Our IMAP-team International Cooperation is currently welcoming an Indian delegation of managers within the framework of the (virtual) Manager Training Programme of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. During their ten-week stay, the managers undergo trainings in different field of expertise and visit German companies with the goal of opening a space for business initiation as well as knowledge transfer.
As the rampant COVID-19 pandemic changes how business is being done on a global scale, the long-standing Manager Training Programme too was hard-pressed to find a new format. Usually, IMAP hosts delegations in Germany, accompanies them on their tour through the German Mittelstand and supports them in personal, interactive trainings. But different times call for different solutions. In September 2020, IMAP successfully completed a virtual version of the programme with a delegation from Chile. Now, the next group from India started the programme on October 20th, representing manufacturers as well as service providers from the electrical industry, the mechanical engineering sector, the marketing and consulting industry and the textile industry. Throughout the programme, the participants have already been trained in various relevant management skills such as understanding the basics of the German economy and searching for German business partners, cross-cultural management, marketing, and corporate communication. Furthermore, the delegation has successfully completed virtual company visits with champions from the German Mittelstand, such as Lapp Kabel GmbH. Here, the companies welcome the Indian executives online, presenting a video tour of the manufacturing facilities, providing insights into key success factors, and offering a live Q&A format moderated by IMAP.
The Indian managers are all joining the programme with distinct co-operation ideas. With the support of individual tutors from IMAP, they´re aiming at initiating international projects in co-operation with German companies. Advantages and disadvantages of different forms of international co-operation such as joint ventures, distributorship, licensing, import or export are being discussed in group reflections. The cumulated expertise of the experienced businessmen and -women is deployed in peer coachings and reviews of the individual cooperation projects. Training on international project management rounds off the comprehensive elaboration and examination of the existing ideas.
The digital “new normal” has also changed business networking: Now, the acquisition of potential German partners takes place at virtual trade fairs and trust between business partners has to be built up through video calls. Simulations of phone and video calls in combination with elevator pitches are a great way to practice and enhance rhetorical skills, confidence, persuasive power, and digital competences. One of the most important things in this regard, is to fine-tune the unique selling proposition of the own company and to identify the win-win situation for both co-operating partners. In the upcoming training on negotiation skills and the preparation of contracts the participants are capacitated to make first agreements, that might become signed contracts in the follow-up phase of six months if not until the end of the programme in January 2021.
At IMAP, we want to create long-lasting and sustainable change. Therefore, our participants are empowered to transfer their major take-aways and key learnings from the programme as international leaders into their own companies. The training on leadership skills as part of corporate management skills, the management of human resources as well as the training on change management are building a foundation for the participants to successfully implement best practices from German companies and up-to-date management practices such as agile leadership and network thinking in their home countries.