How Cisco Uses Global Savvy

The Challenge

When Cisco’s director of Global Customs asked us if we would help her EMEA team prepare for their first trip to India to conduct audits, how could we refuse? We know India and have a long-standing partnership with Cisco.

This team of three had never been to India before and had a very aggressive travel schedule. The goal of the team was to have successful vendor audits and establish rapport across cultures despite the power difference of client-vendor and the natural anxiety of an audit. They needed to be able to communicate clearly and stay sane and healthy.


We gave the Global Customs team a no-holds-barred consulting session. After all, this was not a trial run for them: they needed to get it right the first time.

We answered their unasked questions: How do we know if we are being told the truth? How do we uncover the hidden hierarchy? What gender issues might impact the effectiveness of our female auditor? How do we manage in this completely new culture?

🌎 Results

All three members of the audit team personally wrote us after the trip outlining how the pre-trip consultation made all of the difference to their success.

The manager summed it up:

“Thank you for your remarkable First Time to India session, which helped me and my team have a very successful audit of our vendors in three Indian cities. Because of you, we knew what to pay attention to. We could decipher local behavior which could be pretty confusing. And we knew how to ask questions and how to interpret the responses. Your coaching was exactly what we needed and it made all the difference.”

Pascal Dorel, EMEAR Regional Customs Senior Manager, Cisco

Oh yes, and because the director of Global Customs was a client of ours, we did the one-hour WebEx training for free. It is part of our customer service.

We were all anxious about our long business trip to India. Global Savvy was able, in a one-hour focused web virtual session, to give the team a whole series of very practical strategies from how to decipher local behavior to how to understand indirect communication to how to take care of ourselves. Because of this session, we paid extra attention to how to communicate across cultures. It worked very well! We had many very positive interactions. The session made all the difference.

Satu van der Scheer, Customs, Cisco

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