Export Manager Career Information
What an Export Manager does
Export is one of the most profitable business activities in the world today. In India export trade has gained a significant place in the economy. The government gives various incentives to exporters who earn valuable foreign exchange for the country by importing modern technology, fuel and other essential inputs.
Export managers deal in all kinds of goods and commodities like garments, leather accessories and garments, textile, handicrafts, pharmaceuticals, handicrafts, bulk drugs and chemicals, rice, wheat, edible oil, engineering goods, etc.
Their tasks include:
• Research and tracking of needs for products, which could be exported from the home country to foreign countries
• Identification of markets (country/region) for export of goods and commodities
• Merchandising and marketing of goods in foreign markets
• Identification of buyers in foreign markets
• Dealing and negotiating with foreign buyers
• Executing trade contracts with foreign buyers
• Procurement/production of goods and commodities
• Planning of the logistics of delivery of goods and commodities to foreign markets
• Dealing and negotiating with various parties involved in foreign trade like C & F agents, freight forwarding and customs clearing agents, shipping agents, multi-model transport agents, excise and customs authorities and port authorities
• Fulfilling the documentation necessary for export of goods and commodities
• Monitoring trade contracts and expediting payments for goods and commodities that are exported to foreign countries
Other functions in the organisation like finance, production, human resources development, and systems are generally taken care of professionals trained and experienced in these areas.
Export managers are needed mainly for two broad specific functions: Marketing and Export documentation and procedures.
International marketing is different from domestic marketing as the factors are vastly diverse. The markets are largely governed by factors unknown in domestic markets. The culture, socio-economic situation and consumer lifestyles are different. That is why an international marketing manager has to have a different training than that of a domestic marketing manager.
Export documentation and procedures are again very complicated and has to be followed under Indian Law and International Law. As the name suggests this area of export deals with vast documentation and a strict procedure has to be followed before goods are allowed to be exported out of the country and allowed into foreign countries. So, these activities call for specially trained people.
The export trade also has scope for the following professionals:
Custom Agents - They act as mediators between exporters and custom services. They file appropriate documents and act as intermediaries with government departments.
Exim Consultants/Agents - They are consultants working for clients. Their tasks include coordinating between import-export firms and foreign and domestic buyers and sellers, planning the delivery of goods, evaluation of taxes in relation to import and export, completing custom formalities and acting as trade representatives of importer/exporter while the freight handling is done.
They also identify market for export of goods, identify buyers in foreign country, act as agents of foreign companies and identify importer of goods in India. They help to make a deal between buyers and sellers.
Freight Forwarding and Customs Clearing Agents - They plan and implement logistics of international trade, handle procedural and documentation requirements, and coordinate between the clients (who wants to import or export goods, in other words, involved in international trade) and the various parties and agencies involved in the process.
They also consult clients on the intricacies of international trade like risk management, payment obligations, valuation of goods for custom and excise duties, and so on.
Job Opportunity You can get a job in:
• Companies involved in international trade/export
• Export oriented Companies
• International business/trade/export department of companies across various sectors of the industry.
• Shipping agencies, marine insurance companies
• Freight forwarding and customs clearing agencies
• Ministry of commerce, Govt. of India
• Firms involved in international marketing and research
• International trade development organisations (independent organisations as well as those under govt. of various countries
• Export promotion councils of govt. of India
• Multi-model transport agencies
• Faculty in institutions teaching international business/trade/export management
• International trade consultants
• International cargo carriers (Shipping companies, airlines, cargo and courier companies
• Export processing zones
Companies are now increasingly looking for greener pastures outside India to expand and survive. This is the trend all over the world. With communication becoming instantaneous via computers business is going global today.
This scenario has propelled the demand for professional managers trained in export and international business. And right now availability of trained managers in international business is not enough to meet the demand for them.
The field offers tremendous opportunities. Moreover the government is seriously concerned with promotion of exports of goods and services from India. The aim is to achieve an export growth rate of 30 per cent a year.
Constant effort is also being made by the financial agencies to provide finance and identify new markets in the world. Export infrastructure is also very good in India.
The change in the economic scenario in our country has rendered foreign trade as a lucrative profession. India has developed for herself an extensive export promotion system and several promotion bodies and export related services have been set up.
The country's exports have been rising substantially during the last few years. This has been the thrust of our economic policies. With every scene pointing towards improvement and development every day, foreign trade as a recognized profession has come of age.
Abilities & Traits Required
Candidates with managerial skills and aptitudes such as excellent communication skills, leadership abilities, very strong analytical and logical skills, above average interpersonal skills, creativity and innovativeness do very well.
The ability to analyse quickly, make purchase decisions and evaluate products before shipment needs alertness at all times. Ability to work with a team and good command over spoken and written language is a must. Working knowledge of a foreign language will be an asset.
Export managers must be updated on international law, finance, production information etc. General awareness of the international marketing scenario and awareness of socio-cultural trends will be an added advantage.
The best way to enter this line of international business is to go for a postgraduate degree/diploma in Export Management/International Business/International Business Administration from a recognised university or institute like Indian institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT).
There are many diploma courses offered by privately run institutes. These diplomas are helpful no doubt, but these are not enough to jump start your career. On the other hand if you opt for these diploma courses after gaining 2-3 years of experience after graduation you can expect to get a good break in the industry.
Many export firms take fresh commerce graduates in the Documentation Department. This may not fetch a handsome salary but the experience can be very enriching. Many export firms prefer MBAs or equivalent diploma holders in the marketing department. Such persons can do well if they also obtain a diploma in export management/documentation.
For entry into PG Diploma courses in International Business in reputed universities, institutes like IIFT, a student should obtain at least 45-50 per cent in graduation examination under 10+2+3 system (IIFT needs at least 50 per cent marks).
As a management trainee you will get between Rs 15000-25000 or more a month. Plain graduates start at Rs 12000-15000 a month. Junior managers make between Rs 27000-30000 or more a month, while senior managers take home Rs 65000 or month a month.
There are opportunities to set up ones own export firm also. After some initial hiccups, an entrepreneur may earn crores, all tax tree! After 10-12 years experience in export business, many turn consultants. Consultants also earn very handsomely, anything between Rs 65000-1000000 a month. Overall, this career is highly prospective and opportunities will increase in the first part of next century.