries.
Currently, I follow the Master of Arts programme in international service management at Stenden University, Leeuwarden. In the year before last, from the same university I acquired a master degree in international retailing, and earlier in India, a bachelor degree in engineering with a study direction in electronics and telecommunications.
I chose for Stenden, since the subjects and courses that were being offered in the retail programme attracted my attention. Within the programme, I saw scope for my own personal development in leadership and management with an attention for sustainability. The structure of the programme, together with its short time duration of 1 year and emphasis on value creation, were also determinants of my choice to study in Leeuwarden.
Furthermore, I wanted to have an English education in Europe and it was possible to enrol in English programmes in the Netherlands. Moreover, I did some research on Leeuwarden and the city appealed to me as well.
I’ve enjoyed both my courses. I’ve developed myself tremendously since I first arrived here. The role of Stenden was instrumental, due to the stance and nature of education offered here. I was brought into contact with numerous interesting people and colleagues and I also had the chance to do some extracurricular activities as well. What I like about Stenden is the more informal atmosphere that I found myself in most of the time.
I will finish the master programme that I’m presently doing, in the middle of this year. I would like to start my career in the Netherlands and keep my options open for Dutch-Indian business and cultural relationships I’m not sure where I will end up in five years, but I do know that I would like to live in the Netherlands for the coming two or three years at least.
Through my time here, I was privileged to get a chance to work and develop together with multi-cultural teams and groups, in a variety of encounters, projects and problem-solving situations. I have a background and knowledge on the human-technology relationship.
Ultimately, I would like to work with multi-cultural people and more in an area that deals with the social aspects of customer and employee business relationships, and the role of technology therein. To this tune, working in consulting companies is an option for me.