The Afternoon Despatch & Courier, December 29, 1995

Amidst the flurry of visiting international management gurus who are dropping in and out of India by the dime, Hiru Bijlani Indian management expert, headhunter and writer is busy making ventures abroad. His company Zenith Global Consultants has recently tied up with Paul J Meyer's Texas-based Leadership Management International (LMI) which is described by one American educationist as an institute that is "re-educating America".

Bijlani specializes in behavioural changes in management. He does not believe in operating through seminars or two-day lectures where the participant goes back to square one/two, once the course is over. LMI-Zenith pioneers in eight to ten week courses that make an executive actually do homework, compelling him under an official obligation to achieve targets through practical application. "Human behaviour is a product of conditioning which leads to thinking, generation of ideas, action and results," explains bijlani. "What we try to do is to change the conditioning, change habits, help generate new ideas, develop positive thinking to become better team players and to achieve better results. Our product service enables an executive to improve his ability, manage time, goals and people both in his professional capacity and personal life. "For Bijlani who has a doctorate in comparative international business, it's not just the profession that counts but personal happiness. For example, if someone wants to go to church but cannot do so, LMI-Zenith would help him achieve it. "The onus is on us."

The American LMI with its 60,000 clients worldwide (including fortune 500 companies) and its unique methods of imparting behavioural training had been contemplating entering India since long.

But since the copyright laws in the country were not conducive it stayed away. With the signing of GATT and the formation of the World Trade Organisation copyright laws have more meaning now, Bijlani volunteers.

Differentiating between the classic Indian manager and his counter part from a developed country, Bijlani says that "Indian managers are not as goal-oriented as their contemporaries in developed nations. Neither is their commitment, which is lukewarm." This he explains, could arise from complacency and scant fear of losing jobs.

However, he points out that the Indian manager has been able to learn to wear the same clothes, eat the same food and live a similar lifestyle to that of his foreign counterparts. His views on joint ventures between companies are also noteworthy. In one of his books titled, 'A guide to global joint ventures and alliances' Bijlani expresses that joint ventures and alliances in business should follow the route of arranged marriages. "Instead of starting a joint venture or alliance based on emotional decisions it would be advisable to exercise 'match-making'. That is, if the firms involved are mutually compatible," professes Hiru Bijlani.

But to begin with, what is more crucial is achieving behavioural changes without the use of psychiatrist or shrink. Hiru Bijlani's institute charges his clients a price of Rs.24,000 to Rs.38,000 for a programme. It's not expensive, he says, considering the turnaround in human behaviour that LMI-Zenith Global promises.

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