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Effective Communication Pf.

Manjunath

INTRODUCTION

What is a Group Discussion?

A Group Discussion (GD) is a method used by an institution to test whether the


candidate possesses the group or the team skills that it desires in its members. In
this methodology, a group of candidates is given a topic or a situation, given a
few minutes of preparation time to collect their thoughts, and then asked to
discuss the topic amongst themselves for 15-20 minutes.

TYPES OF GD

GD’s can be topic-based or case-based.

Topic based Gds can be classified into three types:-

Factual Topics

Factual topics are about practical things, which an ordinary person is aware of in his
day-to-day life. Typically these are about socio-economic topics. These can be
current, i.e. they may have been in the news lately, or could be unbound by time. A
factual topic for discussion gives a candidate a chance to prove that he is aware of and
sensitive to his environment. Eg: Education Policy of India.

Controversial Topics

Controversial topics are the ones that are argumentative in nature. They are meant to
generate controversy. In GD’s where these topics are given for discussion, the noise
level is usually high, there may be tempers flying. The idea behind giving a topic like
this is to see how much maturity the candidate is displaying by keeping his temper in
check, by rationally and logically arguing his point of view without getting personal
and emotional. Eg. Reservations should be removed, Women make better managers.

Abstract Topics

Abstract topics are about intangible things. These topics are not given often for
discussion, but their possibility cannot be ruled out. These topics test your lateral
thinking & creativity. Eg. A is an alphabet, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, The number
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Case – Based GD

Another variation is the use of a case instead of a topic.


The case study tries to simulate a real-life situation. Information about the situation
will be given to you and you would be asked as a group to resolve the situation. In the
case study there are no incorrect answers or perfect solutions. The objective in the
case study is to get you to think about the situation from various angles.
IIM A, IIM Indore and IIT SOM Mumbai have a case-based discussion rather than
topic-based discussion in their selection procedures.

Why are GD’s conducted?

The reason as to why these discussions are conducted can be considered from two
different aspects: the employer and the B- School. Apart from the various skills
that it tests the candidates for, it also acts as an elimination platform in cases
where there are a great number of candidates appearing for the particular
selection. The following two perspectives can be considered.

Employer’s Point of view: GD’s are conducted mainly while recruiting people
so as to get an idea that particular individual can gel in a team and can work as a
team member. As a manager, you will always be working in teams, as a member or
as a leader. Therefore how you interact in a team becomes an important criterion for
your selection

B-school’s point of view: GD’s are conducted mainly to gauge candidates’


ability to communicate efficiently, leadership skills, initiative & above all to
prove himself/herself as a effective team member.

Reasons for having a GD

• It helps you to understand a subject more deeply.


• It improves your ability to think critically.
• It helps in solving a particular problem.
• It helps the group to make a particular decision.
• It gives you the chance to hear other students' ideas.
• It improves your listening skills.
• It increases your confidence in speaking.
• It can change your attitudes.

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PERSONALITY TRAITS THE GD IS TRYING


TO TEST
Ability to interact in a team: It is the most important skill you should possess.
All the GD’s so conducted are mainly to test you on this particular aspect.

Communication Skills: If you full-fill the first skill (mentioned above) but can’t
communicate efficiently in a team then that would be considered as a drawback,
so it is vital to have a command over your language in which you are required to
communicate.

Reasoning Ability: This skill is required to give valid reasons to the ideas or
views you have expressed. The reasons should be valid and practical enough.

Initiative: This part of the skill is mainly tested when a candidate initiates a GD.
It is recommendable to initiate a GD when one has enough content for a topic
given. It would prove disastrous when one tries to initiate a GD without having
enough content, as he would be left with no content at later stage of GD.

Creativity: This skill is tested mainly when abstract topics or case based topics
are given for a GD.

Managing: Very often a GD turns into a fish market scenario where everyone tries to
speak at top of his or her voice. In such a situation if a candidate is able to manage the
GD and bring back the GD on track then that would prove impressive on his or her
part.

