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如何在竞争劣势中鼓舞士气

时间:2010-07-29 13:07    来源:    作者: 点击:
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    Sanjay Chheda, head of Microsoft Corp.'s consumer and online business in Asia, faces one of the more difficult challenges in his industry. In a world where Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. command more than 80% of Internet searches, Mr. Chheda must find a way to popularize Microsoft's Web services or be left with a shrinking piece of the online-advertising pie. In Asia, he also faces stiff competition from search engines such as China's Baidu.com Inc. and NHN Corp.'s Naver.com of South Korea, which dominate their local markets.

    Mr. Chheda's first stint with Microsoft was in the summer of 1991 as an intern working on Microsoft Word word-processing software for Windows 2.0. Microsoft Word was then the underdog to the popular WordPerfect, now owned by Corel Corp. Mr. Chheda watched how Microsoft rallied as a team to defeat Goliath, and he kept this sense of mission with him as he rose through the ranks.

    Since joining Microsoft 17 years ago, Mr. Chheda has held a variety of jobs across marketing, product planning and program management, most notably as Microsoft's chief deal-maker, responsible for acquisitions, strategic investments and new ventures, and later as head of its Windows Mobile software business. He now manages Microsoft's consumer software and online units across Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea, India, China and Australia.

    He played a key role in the recent launch of Bing, a new search engine Microsoft hopes will win over fans with language tweaks targeted at users in Asia. Mr. Chheda will oversee Bing's regional rollout in the coming months, focusing on Japan, China and Australia. His teams also will work closely with units in China, Japan and India to gear the search engine to the needs of users there.

    Mr. Chheda, 42 years old, an American, was born to Indian immigrant parents near the northern New York state city of Buffalo, and went on to earn economics and computer-science degrees at the University of Pennsylvania. After a stint in a junior analyst program at Salomon Brothers, the now defunct investment bank, in New York City, he enrolled in the MBA program at Stanford University. When Mr. Chedda joined Microsoft in 1992, he was one of just 11,000 workers. The company now employs more than 95,000 people.

    Wayne Ma spoke with Mr. Chheda in Singapore. The interview has been edited.

    WSJ: In this challenging economic environment, have you had to cut costs?

    Mr. Chheda: We've had to get our costs in line with revenue; the best way to do that is to share information and explain to people why we're doing it, rather than saying, 'Here's your cost cut, live with it.' If you help them understand the objective and treat them as equals and partners in the business-planning exercise, you get the support of the team and also can harness their creativity.

    WSJ: What did you learn from your experience in investment banking [at Salomon Brothers] and is Microsoft still looking for merger and acquisition opportunities in Asia?

    Mr. Chheda: At Microsoft I worked on several acquisitions and deals, including the IPO of the travel Web site Expedia.com. From my investment banking years, I knew how to integrate new businesses to create value, and I knew how to work with bankers on transactions.

    Microsoft is certainly looking at strategic opportunities in Asia, but it might not always take the form of an acquisition. Because the environment has gotten tougher, everyone has been looking for opportunities to partner and grow market share without increasing costs. Valuations are also more reasonable, and that makes some deals more attractive. There are probably more opportunities to do deals and partnerships than ever before.

    WSJ: What do you look for when considering job candidates?

    Mr. Chheda: I've held many jobs at Microsoft, and they often involved the company taking a bet on me to do something I perhaps didn't have the full suite of experience to do. It might be a smart bet for a company to give someone with enough of a track record the chance to step into a role they might be somewhat unqualified for. Some of the best decisions I've made were taking bets on people; It's been satisfying to watch them thrive against a new set of challenges.

    WSJ: Do you think an MBA is important?

    Mr. Chheda: You can't get nuts-and-bolts skills at educational institutions. That said, getting an MBA is a great way to prepare or enhance a career in business, and I'd strongly encourage it to anyone who is considering. However, I'd tell them to first go out and get substantial work experience. You can learn so much more in your academic program if you come into it with more context.

    WSJ: How do you motivate employees when you're the underdog in the online-search market?

