Navir Rustomfram-Shukla, a recent alumnus from Grenoble Ecole de Management, is presently working at Airbus as a financial controller. He had previously studied at the University of Mumbai in India and graduated in Economics before veering off into business.
Originally, Navir Rustomfram-Shukla had wanted to study abroad at an English-speaking country; however, during the time he applied to study overseas- away from his homeland of India- it appeared that Grenoble Ecole de Management was the ideal fit for what this alumnus had been looking. The French business school gave him international exposure to many nationalities and perspectives, particularly in his small program of 120-150 students. The program offered Navir a combination of cultural backgrounds and fresh, academic viewpoints, indicative of his quest to continuously learn from those carrying diverse approaches to solving complex problems, an aspect that became stronger when Navir would later enter the working world.
In 2008, Navir began working at Airbus as a trainee and then went to EADS in Paris for a little while, before coming back to Airbus not too long ago as a financial controller for one of its aircraft programs. What Navir has noticed about his time working for Airbus especially is the differences in working environment between an Indian company and this “European” company, how Airbus differs from the “European” company, as well as the opportunities available to him through his time working at Airbus.
In the past, he has had working experience for not-for-profits back in India, and can contrast certain ways of working between Indian organizations and European ones. In his opinion, India carries an American style of working, culturally speaking, where there is a lot more flexibility for workers who travel and have to work remotely, compared to a more disciplined structure within European companies. Airbus also contrasts with this “European” approach, for although it generally follows a European style in its structured working environment, it is also different as its “aircraft are all hyper-specialized” and requires a level of dynamism and innovation in its employees to foster and create such products. Even with only four nationalities, Airbus’ approach is not one typical of a French company, and he truly appreciates the way work is continuously accomplished by the processes and methods embedded within the company, accomplished by these different working approaches.
With all these similarities and differences, Navir is content with his position in finance within Airbus. He finds that this company, although headquartered in France, does not reflect a French working context compared to other French-based multinational companies.
What Navir likes the most out his job at Airbus is the amount of diversity and varying interactions he has had with his colleagues, particularly because of the various nationalities represented within the company, all with different skills that Navir does not have, but with skills he can learn from. Engineering, especially, is a skill set that, although it is not Navir’s academic background, is prominent throughout the company, and is definitely useful to have some general knowledge about.
He has several responsibilities and tasks as financial controller at Airbus, which is not the norm for someone just starting in the company. In contrast to the fixed portfolios with set tasks typical to entry-level employees, Navir has more challenging work because his superiors encourage him. One of the elements of his job that stands out to him is the level of motivation found in management who would challenge him to take on new tasks, vital to a company where innovation has to be the standard. In his case in particular, this innovative environment is certainly crucial for the stage the aircraft program is in now. Simultaneously, the Airbus environment is a proactive one, and because of the level of engagement that superiors have with Navir and his fellow employees for instance, he is taking action and thus providing a value add to the outcomes of his work, instead of simply “sitting behind and doing nothing.” Navir feels that, spanning the varying levels of the company, Airbus establishes a working environment that fosters innovation and engagement, encouraging its workers to constantly be creative and thinking on their feet.
For the last few months I have been publishing a series of discussions and photos from French students that have been studying at our partner institutions. From this week, I will be publishing a series of stories from international students who have come to study in France. The first of these is from Trisha Egberts, a Canadian who used her study abroad opportunity at Queen’s University to come and find out about life in a French business school.
David Reyna, chemical engineer, international businessman, strategic planner and lover of spicy food: A Mexican view of studying in France
David Reyna was finishing his Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering at ITESM, Mexico, when he decided that he wanted to gain some experience abroad. He thought this would be good for his CV and that perhaps even one day he might set up an international company. He decided against going to the USA thinking that it was too close and that as a Mexican, he might get a broader perspective by studying in Europe.
An American View of Studying in France: Anuja Parikh, a student from University of Florida talks about her international exchange at Grenoble EM
Since my first year of high school, when I took my first French language class, I knew I had to study abroad in France. Having lived in Florida my whole life and only traveling within the United States, France seemed like a whole other world to me. Every year for the next five years, I told my parents that I was coming to France for college so they would get used to the idea. Choosing to come to Grenoble was as easy as decisions can get. My mentor at the University of Florida had come to Grenoble Ecole de Management to study a year before my arrival, and she had nothing but amazing things to say about the city and its people. Most students at my school chose more popular, tourist locations to study, especially Paris, but I knew that I would get a more balanced and true French environment in the city of Grenoble.
An Interview with Tom Enders, CEO of EADS (Airbus) Part 1: The challenges of running a large international corporation
In May, I had the opportunity to interview Tom Enders, CEO of EADS. The company is often better known for its Airbus division. EADS is a pan-European corporation that employs over 140 000 people and generated revenues of nearly €57 billion last year. It is a fascinating company for many reasons; its governance with diverse political interests, the strategic importance of the aeronautical industry and the very international structure of the organization. I am very grateful to Tom Enders and his team at EADS for a very open discussion I had.
An Interview with Tom Enders, CEO of EADS (Airbus) Part 2: Strategy and execution in the aircraft industry)
Tom Enders is the CEO of EADS, the parent company of Airbus, the giant commercial aircraft company. EADS is a pan European corporation that employs over 140 000 people and generated revenues of nearly €57 billion last year. In the second part of this three-fold interview, Tom Enders talks about strategic execution at Airbus and EADS, how politics can influence strategic plans and the relationship between Airbus and Boeing.
Tom Enders has had an interesting academic background, prior to getting involved in Germany’s political affairs and the German defense sector and then his corporate career at Airbus and EADS. In his early 20s, besides the University of Bonn, he also went abroad to the United States to study economics, politics, and history, an experience that gave him a launch into ‘going international.’ He offers his advice for young business graduates in their 20s today.
“To know how to buy, you must know how to sell.” Lessons on Purchasing and Networking with Philippe Grau
Philippe Grau, an alumnus from Grenoble Ecole de Management (graduated 1997), is currently a Commodity Sourcing Group Leader in Airbus’ Procurement, an Organization with over 2000 employees, including buyers, sourcing group leaders (like Philippe), multi-functional team leaders, supply chain specialists, and many other professionals.