Career Opportunities in International Business : : International Business Institutes in India

During the last two decades the world has witnessed a sea change in the international trade practices, processes and behaviour. Liberalization has opened new horizons of international trade for its huge potential market and has also opened vistas of foreign markets for its diversified product line. Though India’s foreign trade constitutes only 1% of the total world trade, the volume and diversity is significant. In 1991 when the new economic policy was introduced India’s export was merely $ 18 billion which surged to about $ 200 billion by the year 2009. According to an estimate, 45% of the GDP is due to export and import. India’s total share in goods and services trade was 0.92% in 2003 which increased upto 1.64% in 2008. Studies have revealed that nearly 14 million jobs were created directly or indirectly as a result of augmented exports in the last five years ( i.e. from 2003 to 2008 ).

Also the EXIM ( Export Import ) policy provides for an export growth of 15% thereby increasing the share of world trade to 1.5% from the existing 1%. For achieving this objective, the Government has strengthened the foreign trade policy and set up Export Processing Zones ( EPZ ), Special Economic Zones ( SEZ ), dry ports for facilitating export and imports, exemptions of duty and other measures. Thus, international trade and business have tremendous scope in terms of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in India.

Dimensions of International Business :

In broader terms, international business strives for achieving the foreign trade objectives of a country by integrating the export and import practices of various trading partners / countries. With the emergence of WTO ( World Trade Organization ) in 1999 the international trade practices have gone standardized and member countries have agreed to come under a broader network with some common rule and trade codes of conduct. Though there are some impediments and disagreements on some issues, the contribution of this organization to bring world trade coherence can not be neglected. Since various trading partners / countries are involved in the complex trade activities, a lot of complexities arise during the whole process. These may be due to differing export – import policies, legislations, custom agreements, documentation requirements, quality control concerns, standardization and other micro / macro economic consideration.

International business operations account for Production, Invoicing, Packing, Insurance, Transportation and Shipping, Logistics, Quality Control, Inspection, Finance, Documentation, Marketing, Import, Export, Custom Clearance, Legislation, Risk Assessment, Surveying, Service, Liasoning, Foreign Exchange Management, Merchandizing, Taxation, Research and Development etc.

Aside from it, there is direct role of professionals in managing human resource at multinational companies involved in international trade and business. These include; cross cultural research methodology and cross cultural negotiation and communication, foreign exchange markets and their operations, institutions for finance and infrastructure including Export Promotion Councils and Commodity Boards, State Trading Corporations, Export Processing Zones, Regional Trade Blocks, Multilateral and Bilateral Trade Agreements and E – Commerce. They enhance the scope of international business.

Scope and Nature of Career in International Business :

In view of the dimensions mentioned above, the professionals in international business are required by organizations involved in export import specially export houses, merchandisers, custom clearing houses, special economic zones, dry ports, ports, logistic companies, transportation corporations, state trading corporations, marine insurance companies, shipping companies / corporations, directorate general of foreign trade, banks and financial institutions providing export – import finance & foreign exchange services, pre – shipment and post – shipment quality control labs, export marketing firms, BPO involved in export import business, customer relationship management, International finance, international accounting and international financial management. International business management is one such career course that offers ample scope for career in international and transnational corporations.

Candidates after completing the course may search for jobs available in the export companies, public sector houses, international banks and companies having subsidiaries in other countries. Most of the companies offer handsome salary packages along with other lucrative facilities. After completing masters degree / diploma in international business, one can be absorbed in export houses or with merchandisers. The responsibilities assigned to a professional may be documentation related to export / import and liasoning with the tax & custom authorities.

Their work also involves liasoning between exporters and port authority. CHA ( Custom House Agents ) are required by the exporters to facilitate the custom clearance. Similarly, export managers and executives are much in demand for insurance companies particularly marine insurance corporations where they are required to assess the loss or physical damage to the goods shipped in a country. They are assigned the responsibilities of assessors, surveyors and certifiers. This is a very technical and specified job which not only requires professional competence but also demands knowledge of latest standards and legislations in international business to cope up with the situation.

In marketing field there lies enormous scope for the management graduates with IB specialization. For boosting overseas sales, searching new business hubs and potential markets abroad, marketing professionals are desired by the export houses. The essential qualification includes; post graduate degree in IB with attitude to take challenges coupled with understanding of the world business environment. Knowledge of foreign language is an added advantage for these professionals. In addition to the above, international marketing executives suggest strategies based on marketing research and predict demand and potential buyers abroad. They are also engaged in Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Consultancy is one of the most sought after and remunerative career for international business professionals. An international business consultant is responsible for providing relevant and up – to – date information about various aspects of business development and market information for international companies. The international business consultant conveys information about foreign business investments, opportunities, competitive companies and even information about business practices and legal implications of owning a business in another country. International business consultants work for companies that are already in international markets or with companies that are planning international expansions or investments. Risk analysis and business analysis based on research is also a part of responsibility to international business consultant.

If one can develop and exposed to the international trade legislation, negotiation and research in international trade, he will surely find suitable positions in WTO, UNCTAD, IMF, World Bank, Regional Trade Blocks and trade associations. Experts in commodity trade are also required for the posts catering to the needs of the exporters and importers. The persons with interest in legal affairs of international trade disputes ranging from patents, specific product and service categories related to geographical locations, multilateral and bilateral trade agreements, customs, tariffs and non tariff issues are much in demand to solve the legal disputes among countries. A degree in international business with law qualification is sufficient to grab the opportunity in this sector.

International finance has also emerged as a major sector attracting experts in managing the fianc related affairs of multinational corporations and Despite the increasing demand of experts in international business management, there is a dearth of faculty in international business in management institutions offering and planning to offer these courses. If you have a taste of updating, analyzing, accelerating, disseminating your knowledge in international business, there lies enormous opportunities in teaching and research profession. You can develop your specialization in the field of international business area if already teaching in some institution. Media reporting and journalism related to import export and commodity specific reporting can also be a good opportunity to the young people having a flare for international business news in print and electronic media.

People having analytical skills and background in international finance are placed at different positions in finance related departments of banks and financial institutions. Now a days banks have their own separate wings of foreign exchange transactions, export finance, risk management and consultancy in international financial management where every task related to foreign exchange dealings and export import finance is performed e.g. letter of credit etc. Competent professionals must have degree in international business with specialization in international finance are placed for this job. EXIM bank, public & private and foreign banks also appoint specialized people in international finance, foreign exchange, risk management and currency derivatives.

Entrepreneurship is also one of the lucrative career options for the persons who desire to have their own export house for facilitating international trade practices. The professional having some experience in export – import documentation can establish their offices in dry ports, SEZ and export processing zones ( EPZs ) and provide services to the clients ( in this case exporters and importers ) related to every aspect of procedural requirement of export and import. International accounting is also an area where the experts in accounting operations may be posted in multinational corporations and firms engaged in international business operations. The accounting professionals are required for compliance of international accounting norms and standards.

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