    Mr. Chheda: People need to believe we have a plan to get back to leadership, and it's also important that they understand our commitment and strategy. We face some stiff competition today and better competitors than ever. But Microsoft has a long history of succeeding against competition. I love to tell the story of Word for Windows 2.0, because most people don't realize that Microsoft wasn't always the winner there. At the time, we knew our product was going to be better than WordPerfect's product, and we were going to tell that story to the world. We're a company that's good at rallying and responding to the competition.

    WSJ: What have been some of your biggest challenges?

    Mr. Chheda: There were some countries where our financial performance wasn't fully what we wanted, and I had to go in and take a look at our sales structure. In one example, we were trying to launch too many aQuantive [Microsoft online advertising] products at the same time. I learned that if you have a small team trying to sell too many products at once, you're not going to succeed. Focus on doing a couple of things well and gaining acceptance for them before reaching that critical mass to add new ones.

    WSJ: How do you communicate with your employees across Asia?

    Mr. Chheda: Some face-to-face contact is essential, especially when you're ramping up and getting started in a new role. You really need to spend time with people in a somewhat unstructured way to learn who they are, how they work and what their interests are. If you invest in that personal connection in the beginning, it makes it so much easier to connect on issues over the phone or video conferencing. In Singapore, we do video calls with each employee in each country every month, reviewing their business performance. We also do a video conference with each country's leadership team.

    微软公司(Microsoft Corp.)亚洲区斲丧者及在线营业部的认真人桑杰。切达(Sanjay Chheda)正面临着科技行业中一个难度很年夜的挑衅。今朝,谷歌(Google Inc.)和雅虎(Yahoo Inc.)攻陷着互联网搜索规模80%以上的江山,而切达必需找到一种要领,扩年夜微软在互联网处事方面的影响力,否则就只能坐视自己在网上广告这块年夜蛋糕中的份额越来越少。在亚洲,他还面临来自本土搜索引擎的剧烈竞争,如中国的百度(Baidu.com Inc.)和韩国NHN Corp.的Naver.com,其在当地市场都占有着主导职位地方。

    切达与微软的第一次亲昵打仗始于1991年夏,他作为养成工参预开发了Windows 2.0操纵体系下的Microsoft Word笔墨措置赏罚赏罚软件。当时,Microsoft Word不敌热点软件WordPerfect,后者现属Corel Corp.公司悉数。切达目击了微软的团队怎样薪火相传,精诚相助,上演一个又一个神话中"年夜卫王击败巨无霸Goliath"的故事。他在微软的职位一直晋升,而自己一向抱有这种以小胜年夜的使命感。

    自从17年前插手微软公司以来,切达在良多部门事项过,比如市场营销、产品筹划和软件打点等,最为人所知的是其作为微软的首席买卖营业促成者,认真并购买卖营业、计谋投资和新创营业,厥后还认真运营向相助公司发卖一些手机和其他电子配置的嵌入装配。此刻,他打点着微软在东南亚、日本、韩国、印度、中国和澳年夜利亚市场的斲丧者软件及在线营业。

    在微软最新推出的搜索引擎"必应"(Bing)上,切达扮演着一个关键角色。微软公司但愿能倚赖其针对亚洲用户的说话互通方面的上风,吸引更多的用户。切达将在未来几个月认真"必应"在亚洲市场的推出,并把首要精力放在日本、中国和澳年夜利亚市场上。他的团队还与中国、日本和印度的微软子公司密合适作,调解搜索引擎以更好地适理当地用户的需求。

    42岁的切达是美国人,父母是印度移平易近,他出生在纽约州北部都市布法罗(Buffalo)临近。他在宾州年夜学(University of Pennsylvania)得到经济学和计较机学的双料学位,曾在现已不复存在的纽约投行所罗门兄弟公司(Salomon Brothers)供应的一个低级剖析师项目中实习过,厥后去斯坦福年夜学(Stanford University)攻读MBA.1992年,切达插手微软公司,当时公司员工总数仅11,000人,此刻已经赶过95,000人。

    《华尔街日报》(以下简称WSJ)记者Wayne Ma在新加坡采访了切达,下文是经编纂过的访谈择要。

    WSJ:在这个充塞挑衅的经济环境下,你是否不得不思量减少本钱?

