Culture Shock In The MNC Workplace And How To Prevent It: Tech-Ed Solutions


By Manit Parikh, Country Manager- India, ELSA Corp


It is the country’s greatest achievement, and its biggest challenge. Over the last 40 years, our education system has produced a large labour force that can speak in English, understand global business and apply local knowledge to everyday work problems. But we are now in the cusp of change. With the presence of digital transformation, last mile connectivity of mobile and data technology, India has witnessed the development of many Tier II and III cities. This has exposed youth and professionals in those cities to careers in global companies. But how efficient is this workforce to tackle global markets and clientele?More importantly, are our youth ready for the challenges of a MNC corporate work environment, where presentation and communication iscritical?


Since the software boom in the late 1990s, India has had an influx of companies that have opened shop in the country. Startups today have become an extension of multinational companies. Global businesses are shrinking the world. Employees are exposed to varying styles of business, communication, and even culture.


India faces a huge issue when it comes to education. Students are taught many things, but practical application of those concepts become an issue. In a real-time setting, this is more apparent in language and communication. Tier II and Tier III city students have the concepts right, but are not able to communicate efficiently due to pronunciation, syntax and other grammatical errors. At a workplace, this may result in lack of confidence, inability to translate skills productively, and varying degrees of culture shock and alienation.


Companies today employ several HR tools to minimise “culture shock”. Workforces are constantly migrating from one continent to the other and employees must be able to adapt to not just different dialects of language, but also to new cultures, food and experiences. Technology can be a great boon in a situation such as this. With technology being accessible, stimulating apps can be incorporated by individuals and companies at large to combat gaps in communication and adaptation.



If one has ever viewed television, they would surely be familiar with the sit-com ‘Outsourced’ that ran for an entire year (from Sept 2010 to May 2011).  The abbreviation TAT (Turn Around Time), was popularised heavily by the series, displaying incompetence of Indian employees to bring the TAT to an estimated value. Communication with clients speaking English in accents alien to the Indian language base is one of the primary reasons for TAT to stay at increased amounts.


American English is now considered the “global business language”. Schools and businesses across the world are training their employees to learn nuances of American English. What is needed is an innovative and effective means that can take American English learning and development to the far corners of a diverse country such as India. A means that will enhance existing learning systems and processes to create opportunities for the youth.


As of 2019, India has over 800 million smartphone users. Over 451 million are connected to the internet. This is the opportunity.


Smaller towns are seeing 70% of enrolment into new age jobs and offices. In such a scenario, the revolution that technology can bring about is immense. Women empowerment, upliftment of livelihood, rural entrepreneurship are other segments that will react positively. Digitisation is in every corner of our lives, and this needs to be customised to tackle inefficiencies. There is a need to create immersive processes that connect with today’s youth and provide better livelihood. With technology as base, it will be easier to create digital education programs that serve this purpose. These programs can then effectively train youngsters and aid in creating an equipped workforce.


Merely introducing tech-ed apps and software is not enough. Developing modules and chapters to ensure that everyone can be embedded into the program must be the focus. Further, such tech-ed apps must incentivise users to expand their learning outcomes  consistent by providing constant feedback and encouragement. These values will then translate into effective learning for the youth and help develop a skilled workforce for the nation. All in all, it will allow us to meet the challenges of a global work culture with greater confidence.

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