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A TYPICAL GD ENVIRONMENT
Arrangement: GD generally consists of 7 to 10 candidates with roll/chest
numbers. The candidates are seated in a closed circle in the sequence of roll/chest
numbers. No one is designated as leader, president, chairman or speaker.

Role of an Examiner: He may be a representative of a company or a B-school,


which conducts a GD. After announcing the subject and launching the group on
its task, the examiner retires to the background. He does not intervene or take any
further part in the group's deliberations. He observes the candidates for their
abilities and grades them accordingly.

Time Limit: The time limit given for completion of discussion by the group is
generally 15-20 minutes. Once the GD starts, the candidates hold cross talks
continuously

A group discussion consists of:

1. Communication Skills
2. Knowledge and ideas regarding a given subject
3. Capability to co-ordinate and lead
4. Exchange of thoughts
5. Addressing the group as a whole
6. Thorough preparations

Communication Skills

The first aspect is one's power of expression. In a group discussion, a candidate has to
talk effectively so that he is able to convince others. For convincing, one has to speak
forcefully and at the same time create an impact by his knowledge of the subject. A
candidate who is successful in holding the attention of the audience creates a positive
impact.

It is necessary that you should be precise and clear. Your knowledge on a given
subject, your precision and clarity of thought are the things that are evaluated.
Irrelevant talks lead you nowhere. You should speak as much as necessary, neither
more nor less. Group discussions are not debating stages.

Ability to listen is also what evaluator’s judge. They look for your ability to react on
what other participants say. Hence, it is necessary that you listen carefully to others
and then react or proceed to add some more points. Your behavior in the group is also
put to test to judge whether you are a loner or can work in a group.

You should be able to convey your thoughts satisfactorily and convincingly before a
group of people. Confidence and level headedness in doing so is necessary. These add
value to your presentation.

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Knowledge and Ideas Regarding a Given Subject: Knowledge of the subject under
discussion and clarity of ideas are important. Knowledge comes from consistent
reading on various topics ranging from science and technology to politics. In-depth
knowledge makes one confident and enthusiastic and this in turn, makes one
sound convincing and confident.

Leadership and Coordinating Capabilities: The basic aim of a group discussion is


to judge a candidate’s leadership qualities. The examiner withdraws and becomes a
silent spectator once the discussion starts. A candidate should display tactfulness,
skill, understanding and knowledge on varied topics, enterprise, forcefulness and
other leadership qualities to motivate and influence other candidates who may be
almost equally competent.

Exchange of Thoughts: A group discussion is an exchange of thoughts and ideas


among members of a group. These discussions are held for selecting personnel in
organizations where there is a high level of competition.

It helps to get an idea about candidates in a short time and make assessments about
their skills, which normally cannot be evaluated in an interview. These skills may be
team membership, leadership skills, listening and articulation skills.

Addressing the Group as a Whole: In a group discussion it is not necessary to


address anyone by name. Even otherwise you may not know everyone's names. It’s
better to address the group as a whole.

Address the person farthest from you. If he can hear you everyone else too can.
Needless to add, as for the interview, attend the group discussion in formal dress. The
language used should also be formal, not the language used in normal conversations.
For instance, words and phrases like "yar", "chalta hai", "CP", "I dunno", etc. are out.
This is not to say you should use a high sounding, pedantic language. Avoiding both,
just use formal, plain and simple language. Hinglish, (mixture of Hindi and English)
should be discarded.

Confidence and coolness while presenting your viewpoint are of help. See that you do
not keep repeating a point. Do not use more words than necessary. Do not be
superfluous. Try to be specific. Do not exaggerate.

Thorough Preparation: Start making preparations for interview and group


discussions right away, without waiting till the eleventh hour, this is, if and when
called for them. Then the time left may not be adequate. It is important to concentrate
on subject knowledge and general awareness. Hence, the prime need for thorough
preparation.

It may so happen that you are called for interviews and group discussions from three
or four organizations but are not selected by any. The reason obviously lies in your
not being well-prepared.

