Indian IT management style will not work in Brazil

Following on the last post on Flavio Gryzspan’s views on the potential of open source for Brazil, there were a few soundbites at a dinner last night around management culture that would be worth sharing.

According to several people I have spoken to, the Brazilian attitude towards work and management is part of its unique selling proposition. Here, they said, while IT pros are not attracted to the prospect of working 24/7 for little money unlike their Indian or Chinese counterparts, they are much more productive due to their well-developed soft-skills.

Major Indian players including Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro are all present in Brazil, but some people yesterday went as far as saying that the Indian management style will not work here.

“[Brazilian] people don’t like working for the likes of TCS because they simply don’t fit into their tyrannical management style and also because they are not willing to work for peanuts,” one senior manager said.

Most IT decision makers at the dinner seemed to agree that the Brazilian technology teams they work with follow the ‘work hard, play hard’ approach, are more flexible, business-oriented and relationship-driven than their peers in other offshore locations.

“I believe we are moving towards a relationship-based culture and that is one of Brazil’s main strengths and also one of the weaknesses of process-driven Indians, who just ‘tick boxes’,” said another senior professional.

According to the people I’ve spoken to yesterday, that cultural disconnect could also mean that even though the Indian players are closely following the fast development of the Brazilian IT industry, they are unlikely to get the best talent because of not-so-attractive wages as well as some fundamental cultural differences.

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