Alliance University’s Unique Indo-Russian International Team Internship At AVTOVAZ RENAULT NISSAN

During June-July 2015 an international team internship program was organized for Alliance University (Bangalore, India) and Togliatti Academy of Management (Togliatti, Russia) students at AVTOVAZ RENAULT NISSAN Purchasing Organization (Togliatti, ARNPO). The idea was to provide both Russian and Indian students with the skills necessary for the efficient functioning in cross-functional international teams and operate according to world standards, the skills that are of key importance to be successful in modern global corporations.

10 MBA students from Alliance University and 9 Bachelor students (2nd and 3rd year) from Togliatti Academy of Management were divided into international teams and worked in different ARNPO departments.

The program started with an introduction into purchasing activity and welcome speech by ARNPO General Director Mr. Venkatram Mamillapalle. ARNPO Purchasing School organized a special program for students, including a visit to AVTOVAZ Museum and Lada Kalina assembly line.

During the first stage (2 weeks) of internship the participants worked in international teams of two –three people. Each group of trainees was assigned to different ARNPO departments and performed similar task: benchmarking of one of commodity groups comparing AVTOVAZ-Renault-Nissan and other OEMs. Each team worked in particular department: interior, exterior, body in white & materials, chassis, indirect, body & electrical, powertrain and logistics. At the end of the 2nd week of internship there was a meeting with ARNPO General Director and respective mentors where the trainees presented their first results and the organizers showed assessment of individual and team work.

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For the second  stage (2 weeks) of internship, the  ARNPO General Director has chosen three focuses for the future work: exterior, body in white & materials and logistics. All students were rearranged into three teams and received practical tasks according to department needs, Team Leaders were appointed and Mentors started acting as Consultants. The final presentations topics were the following:

  1. Case study on safety systems (exterior team).
  2. Simulation tool for purchasing and logistics (body in white and materials team).
  3. Urgent cargo delivery (logistics team).

In the frames of the program a number of special visits were organized for the group. The students visited GM-AVTOVAZ plant, where they participated in Simulated Work Environment training on wooden assembly line and had a round-table discussion with Mr. Jeffrey Glover, GM-AVTOVAZ CEO. There was a visit to Togliatti Academy of Management partner – Open Code IT company (Samara, Russia), where the students acquainted with up-to-date IT solutions developed to provide IT support of business, industrial and technological processes in various spheres, saw exclusive Russian know-how developed for call centers and situation centers. The possibilities of implementing IT solutions to purchasing and logistics spheres were discussed.

As a result, by the end of the second  stage an international team of Russian and Indian students, with the consulting support of ARNPO colleagues and Open Code programmers developed a unique concept of e-business simulator based on the extensive applications of ontologies, intelligent software and simulation technologies – a tool that could be used for practicing negotiations skills, building cross-functional teams and mastering managerial skills necessary for efficient cross-functional interaction. The project was discussed and received positive feedback in scientific and industrial areas. The initiators of the idea formed a project team and developed a plan of the next steps for future research and activity in the area.

This International team internship project realized at ARNPO was a pilot project of lean educational technology developed for training cross-functional team work in multi-cultural environment and focused on finding new solutions and process optimization. Our MBA students got valuable experience of global net-working and complex interaction, international team management, understanding of purchasing processes and ARNPO corporate culture.

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