In order to tackle a GD effectively, you should have a good general knowledge, you
need to be abreast with current affairs and should regularly read newspapers and

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magazines. Your group behavior and communication skills are on test, i.e. how you
convince the others and how clearly you are able to express your points of view.

Additional marks may be given for starting or concluding the discussion.

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GD TIPS & PREPRATION FOR A GD


Preparing for a Group Discussion:

While GD reflects the inherent qualities of an individual, appearing for it unprepared


may not augur well for you. These tips would help you prepare for GD’s:

Reading: This is the first and the most crucial step in preparation. This is a never
ending process and the more you read, the better you are in your thoughts. While you
may read anything to everything, you must ensure that you are in good touch with
current affairs, the debates and hot topics of discussion and also with the latest in the
IT and ITES industry. Chances are the topics would be around these. Read both for
the thoughts as well as for data. Also read multiple view points on the same topic and
then create your point of view with rationale. Also create answers for counter
arguments for your point of view. The electronic media also will be of good use here.

Mocks: Create an informal GD group and meet regularly to discuss and exchange
feedback. This is the best way to prepare. This would give you a good idea about your
thoughts and how well can you convince. Remember, it is important that you are able
to express your thoughts well. The better you perform in these mocks the better would
be your chances to perform on the final day. Also try to interact and participate in
other GD groups. This will develop in you a skill to discuss with unknown people as
well.

During the Group Discussion:

1. Initiation Techniques
2. Body of the group discussion
3. Summarization/ Conclusion

Initiation Techniques

Initiating a GD is a high profit-high loss strategy: When you initiate a GD, you not
only grab the opportunity to speak, you also grab the attention of the examiner and
your fellow candidates.

If you can make a favorable first impression with your content and communication
skills after you initiate a GD, it will help you sail through the discussion.
But if you initiate a GD and stammer/ stutter/ quote wrong facts and figures, the
damage might be irreparable.

If you initiate a GD impeccably but don't speak much after that, it gives the
impression that you started the GD for the sake of starting it or getting those initial
kitty of points earmarked for an initiator! When you start a GD, you are responsible
for putting it into the right perspective or framework. So initiate one only if you have
in-depth knowledge about the topic at hand.

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Body of the group discussion

The following are the different techniques to initiate a GD and make a good first
impression:

• Quotes: Quotes are an effective way of initiating a GD. If the topic of a


GD is: Should the Censor Board be abolished?, you could start with a quote like:

“HIDDEN APPLES ARE ALWAYS SWEET”

• Definition: Start a GD by defining the topic or an important term in the


topic.
For example, if the topic of the GD is Advertising is a Diplomatic Way of Telling
a Lie, why not start the GD by defining advertising as, 'Any paid form of non-
personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services through mass
media like newspapers, magazines, television, radio, etc.”
• Question: Asking a question is an impactful way of starting a GD. It does
not signify asking a question to any of the candidates in a GD so as to hamper the
flow. It implies asking a question and answering it yourself.
• Shock Statement: Initiating a GD with a shocking statement is the best
way to grab immediate attention and put forth your point. If a GD topic is, The
Impact of Population on the Indian Economy, you could start with, 'At the centre
of the Indian capital stands a population clock that ticks away relentlessly. It
tracks 33 births a minute, 2,000 an hour, 48,000 a day. Which calculates to about
12 million every year? That is roughly the size of Australia. As a current political
slogan puts it, “nothing’s impossible when 1 billion Indians work together.”
• Facts, Figures and Statistics: If you decide to initiate your GD with facts,
figure and statistics make sure to quote them accurately. Approximation is
allowed in macro level figures, but micro level figures need to be correct and
accurate. Stating wrong facts works to your disadvantage.
• Short Story: Use a short story in a GD topic like, “Attitude Is
Everything”.
This can be initiated with, 'A child once asked a balloon vendor, who was selling
helium gas-filled balloons, whether a blue-colored balloon will go as high in the
sky as a green-colored balloon. The balloon vendor told the child, it is not the
color of the balloon but what is inside it that makes it go high.'
• General Statement: Use a general statement to put the GD in proper
perspective. For example, if the topic is, Should Sonia Gandhi be the prime
minister of India? You could start by saying, 'Before jumping to conclusions like,
'Yes, Sonia Gandhi should be', or 'No, Sonia Gandhi should not be', let's first find
out the qualities one needs to be a good prime minister of India. Then we can
compare these qualities with those that Mrs. Gandhi possesses. This will help us
reach the conclusion in a more objective and effective manner.'

