MAN Truck & Bus


MAN in India: As diverse as the country itself


Aishwarya Shinde and Nandakishor Zanan work at MAN’s location in Pune, India. While Aishwarya is an HR Business Partner, Nandakishor works as an engineer in the Hardware Development team. With 1.4 billion people, India is the most populated country in the world. It includes a multitude of languages, religions, cultural backgrounds and has a wide variety of traditions. This is an interview about diversity within Indian teams, some German differences and the close collaboration of MAN teams across continents and time zones.    

Aishwarya, what is your job at MAN?

AISHWARYA: I joined MAN in December 2021 as an HR Business Partner. In this role I’m responsible for a broad range of topics: onboarding, talent management, learning and development as well as MAN Branding topics.

When we talk about diversity in Indian teams, we first need to take a look at diversity in the country, right?

AISHWARYA: Yes, definitely. India is a huge country, both in terms of size and population, and it is very diverse. The individual regions are very different from each other: so many religions, languages, and also different lifestyles and educational levels. This of course leads to a very diversified workforce with lots of different perspectives. In my opinion this diversity fosters the strength of the country.

How is this diversity reflected in the Indian MAN team?

AISHWARYA: Our employees come from all different regions of India – from bustling cities in the South, to more remote north-eastern regions: representing various languages and age groups. When hiring people, we do not limit ourselves to any region, age group or other factor.

HR Business Partner

India has 22 separate official languages. It is home to a total of 121 languages and 270 mother tongues. How do you communicate?

AISHWARYA: English and Hindi are spoken by the majority. People are also very adaptive to the local language here in Pune, which is Marathi. People find it relatively easy to learn. 

What are the factors that enable good collaboration in these diverse Indian teams? 

AISHWARYA: What I observe is that there are of course some unconscious biases. However, the diversified workforce reduces these biases, as people in the teams connect with each other and bond on various levels. We consider it an advantage that we don’t all see things through the same lens. The different skills and backgrounds are beneficial for productivity and innovation.

Nandakishor, what is your role?

NANDAKISHOR: I’m an engineer in the Hardware Development team. I am one of those responsible for 2D/3D documentation and the coordination of Asian standardisation activities. We work closely with engineering teams in Munich. I have been with MAN for 15 years now, since they first opened their India office.

What cultural differences do you see in the collaboration of the teams in India and Germany?

NANDAKISHOR: Indians are very emotional, and it is normal to talk about private life, which is different to our German colleagues.

Hardware developer



What are the challenges of this collaboration?

NANDAKISHOR: Understanding the culture on both sides is important to avoid miscommunication. For example, when it comes to deadlines, both sides need to give realistic and feasible timelines, as Indians don’t often like to say “no”. It is important for Indian colleagues to say how much time they need and also if something is not possible.

Aishwarya mentioned the difficulty with the different languages that are spoken across India. How do you find the experience of communicating with your German colleagues?  

NANDAKISHOR: In India, it is normal to communicate in English. In Germany, teams mostly talk in German and some process documents are still in German. Although we do mainly communicate in English, of course we need to practice more to get better at speaking and documenting in English.

What helps overcome these challenges? 

NANDAKISHOR: Taking business trips to visit each other helps us a lot to grow closer and understand each other’s culture better. Language and intercultural training is also a good support. Cultural and emotional sensitivity training should be planned for all employees and new hires. Additionally, we discuss the company values in our weekly team meetings so that they are always at the forefront of our minds as they form the backbone of our company culture.  

How do you benefit from the cross-cultural collaboration? 

NANDAKISHOR: Practices from “New Work” like the flexible working hours have been implemented here in India. And there are cultural changes happening in the Indian organisation: not formally calling people “Sir” or “Madam” anymore reduces the barrier of talking to people, especially when directly approaching seniors. It is becoming more normal for everyone to ask things, which improves team work as well as learning from each other.

MAN India is headquartered in Pune, in the western Indian state Maharashtra. Since 2018, a team of engineers has been contributing to the development of sustainable and smart products and services. It focuses on four main topics: design and simulations, hardware development, software development and validation, and data science and performance analysis. The engineers collaborate with colleagues from MAN’s global engineering network

Find out more about MAN Truck & Bus India.

This article is part of the "Faces of Diversity" series

Here we feature the lives and careers of some of our employees from around the world. These stories make us think, inspire us and show how diversity and an open mind drive our success as a company.

Faces of Diversity graphic artwork

Text   Renate Wachinger
Photos   MAN


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