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Globe-Trotter In Transit

Bisi receives flowers at plant in India: celebrating the partnership

Holding hands at the factory

Be

Executive from Marcopolo learns that to conquer the world you have to be open-minded

o n e o f t h e f i r s t t o tA k e A d v A n tA g e .

rubeN bisi* ARQUIVO PESSOAL

employees sat on the ground. On a stage, the president of the local trade union picked up the microphone and spoke of the importance for the company and for the employees of the new partnership and of everyone making an effort to ensure that the levels of quality and productivity were even higher following the arrival of Marcopolo. At the end, I received a bouquet of flowers and the “Puja” ritual was performed, a celebration to wish for happiness and success. They were two striking, unforgettable moments. A short time later, Girotra visited Marcopolo, in Caxias do Sul. It was thus my turn to show him our plant. After a short while, at the assembly line, he again grabbed my hand and we did the whole factory tour holding each other’s hand. The difference is that I didn’t have the opportunity to explain to all the Marcopolo employees that this gesture had a very important meaning for the future of our Tata Marcopolo Motors Limited. People still talk about this today.

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*

*Ruben is Director of Strategy and Development of New Businesses at Marcopolo and played a key role in the partnerships signed by the company around the world

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in a group of some 10 people, the company´s vice-president, Kulbhusuan Girotra, grabbed my hand and we conducted the entire factory tour walking hand in hand. During this walk, I focused on that gesture. My hand was sweating and it wasn’t just because of the infernal heat of Lucknow. When our walk was over, he let go of my hand. I was taken aback by this and didn’t understand why. Then, when we were with the managers and other Indian executives, they came to greet us. They explained that what had just happened was an important demonstration to the employees, since Indians only hold the hand of a close friend, so that, in behaving this way with me, the vice-president was expressing his confidence in both the partnership with me and, consequently, with Marcopolo. After that, I had another surprise during the Marcopolo presentation to workers of the Tata chassis assembly line. At one moment, work was interrupted and all the

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I encounter lots of surprises on my trips around the world as Head of Strategy and Development of New Businesses at Marcopolo. One of the most frequent aspects in my daily routine is dealing with cultural differences and trying to understand what different customs represent for different nations. Today, I fully understand the significance of a kiss when Romanians meet, of the rubbing of noses by Arabs and of bowing one’s head and body for the Japanese. Around eight years ago, I experienced a completely different and surprising situation in India. We had just signed a partnership with Tata Motors to produce buses in the country, using chassis of the Indian company and Marcopolo bodies. We would be responsible for defining the production processes of the bus bodies, quality, productivity and the operation of the plant itself. In our first trip to the country to visit one of the production plants, I traveled with other Brazilian executives to the city of Lucknow, where some bus models would be produced. There, we were formally introduced to our future work colleagues. During the visit to the chassis production lines of Tata,

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PIB Edition 25 March/April 2014