How do I take my chance to speak: Trying to interrupt others while they are
speaking will only harm your chances. Instead, you may try to maintain an eye-
contact with the speaker. This would show your listening skills also and would help

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you gauge from his eye-movement and pitch of voice that he is about to close his
inputs. You can quickly take it from there. Also, try and link your inputs with what he
has spoken whether you are adding to or opposing his arguments. This would reflect
that you are actually being participative rather than just doing a collective monologue.

How to I communicate in a GD: Be crisp and to the point. Be fact based and avoid
making individual opinions that do not have a factual base. Make eye contact with all
the members in the group and avoid looking at the panelists while speaking. The
average duration of the group discussion provides an average of about 2-3 minutes
per participant to speak and you should try to speak about 3-4 times. Hence, you need
to be really crisp to reflect the most in those 30-40 sec. slots.

How do I convince others and make them agree to my view point: A lot of
candidates make it their mission to make the group reach to a conclusion on the topic.
Do not forget that some of the topics have been eternal debates and there is no way
you can get an agreement in 15 mins. on them. The objective is not to make others toe
your line but to provide fact based, convincing arguments which create an impact.
Stick to this approach.

Do leadership skills include moderating the group discussion: This is a myth and
many people do try to impose their order on the GD, ordering people when to speak
and when not to. This only reflects poor leadership. Leadership in a GD would be
reflected by your clarity of thought, ability to expand the topic in its different
dimensions, providing an opportunity to a silent participant to speak, listening to
others and probing them to provide more information. Hence, work on these areas
rather than be a self-appointed moderator of the group.

Listening: This is a key quality assessed during the GD about which many
participants forget. Active listening can fetch you credit points and would also
provide you with data to discuss. Also, if you have an average of 2-3 minutes to
speak, the rest of the 20-25 minutes is required to spend in active listening. For this,
maintain eye contact with the speakers, attend to them (like nodding, using
acknowledging words like -I see ok, fine, great etc.). This would also make you the
centre of attraction as you would appear non-threatening to the speakers.

Behavior during the GD: Be patient; don't get upset if anyone says anything you
object to. Stay objective and don't take the discussion personally. Also, remember the
six C's of communication - Clarity, Completeness, Conciseness, Confidence,
Correctness and Courtesy. Be appreciative & receptive to ideas from other people and
open-minded but do not let others to change your own viewpoint. Be active and
interested throughout. It is better to participate less if you have no clue of the topic.
You may listen to others and take clues from there and speak. You would be assessed
on a range of different skills and you may think that leadership is the key; you need to
be careful that you don't dominate the discussion.

Quality Vs Quantity: Often, participants think that success in group discussions


depends on how much and how loudly they speak. Interestingly, it's the opposite.
Also, making your point on the topic, your views are important and the group needs
to know. This will tell you are knowledgeable and that you participate in groups

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What do the panelists assess?

Some of the qualities assessed in a GD are:

Leadership Skills - Ability to take leadership roles and be able to lead, inspire and
carry the team along to help them achieve the group's objectives.

Communication Skills - Candidates will be assessed in terms of clarity of thought,


expression and aptness of language. One key aspect is listening. It indicates a
willingness to accommodate others views.

Interpersonal Skills - People skills are an important aspect of any job. They are
reflected in the ability to interact with other members of the group in a brief situation.
Emotional maturity and balance promotes good interpersonal relationships. The
person has to be more people centric and less self-centered.

