Companies that wanted to expand to other countries not only exported their products and services, but also their managerial human resources. This practice provided a sense of assurance that corporate policies of virtually all areas of business such as customer service, and sales and marketing were consistent with the corporate expectations.
This method of doing business in a foreign land might have worked in the yesteryears, but is simply unrealistic in the current global political and business climate. For example, “Toyota, Honda, and Komatsu, a maker of heavy machinery, pledged to replace all the Japanese managers at its 16 sites in China with Chinese bosses by 2012.” While this is start of a new era for multinational companies and quite a few others will most likely follow suit, it still falls short on the totally local experience.
In order for the local subsidiary to be completely “local”, placing local managers is simply one piece of the puzzle. Another piece of the puzzle that is even more important is content creation. It is a incorrect practice to recycle existing content by means of transcription (TV and radio commercials) and translation (documents, financial statements, legal agreements, engineering specs, etc) for the “local” market. The content must be CREATED for the local market by the local talent and then transcribed and translated for corporate approval.
This practice will ensure that the local subsidiary is able to effectively communicate with the local market and its customer base. In this regards, it is vitally important that the multinational company partners with a translation company that will understand the business and cultural sensitivities of the local economy.
Mostansar Virk – President of EPIC Translations