    切达:我们得量入为出,最佳的实现路子是充份雷同,讲述年夜家为什么要这么做,而不可是说"这便是你的本钱消减方针,看着办吧".要辅佐员工理解理睬公司的方针,在拟定商业打算的历程中整洁对待每个人私家,就像相助搭档一样,这样才华得到团队的撑持,充份操作好他们的立异手段。

    WSJ:你在(所罗门兄弟公司的)投行从业经验中学到了什么,微软公司还在亚洲探求购并机遇吗?

    切达:我在微软参预过几个并购买卖营业,包孕旅行网站Expedia.com.的初度公然募股(IPO)等。在投行事项时期,我学会了怎样整合新的营业以缔造代价,分明该怎么和参预买卖营业的投行人士共事。

    微软固然会在亚洲探求各类计谋机遇,但不必然因此并购的方法举办。因为经济不景气,年夜家都在探求相助的机遇,在不增进分外本钱的情形下扩年夜市场份额。另外,今朝的企业估值也更为公道,使一些买卖营业更具吸引力。和以往对比,此刻大概有更多的买卖营业及相助机遇。

    WSJ:在招聘新员工时,你垂青的是哪些方面?

    切达:我在微软的很多部门事项过,在很多情形下,公司以为我虽然没有从事该岗位的周全经历,但依然能够胜任。是以在我看来,公司让一个历史默示较好的员工有机遇从事一些看似并不得当的事项,反而是一招妙棋。我做过的一些最好的决意妄想便是用对了人,看着他们能在一系列新的挑衅中生长起来,会有一种成绩感和餍足感。

    WSJ:你以为MBA学历紧张吗?

    切达:教诲机构是无法给以你实战经历的,但MBA是一种筹备进入商业规模或晋升职业生涯生存的精采路子,对付正在思量这个标的目的的人,我持鼓舞激励立场。不过,我提议初事项一段时刻,吸收充足的事项经历。有了更多的经历堆集,你在进修MBA时就会有更年夜的收成。

    WSJ:"必应"在搜索引擎规模照样一个"小弟弟",你怎样激劝部下的员工?

    切达:年夜家必要有这样一个信心,我们要从头登上头把交椅,同时他们也要理解理睬公司的方针和计谋门径。此刻,我们面临的竞争更剧烈,对手比以往任何时辰都更强年夜;但微软有一个克服竞争对手的持久历史。我很喜欢讲Windows 2.0操纵体系下Word软件得到乐成的故事,由于绝年夜年夜都人都不知道,微软并不老是赢家。当时,我们清楚明明自己的产品比WordPerfect更好,就致力于把这个动静讲述全天下。微软这个公司长于应对竞争,并在竞争中取胜。

    WSJ:你面临过的最年夜挑衅是什么?

    切达:我们的财务状态在一些国家不尽人意,是以我必需从头审阅那儿那里的发卖结构。举个例子,我们曾经想同时在几个国家推出很多aQuantive(微软的在线广告产品),厥后我意识到,要是只有一个小团队,但想一会儿发卖太多的产品,就会欲速则不达。一次做好一两件工作,得到年夜家的认可和接管,就能慢慢从量变走向质变,推出更多新的产品。

    WSJ:你怎么和亚洲的员工举办雷同?

    切达:面迎面的交换很是紧张,尤其是刚步入一个新的事项角色时。你必要在不经意的场合多和员工交游,相识他们的为人、事项方法,以及乐趣喜等等。要是你一路头就加强这种人际雷同,此后就能在打电话或开视频集会时更轻易地谈判工作。在新加坡,我们每个月都和亚洲各市场的每个员工进行视频集会,评估他们的营业默示。另外,我们还和每个国家的主管团队经由过程视频交流定见。




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