Persuasive Skills - The ability to analyze and persuade others to see the problem
from multiple perspectives.

GD is a test of your ability to think, your analytical capabilities and your ability to
make your point in a team-based environment.

These are some of the sub-skills that also get assessed with the skills mentioned
above:

• Clarity of thought
• Group working skills (especially during a group task of case study discussion)
• Conflict handling
• Listening and probing skills
• Knowledge about the subject and individual point of view
• Ability to create a consensus
• Openness and flexibility towards new ideas
• Data based approach to decision making

Summarization/ Conclusion

Most GD’s do not really have conclusions. A conclusion is where the whole group
decides in favor or against the topic. But every GD is summarized. You can
summaries what the group has discussed in the GD in a nutshell.

If you have not been able to initiate the discussion, try to summaries and close it.
Good summarizing would get you good reward points. But every GD can be
summarized by putting forth what the group has discussed in a nutshell. Keep the
following points in mind while summarizing a discussion:

• Avoid raising new points.


• Avoid stating only your viewpoint.

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• Avoid dwelling only on one aspect of the GD


• Keep it brief and concise.
• It must include all the important points that came out during the GD
• If you are asked to summarize a GD, it means the GD has come to an end.
• Do not add anything once the GD has been summarized.

Feedback template: While doing mocks for GD preparation, you would get
benefited by the feedback of others.

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DO’S & DON’TS OF A GD


DO’S

1. Be as natural as possible. Do not try and be someone you are not. Be yourself.
2. A group discussion is your chance to be more vocal. The evaluator wants to
hear you speak.
3. Take time to organize your thoughts. Think of what you are going to say.
4. Seek clarification if you have any doubts regarding the subject.
5. Don't start speaking until you have clearly understood and analyzed the
subject.
6. Work out various strategies to help you make an entry: initiate the discussion
or agree with someone else's point and then move onto express your views.
7. Opening the discussion is not the only way of gaining attention and
recognition. If you do not give valuable insights during the discussion, all your
efforts of initiating the discussion will be in vain.
8. Your body language says a lot about you - your gestures and mannerisms are
more likely to reflect your attitude than what you say.
9. Language skills are important only to the effect as to how you get your points
across clearly and fluently.
10. Be assertive not dominating; try to maintain a balanced tone in your
discussion and analysis.
11. Don't lose your cool if anyone says anything you object to. The key is to stay
objective: Don't take the discussion personally.
12. Always be polite: Try to avoid using extreme phrases like: `I strongly object'
or `I disagree'. Instead try phrases like: `I would like to share my views on…' or
`One difference between your point and mine…' or "I beg to differ with you"
13. Brush up on your leadership skills; motivate the other members of the team to
speak (this surely does not mean that the only thing that you do in the GD is to say
"let us hear what the young lady with the blue scarf has to say," or "Raghu, let us
hear your views" - Essentially be subtle), and listen to their views. Be receptive to
others' opinions and do not be abrasive or aggressive.
14. If you have a group of like-minded friends, you can have a mock group
discussion where you can learn from each other through giving and receiving
feedback.
15. Apart from the above points, the panel will also judge team members for their
alertness and presence of mind, problem-solving abilities, ability to work as a
team without alienating certain members, and creativity.

While, it is not possible to reflect all these qualities in a short time, you would do well
if you are able to show a couple or more qualities and avoid giving negative evidence
on others.

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DON’TS

• Lose your temper. A discussion is not an argument.


• Shout. Use a moderate tone and medium pitch.
• Use too many gestures when you speak. Gestures like finger pointing and
table thumping can appear aggressive.
• Dominate the discussion. Confident speakers should allow quieter students a
chance to contribute.
• Draw too much on personal experience or anecdote. Although some tutors
encourage students to reflect on their own experience, remember not to generalize
too much.
• Interrupt. Wait for a speaker to finish what they are saying before you speak.

