New format: Intercultural Security Awareness Training - Example: Brazil

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The topic of safety has recently gained in importance for several companies and institutions that send their employees abroad. Many countries are increasingly plagued by violence and conflict. In Brazil, the inhabitants suffer from crime and its consequences, due to the large social divide and systematic corruption.
The majority of violent crimes in Brazil include pickpocketing, mugging people getting in and out of cars, robbing people at traffic lights, and “lightning kidnapping” (ATM stops). The perpetrators are usually individual, belligerent parties or belong to criminal gangs.
Thus, in addition to language, cultural and intercultural preparation for Brazil, the demand for security training has risen.

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eMag Profile: Ashish Kumar

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eMag Profile: Ashish Kumar

"When I moved to Germany last year it was my second move across three continents in five years"
Living in different places changes one's perceptions. Ashish Kumar personally experienced this phenomenon many times – as a native of New Delhi he has worked in the United States, in Singapore and now works for Infineon at the Campeon. Awareness of intercultural differences is essential to him.

eMag: Ashish, where are you from? Where did you grow up?

Ashish Kumar: I am a native of New Delhi, India, where I also went to school.

eMag: What did you study and what is your assignment here at Infineon?

Ashish Kumar: I studied computer science. At Infineon I am a Principal Engineer. We have multiple manufacturing automation systems at our production factories. These systems have to be managed and supported. The team I work in develops guidelines and specifications for the system architecture.

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Security Training for Business Travellers and Expatriates - ti communication presents its partner, Riskworkers

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Security Training for Business Travellers and Expatriates - ti communication presents its partner, Riskworkers

Often, it is the little things that could cost you your life: taking the wrong exit on the motorway, unexpectedly reaching into your jacket pocket, pressing the shutter release on a camera – in some regions of the world, these things can mean big trouble. In the security training course offered by the Munich firm Riskworkers GmbH, employees learn how to get themselves out of precarious situations – or not get into them in the first place.

»Don’t give anything. Even ignore especially pitiable people.« This simple instruction for dealing with beggars in Brazil is one of the ground rules that the Munich-based consulting company Riskworkers passes on to business travellers. »If you go weak and pull out your wallet, you’ll be surrounded by a throng of beggars,« explains Oliver Schneider, managing partner of Riskworkers GmbH. »And crowds of people can quickly become dangerous.« Safety before sympathy is a rule that also applies to places where, as a foreigner, particularly one from the west, you have to expect to be a target based on your nationality alone. That is why it can be a good idea in some places to actually step on the gas instead of offering first aid after a road accident, states Schneider – even if the accident is not your fault: »It wouldn’t be the first time that an innocent victim was lynched.«

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Even the Small Ones need Support

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Even the Small Ones need Support

Frequently, in small and medium-sized companies, professional preparation of employees and their families for foreign assignments is out of the question, due to costs. This is cost-cutting at a high cost.

Multinational corporations employ intercultural specialists to prepare employees and their families for expat assignments. However, the situation is often quite different in medium-sized companies: Many mid-sized firms can often only find a few or sometimes even only one employee willing to go abroad. You would expect the respective candidate to be provided preparation assistance and fussed over. Instead, professional expat preparation is frequently out of the question, since training costs are seen as separate from the consequential costs of a failed foreign assignment, or appear too high in relation to the personnel budget. However: Not preparing expatriates for the special circumstances in their new culture is saving at the wrong end.

What selection criteria play a role?

First of all, it is especially important to select the right person for a foreign assignment. Frequently, professional expertise and language skills, as well as a willingness to leave the country for extended periods, are seen as the most important criteria for employees to be sent abroad. However, these three factors alone are not enough, and repeatedly receive too much emphasis. Additional factors crucial to a specific situation can, for instance, be brought to light through intercultural training courses.

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