Regional Director cited in ‘100 most influential’
Our Regional Director for South Asia, Amrita Sadarangani, was recently named a leading influencer in Indian-UK relations in a local publication. We spoke to the staff who lead our regional teams and asked them to reflect on the importance of building networks and contacts overseas.
The word 'networking' can strike fear into the hearts of those who hear it - it's not surprising that an estimated 1 in 4 people don't network at all. (Aja Frost, Hubspot, 2017)
For our Regional Directors, networking makes all the difference. To them, successful networking is not about the number of business cards collected, but the ability to strike a chord and have timely conversations that leads to opportunities and new ideas.
These conversations and connections can have long-lasting impact, and so to see our Regional Director for South Asia, Amrita Sadarangani, featured in the publication ‘100 Most Influential in UK India Relations’ is a great vindication of her work.
"Sadarangani set up the office in Mumbai and leads the South Asia team to deliver a diverse portfolio of activity, including teaching, research and innovation partnerships, mobility and student experience, alumni engagement and student recruitment." (100 Most Influential in UK India Relations).
Amrita’s inclusion is testament to the work she has been progressing in the region for many years.
This publication, produced by India Inc., is part of UK India Week 2018, an annual series of events which build on the relationship between India and the UK. The publication celebrates figures who are instrumental in championing and forging these relationships, and names Amrita a ‘Regional Tiger,’ focusing on her role in promoting the University’s links across South Asia.
Amrita was delighted to be included in the list, alongside many others she has worked with. She added:
Networking isn’t always about the biggest designation or the star of the organisation; it's about those incredible people behind the big names and brands, whose alchemy turns an idea or a conversation into reality.
Amrita is located in Mumbai, where she works to develop and maintain links with universities, research institutions, government agencies, companies and cultural organisations. As she points out, the ability to promote collaboration, spot a good idea, follow it up and make it happen are what make a great networker, and she's truly following best practice in this regard - Forbes includes these points in their article, 11 Habits the Best Networkers Have.
Features such as these recognise the value of such work in a centrally located Regional Centre which serves to create opportunities for future collaboration and networks across South Asia.
This recognition demonstrates the impact Amrita has had in shaping and influencing India-UK relations across higher education and research, particularly in relation to the University of Edinburgh’s partnership and engagement.
Networking in country
Our Regional Centres support the University’s strategic relationships in key regions across the globe, including East Asia, Latin America, North America, South Asia and Southeast Asia. Staff are based in Beijing, Santiago, New York, Mumbai and Singapore. From September 2018, we’ll also have an additional Regional Centre in Shanghai.
Staff working overseas identify research and business links, establish collaborations, support teaching and cultural exchange, boost alumni networks, and recruit students from the region. Being centrally located allows the teams to foster relationships with partners and industry, and to have direct contact with prospective students as well as alumni.
Being committed to successful cross-cultural links and communication is a unifying factor of our Regional Centres and is at the core of our work. With countless studies in existence on the best way to carry out business in different cultures, building teams who have a true understanding of their region enables us to build on opportunities in the best way for the region as well as the University.
One of our longer running Regional Centres is in Santiago, Chile. This Latin American Regional Centre is dedicated to continuing and strengthening relationships established over the past five years. It was set up to aid collaboration between the University and partners in education, business and government across the region, it's clear that the investment has paid off. Regional Director Dalinda Perez Alvarez Rodriguez, said:
Often our work is similar to ‘matchmaking’ - linking relevant colleagues in Edinburgh with useful contacts in Latin America. Using this approach we have helped to facilitate a variety of projects including animal welfare with stray dogs in Chile, security policies in Mexico and eco-energy in the Galapagos Islands.
Entrepreneur magazine recognises matchmaking as the model for many new businesses, such as Uber and Thumbtack, explaining that they "in various ways, are doing what a traditional matchmaker would do. They are connecting people, making the connection more convenient and also providing a certain level of quality control and communication." (Susan Solovic, 2016, Entrepreneur) This is a statement that resonates with our work - the focus on quality partnerships and insight into cross-cultural communications.
Our newest Regional Centre was launched last year in Singapore. Established in order to help us shape our future activities in Singapore, scope opportunities and further develop our alumni network, the Southeast Asia team has worked to establish strong partnerships from day one.
Since the launch the response to our commitment in forging new connections and strengthening existing partnerships has been nothing short of encouraging.
Scoping out partnerships and linking colleagues goes far beyond simply making that first connection. It is the action and dedication of strengthening a partnership, discovering links and opportunities, and developing that work that encapsulates the work of our Regional Directors.