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ROLES PERFORMED IN A GD
Positive Task Roles

• Initiator: 'Let's take a local perspective on environmental responsibility. Maybe a


fast-food outlet?'
• Information seeker: 'Does anyone know what Bentley Beta Burgers does with its
garbage? Does it recycle?'
• Information giver: They won a local government award last year for running an
environmentally friendly operation.'
• Procedure facilitator: 'I'll write this down to keep track of our discussion.'
• Opinion seeker: 'Do you think they're really responsible or is it just a bit of good
PR?'
• Opinion giver: 'I think it's a combination of the two, but at least they're taking the
issue seriously.'
• Clarifier: 'We need to get hold of Betta Burgers' annual report to get a better
picture of what they're doing.'
• Summariser: 'O.K. We're taking a local perspective, using Bentley Betta Burgers
as our example, and we'll have a look at last year's annual report to see in what
way they practiced environmental responsibility.'

Positive Maintenance Roles

These become particularly important as the discussion develops and opposing points
of view begin to emerge.

• Social Supporter: 'We're coming up with some good ideas here.'


• Harmoniser: 'Jane and Tsen have looked at the issue from opposing points of
view. Let's see if we can take something from both points of view.'
• Tension Reliever: 'This discussion's really dynamic. It's good that we have so
many different valid angles on the issue.'
• Energiser: 'Hey, the point that Ahmed made has really got me thinking. Let's
explore his idea some more.'
• Compromiser: 'Half the group supports Jane's view and half supports Tsen's.
Now we need to formulate a compromise that we can all live with.'
• Gatekeeper: 'How do you feel about the issue, Greg? Your contribution here
would be really valuable.'

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During an effective group discussion each participant may take up a number of task
and maintenance roles to keep the discussion moving productively.

As well as these positive roles, there are a number of negative roles which are often
taken up in group discussion. Taking up these roles should be avoided and we must
learn to identify them in other group members. The discussion group may adopt the
ground rule that negative behavior will be censured by members of the group.
Described below are some negative roles to be avoided.

Negative Roles to be Avoided

• Disgruntled non-participant: Someone who does not contribute and whose


presence inhibits the participation of other group members.
• Attacker: Someone who acts aggressively by expressing disapproval of other
members and their contributions to the discussion.
• Dominator: Someone who takes control of the discussion by talking too much,
interrupting other members, or behaving in a patronising way.
• Clown: Someone who 'shows off', refuses to take the discussion seriously, or
disrupts it with inappropriate humour.

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MOST COMMON MISTAKES MADE AT GROUP


DISCUSSIONS
• Emotional outburst

• Quality Vs Quantity

• Egotism Showing off

• Get noticed - But for the right reasons

• Managing one's insecurities

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GROUP DISCUSSION SCRIPT

Judges: Utkarsh Agarwal (04)

Sneha Wadkar (52)

GD Participants: Ankur Agarwal (01)

Nikhil Agarwal (02)

Rohit Agarwal (03)

Taha Aqdas (05)

Rohit Ahuja (06)

Simrat Arora (07)

Vinay Banthia (08)

Please Note: All the GD participants are wearing numbers. These numbers
represent their Roll Numbers.

Topic Form Discussion: Multinationals Bane or Boon

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Judge (Utkarsh): Good Morning. You are given 2 minutes to think to start with the
discussion and then discuss the topic for 15 minutes. The observers will not interfere
in your discussion. We hope everyone is well – versed with the rules and regulations
of a Group Discussion. You can pen down points if required.

Judge (Sneha): The topic for discussion is “Multinationals Bane or Boon”. Please
gather your thoughts you have 2 minutes for that. (Waits for 2 Minutes.) Your time
period of 15 minutes begins now. You may proceed with the discussion. BEST OF
LUCK.

Simrat: This is a good topic. Let us start with defining Multi – National Companies.
They are merely large Companies, which operate in a number of countries. There
could be some Indian Multi – Nationals also. So there is nothing wrong with them.
The point is whether they have a good or bad impact on the host countries. We have
to discuss their business practices and find out whether they are desirable or not.

