Communication Manager, Microsoft Indian Ocean and French Pacific, 2016
Master of Business Administration in Communication and Public Relations
It is very important to have multicultural skills to successfully interact with your peers and customers. Each country has differences in the business etiquette and standards, therefore, you need to be fully aware of these differences and adapt yourself while making sure that you respect the way your company conducts businesses.
18 May 2016
Multicultural awareness is an important factor in effective communication.
As a Communication Manager for Microsoft Indian Ocean and French Pacific, Ludovic Froget’s understands that appreciating cultural diversity is crucial within his line of work. Born and raised in Mauritius, he was quickly recruited by Microsoft Indian Ocean Islands after graduating from Limkokwing University in December 2011 with an MBA in Communications and Public Relation.
“In a multinational company such as Microsoft, you work across different markets,” he said. “Therefore, it is very important to have multicultural skills to successfully interact with your peers and customers.” In his role as a Communication Manager, Ludovic is responsible for managing the company’s image and reputation within the Indian Ocean Islands and French Pacific region. These include nine territories namely Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles, Madagascar, Comoros Mayotte, Djibouti, New Caledonia and French Polynesia.
According to him, studying in a multicultural environment presented him with a unique advantage. His exposure with various customs and traditions sharpened his communication skills with clients from different culture. “I developed these skills at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology,” he adds.
He wanted to begin a career in the scientific field while he was still young. He focused his studies in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics in high school. He later realised that during his A-levels, he found the courses unsuitable for him. That was when one of his teachers suggested he pursues a career in communications. “I was looking for a place where I could have the experience of a lifetime and discover new cultures.”
His search led him to place which he described as ‘One Campus’ on the planet where he could find the whole world.
“I came out of this University much richer from a cultural point of view,” he said. “I learned how to design myself and how to be a citizen of the world.”
Passion For Culture
Ludovic admits that he loves his work and the programmes at his company, such as Microsoft4Afrika which gave him the opportunity to contribute to the development of Mauritius and the African continent. “I get to travel quite a bit for work and have to engage with different customers and journalists from different countries,” he said while adding that the prospect of travel made his work more enjoyable.
He explains that different countries possess unique challenges whereby meetings and media events require greater understanding and cultural awareness. “Each country has differences in the business etiquettes and standards,” he explains. “Therefore, you need to be fully aware of these differences and adapt yourself while making sure that you respect the way your company’s conducts businesses.” His experience at Limkokwing University provided a better understanding of different cultures and religions for him to work in a multinational organisation. He even picked up new languages including Bahasa Malaysia, Arabic and Russian.
Technology was a topic that Ludovic always had an interest in. He admitted that he could not decline an opportunity when he received an offer to work at Microsoft. “I was also very attracted by the fact that it was a multinational organisation,” he said. “It would give me the opportunity to work in an international and multicultural environment like the one I experienced at Limkokwing University.” Technology is a great industry for him and Microsoft is an amazing place to work.
“I think today’s technology, especially mobile and cloud technologies, are becoming more important.” Within this fast paced industry, technological innovations are quickly reshaping the world and will affect the way people work, communicate, commute as well as consume.
His clients included CEOs and top managers from large Mauritian companies when he began his career as a 25 year old graduate. “My greatest challenge was to build credibility,” Ludovic recalled. “I soon realised that they didn’t pay attention to me and to what I had to say during meetings.” Eventually, he admitted that he had to figure out a method to develop his own credibility and trustworthiness. “I started to dress differently for work and tried to have a more professional way of speaking,” he said. “It took time but I got there gradually.”
He quickly learned that university and industry works differently. According to him, in a university environment, poor performances leads to poor grades, but within an industry environment, this leads to a loss in revenue. “In both context, you learn what you do,” he said. “You probably learn more in the industry than at the university but the latter gives you a strong foundation to succeed in your career.” He credited Limkokwing University for giving him a deeper understanding to the meaning of creativity and innovation. “I only realized that when I came back to Mauritius and started analysing things,” he said. “That was when I noticed that the lack of creativity and innovation in some local industries were detrimental to these activities.”
His hard work eventually paid off. “I won a Microsoft Communications Newshound Award for a PR campaign to promote Intellectual Property Rights.” Currently, he is working on various Microsoft innovation and projects. His present focus is on Microsoft 10, Office 2016 and other new devices.
Path to Success
Ludovic explains that within the communications industry, there is no such thing as a ‘lift’. One would need to take the ‘stairs’ to go up one step at a time. “You will get what you work for,” he advises. “You need to be patient and make choices, and not let luck decide for you.” Success means happiness in all aspects of life for Ludovic. “It is looking back and realizing that if I didn’t move, I wouldn’t progress and make a difference around me.