Head of International Operations


With the growing list of multi-national companies throwing their support for the development of the Global Executive MBA program, it is just as well that they should appoint someone to head their international operations that is an alumnus or most probably enrolled in the program. Business trends currently give emphasis to international operations as profits generated from offshore operations represent a large chunk of the overall bottom line. Heads of International Operations would find a degree in a Global Executive MBA program very useful as the program was designed for understanding different business cultural barriers and applying management strategies more suited for respective countries.

More or less, the Head of International Operations report directly to the Chief Executive Operations and would be responsible for anything that concerns doing business offshore. Plans of expansions and determining potential new markets are among the tasks Heads of International Operations keep tabs on apart from their day to day functions. Just before the current financial crisis took off in the US, international operations were having a field day expanding as the so called emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRIC economies) opened their doors to investors. These countries were deemed as consumer markets because of their high population coupled by sustainable economic conditions and low labor costs. Companies really were in a frenzy to get a foothold or at least a presence in these countries as even a slice of the market would really benefit a consumer based company especially when China, with a fifth of the world's population as target consumers, opened their doors to capitalism.

The selection of new markets usually makes or breaks the careers of those in charge of international operations. Now, with the Global Executive MBA program, more or less, identification of risks of certain countries is much more tackled in a more quantitative manner. Before companies decide to branch out just because they were able to secure a government contract and then a few years later a civil war broke out and the capital investment of the company just went to ashes. Example of these were those who invested in Iranian companies during the Shah Khomeini's ascension in 1979 who deposed Reza Pahlavi's regime found themselves in this predicament as dealings of the old government were not recognized by the new government. Also before, some companies were banking on investing on a foreign country just because no other rivals have a presence yet on the intended market. Adopting the philosophy of the early birds did not always proved wise as there might be anti-western sentiments or there ware just no other basis except the opportunity to be the first to have foothold.

Now, a Global MBA program would teach executives to make use of complicated financial analysis tools where everything are expressed or rather can be expressed in scores and points providing tangible basis before major decisions like opening a branch somewhere is indeed viable. Right now, Heads of International Operations are usually good candidates for the top post of any multi-national company as they have the advantage to learn all aspects of the business than any other post in the company.