Rohit Agarwal: This is a very good introduction to the topic. MNC’s do serve an
important function, that they bring new products and technologies in countries which
do not have them. They set up power plants and build roads and bridges, which really
help in the development of host countries.

Rohit Ahuja: However it has to be kept in mind that MNC’s may not always help in
the development of host countries. There have been instances, where Profit –
Motivated MNC’s have engaged themselves in destructive competition and insidious
plots to economically and politically manipulate entire economies.

Nikhil: But competition is not always destructive. In many cases it has compelled
MNCs to provide the world with an immense diversity of high-quality and low-priced
products. They benefit the consumers in this way.

Taha: However this is not the case always. Many a times, MNC’s are perceived to be
methodically eliminating domestic firms. By exploiting their monopoly powers, they
export high - wage jobs to low – wage countries, undermine world’s environment,
augment the external debt problems of developing countries, perpetuate world
poverty and exploit child labor.

Ankur: I agree Nike’s past problems with child labor and other media evidences of
the Wanton disregard of environmental responsibilities are examples of this.

Nikhil: Going according to you, we can say that we may not need MNC’s, but then it
also means that our companies should not do business abroad. Can we live in an
isolated World? The fact is that we are moving towards becoming a global village.
The world is interconnected. Then we have also seen that Foreign Companies bring in
business practices that we are impressed with. For instance, look at foreign banks.
They are efficient and friendly that the nationalized banks look pathetic in
comparison. I think we can learn a lot from MNC’s if we keep our eyes and mind
open.

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Vinay: McDonald’s for example is providing quality meals at affordable prices. One
does not have to wait at their restraunts. They also have a good chain of outlets
everywhere covering all the five metros, areas of tourist attraction and they are also
set up in the other small towns and cities.

Simrat: Yes I agree. Another benefit is that Multinational corporations also reduce
poverty by connecting local business with world markets and bringing access to credit
and technology. Not only are the Indian markets open to the foreign countries, but
also the foreign markets are open to the Indian companies. Many Indian firms have
been benefited, due to globalization. I think we cannot deny this fact.

Rohit Ahuja: I accept that, but in many cases we have seen that they destroy local
industry. In India for instance, they just took - over existing Companies. They came in
areas of low technology and disregarded all the environmental regulations. All this
has affected the locals of that area adversely.

Ankur: Yes I agree. There are many critics that charge MNC’s with violating labor
rights as in they do not give proper wages and proper holidays to the workers, ruining
the environment, following faulty policies, giving bribes to government officials, etc.
For Eg.: Bhopal Gas Tragedy, who is responsible for the loss of lives of 1000’s of
innocents?

Taha: Very true. I am against MNC’s. We should be Swadeshi in our approach.


When we can produce everything by ourselves, why do we need MNC’s at all? We
should be self – sufficient. Instead of relying on MNC’s we can safeguard our
disintegrating small – scale industry sector and achieve self – sufficiency.

Nikhil: I accept your point. We should be self – sufficient and we should promote our
industries rather than supporting MNC’s. But even if we do that, I do not think that
our SSI’s can match the MNC’s. The MNC’s have economies of scale, which enable
them to provide good quality products at cheaper rates. I suppose our SSI’s cannot
match the MNC’s in this regard.

Taha: But tell me this, generally we are used to buying goods from local vendors and
small dealers. In this whenever the goods turn out to be defective, we go to that
vendor and settle the issue. But in the case of MNC’s, when the good turns out to be
defective, who takes the responsibility for the defect? Where should the consumer go?

Simrat: You can ordinarily go to the MNC’s, complaint to them about the defect and
they will exchange it for you. Eg. If I buy a shirt from Peter England and it turns out
to be defective, then I go to the Outlet and complaint to them about the defect and
then they make sure that the defect is sorted or I get a replacement. And if by any
chances they do not, then I always have the option of using the Legal Route. You can
always approach the consumer court and file complaints against the Company.

