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Sound knowledge of life in the field and the basic trades is a must

Adrien, X 2005 and Alexandre, HEC and Subodh, IIM Ahmedabad, winner of the Best Research Essay Award

With his team, consisting of Alexandre, a 3rd year student at HEC, and Subodh, a 2nd year student at Ahmedabad IIM, Adrien, X 2005, won the Renault-XHEC multicultural management chair first prize for the best research dissertation on the theme of “Multicultural management and company performance”.

Chaire_Renault_gdeWhat was the subject of your dissertation? Why did you choose India as the place  in which to carry out your experiments?
: I've been interested in India for a long time. Its historic, cultural and religious heritage made me want to do my special subject internship there. My dissertation consists of a comparison of vehicle sales in France and India, with an emphasis on the dealership: organisation, structure, employee functions, finances, etc. Also part of the study was the relationship between the dealership, the manufacturer and the customers.

How did you work over there to complete your study?

: Our study was based on a great deal of work in the field, i.e. trips to sales outlets and vehicle repair shops. In a field visit, we collected as much information as possible in the form of formal or informal interviews with employees, photographs and documents. Processing this information was also a large part of our work: writing reports, discussions between ourselves and reading specialist literature to compare our observations.Chaire_Renault gde2

: As well as the tremendous experience in the field and the academic training we received, we were very fortunate to be able to compare and share our three engineering school, business school and entrepreneurial cultures in addition to our French and Indian cultures.

What do you think this will add to your future working life?

Adrien: I don't know whether my career will enable me to do such advanced field work again. However, the greatest lesson that the internship taught me was this: in a company, sound knowledge of life in the field and the basic trades is a must!

Alexandre: Curiosity and an open attitude to others were vital in trying to understand the mentalities first of all and then how business was done. The experience provided us with some unforgettable encounters and made me want to do more work on transverse subjects, possibly abroad.