This thursday we were invited at Cognizant in Hyderabad, where also the UBS is placed. We met us at 8:30 in the morning and went there with our stylish tour bus. As we arrived we had to walk through a metal detector for the security check and we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the campus so we had to leave our mobile phones and cameras at the security desk.
After taking seat in a state of the art meeting room the first speaker presented us, what Cognizant in Hyderabad is doing especially in the field of BPO (Business Process Outscoursing). He explained us why companies should think about BPO. The main point about this topic is that companies should focus on their core businesses to generate as much value for their customers as possible. So they should outsource all operatives and services which don’t belong to the companies main skills.
After this session Thomas Zeindler, the UBS vendor relationship manager of India joined our group and hold a presentation about how UBS operates in Hyderabad. At the end of this part we were able to see the UBS labs and to talk to the chief researcher.
After lunch we stayed at Cognizant and Shailaja Jha (Assistant Vice President, Information Media & Entertainment) explained us what Cognizant do in the domain of media and entertainment. Most of us were surprised that Cognizant is such a big player in this area, working with well known companies like Sony Entertainement or Warner Borthers. Another interesting point is that they also develop apps for mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad. After we picked up our stuff at the security point we moved back to our residency.
At the evening we had dinner in a new built hotel in Hyderabad called Sarovar where Thomas Zeindler joined us. Finally some of us went to the Novotel-Bar with Thomas which is by the way the only bar in town that don’t closes doors at 23.00.
The last day of our China trip started as usual in the lobby of our hotel from where we left for two very interesting meetings with Swiss expats. The visits gave us an insight in the banking industry in Hong Kong and the especially the Swiss banks in this area as well as the life as an expat working for those banks. First we took the boat to set over to Hong Kong island and soon arrived in the Hong Kong branch of the UBS. Due to connections of Mr. Ruettimann we were able to talk to a Swiss expat who worked abroad for 12 years already and therefore was able to give us a unique inside what banking in Asia and Hong Kong is all about. We were received on the 52. Floor in a nice meeting room from where we had a great overview, although most of us first went for the `hen hao chi` croissants they offered us. The speech was great and helped us to understand why the banks rush into this region and opened us the eyes for the fact that we should be more aware of the coming, yet already ongoing competition from Asia to the West.
Secondly, thanks to a contact of one of our students, we could dig in further into the banking sector in Hong Kong by visiting a Swiss expat at the Credit Swiss. This meeting was for some of us of special interest, because it was a former student of the ZHAW and an example of how a career could look like in the first few years after graduation. As a Swiss banker sent to Hong Kong on a two years contract he could tell us firsthand experience about the value of gaining experience abroad, but didn’t hide the difficult side of it. Overall we think he gave us a good and honest overview about what he experienced so far and it will be for sure a help for some of us when the question comes up about going a step further and becoming an expat. Continue reading →