Ankur: Ya! Ya! Why not? Go to the court and wait for the judgment to come. Keep
going to the court for hearings and fight the case against the MNC. It is not very easy
for the common man to speak against such a giant corporation. Look at the amount of

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Effective Communication Pf. Manjunath

money you spend fighting the case and compare it with the compensation. The
compensation seems to be Minuscule.

Rohit Agarwal: I think we have to accept this fact that every poor country needs
Foreign Investment. Poor countries often lack resources of their own. That is why
they have to invite Foreign Companies.

Vinay: Yes the developing countries often need support and there is nothing wrong in
this, because with that capital or assistance, products like cars, air conditioners, and so
on can be manufactured in developing countries also. Now we have a larger choice of
items to select from. We have often seen that MNCs source products from developing
countries. They make industries in these developing countries their sub – vendors.
This in turn helps boost the export earnings of that country. It brings foreign exchange
into the country.

Rohit Ahuja: But are they all that good? Moreover, we have to see that why they
come at all. They come for earning profits and often remit more money abroad, than
they bring in.

Vinay: They help the host countries also. The economic role of MNCs is simply to
channel physical and financial capital to countries with capital shortages. As a
consequence, wealth is created, which yields new jobs directly and through
“crowding-in” effects. In addition, new tax revenues arise from MNC generated
income, allowing developing countries to improve their infrastructures and to
strengthen their human capital.

Ankur: However it has been noticed that they follow faulty policies and are just
concerned with making profits. They do not care even if they harm the health of the
consumers. I think all of us must be aware of the recent controversy of Cola’s and
Pesticides. I don’t think that this approach of theirs was ethical.

Nikhil: Such controversies are created only in the case of MNCs. No one cares a
damn, when they drink roadside LASSI. The quality of that, the material they use the
water they use and so on. But controversies and media hypes are created only when it
is an MNC Product.

Rohit Ahuja: More than 70% of our population stays in the Rural Area. Companies
like ITC have come up with the concept of E – Chaupal, by which they connect the
rural market to the urban market. In this way, they help the farmers to get the best
price for their produce. I don’t think that any MNC has done anything of this kind.

Simrat: Well that is there. But we should not forget that companies like Pepsi which
are in the foods business also, has helped farmers in Punjab by setting up modern
farms to grow potatoes and tomatoes. Modern practices have helped people in that
area. They earn revenue and it has immensely improves the standard of living of
people in that area.

Rohit Agarwal: In addition MNCs present investors with the opportunity to diversify
their investments, gain exposure to varied markets, and benefit from a weak

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Effective Communication Pf. Manjunath

U.S.Dollar. A traditional view of investing asserts such conditions are highly valuable
to investors, because they can reduce portfolio risk and expand opportunities for
financial gain.

Ankur: MNCs follow HIRE AND FIRE Policies. By saying this I mean that today I
am working in this Company and there is no assurance, that whether I will be there
tomorrow or not.

Nikhil: Do you mean that we should stick to our old age system of “BABUGIRI”
where it takes years to clear files. The reason is that all these BABU’s are assured of
their jobs and are least bothered about efficiency. They are just interested in taking
their wages. They only show their efficiency when they are given bribes.

Taha: Well there could be negative things associated with MNCs. They may not be
very good in their practices. But can we do without them? I think the best way is to
invite them but also impose some controls so that they follow the laws of that country
and do not indulge in unfair practices.

Simrat: We have had a good discussion and I think it is time to sum up. MNC’s may
have good points and some bad ones too, but competition is never harmful to anyone.
We cannot live in a protected economy any longer. We have been protected for many
years and the results are there for everyone to see. Rather than be close about MNC’s,
let us invite them in selected areas so that we get foreign investments in areas, in
which it is lacking. Laws can be strictly enforced that companies, operate within
limits and do not start meddling in political affairs.

Judge (Utkarsh): That was the end of the stipulated 15 minutes. Thank You one and
all.

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Effective Communication Pf. Manjunath

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Prof. Manjunath, for giving us an
opportunity to work on such an insightful topic. Working on this topic has given us a
lot of knowledge and is supposed to be of immense help in the future.

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