Friday, September 5, 2008

Global Thinking! delivers the biggest foreign buy-out in China

Peter Galuzka reports that Coke is “it” in China. The soft drink maker was part of a group of 12 international companies that put up $1 billion to become official “sponsors” of the just-ended Beijing Summer Olympics.

Apparently, those bucks generated more fizz for Coca-Cola which is on track to make the biggest foreign buyout ever in China — that of juice maker China Huiyuan. According to CNN "China Huiyuan Juice Group Limited is one of the leading companies in the Chinese juice beverages market. The company generated total sales of approximately RMB2.7 billion (approximately EUR270 million) in 2007".

Chinese government officials still need to approve the all-cash dea,l valued at $2.5 billion. But it seems obvious that Coke’s handling of the Olympics is about to earn it a gold medal.

The juice deal will give Coke a better market position as it battles arch-rival PepsiCo. in the Middle Kingdom. China is Coke’s No. 4 market and is increasingly important as domestic U.S. sales have been rather flat.

Business observers have been watching closely how companies played the Olympics for marketing tips. It looks like Coke might be a great example.

Olympic corporate sponsors included Kodak, Johnson & Johnson, Lenovo, McDonald’s, Panasonic, Visa, Atos Origin, Samsung, Omega and Manulife. All bet that their prominent exposure to more than a billion potential Chinese customers will make a positive impression and win market share. Keogh & Associates Consulting, LLC helps multinational companies develop the international talent needed to win Olympic Gold in a global economy.

Global Mindset and Inclusion of students with disabilities

The following is from Jim Fennell, a Staff Sports Writer at the Union Leader of New Hampshire.

"Including Samuel" is the personal journey of Dan Habib and his family -- his wife, Betsy McNamara, and two sons, Isaiah and Samuel -- told over four years. At the heart of the story is the family's support of Samuel, who has a rare form of cerebral palsy, a disorder that makes it difficult for the brain to control the body's muscles. It's about their efforts to make him part of educational and recreational activities open to kids without physical or emotional disabilities.

The film tells not only the story of Samuel, but also of four other people with disabilities. There is a balance between the positive and negative aspects of inclusion that reveals Habib's journalistic background. Some of the greatest advocates to emerge from the film are the students without disabilities whom Habib interviews.

"I really want every school to be welcoming to all kids," he said. "It's all about problem solving. It's about saying this is a value that we embrace, that we want our school to have the diversity of kids of all abilities. I honestly believe that's part of the natural diversity of our society, but a lot of schools are challenged by that, so you have to get together and say how do we do this well".

Simply stated, Including Samuel is a must see…for anyone who wants to develop a "Global Mindset" and wants and/or needs an in-depth look into the concept, current practice and real-life experience of inclusion and integration for those with disabilities. “Sometimes students with disabilities are the low-hanging fruit. They’re the ones that people pick on and say ‘they’re too expensive.” Some children are going to require more resources to learn than other children. And that is part of America. And that is where it becomes a civil rights issue. ” (Jan Nisbet, director of the UNH institute, cited in Business Week)

So readers, how do you feel about “inclusion”—is it the next civil rights issue and does it relate to having a "Global Mindset"?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Doing Business in Sao Paulo

At Keogh & Associates we know that sometimes the success of an international deal depends just as much on how you manage your time as on the content of the contract. The Economist has rounded up practical etiquette tips to help managers headed to Sao Paulo (and other cities) make the right impression. Here is a sampling from the Economist blog:

"Despite its many woes, São Paulo remains the business hub of Latin America. Having prospered first with coffee and then with industrialisation, it is now reinventing itself in the services sector. Its huge market (nearly 20m people in greater São Paulo) is a magnet for multinationals. The city claims to attract more visitors (mostly, but no longer exclusively, on business) than Rio; bearing in mind the intense rivalry between the two cities, this must prove deeply satisfying. If you are one of those heading to São Paulo, here are some things to be aware of (part of a series).

• Local business-people tend to be fairly laid-back. There are few unexpected taboos that you should fear transgressing.

• One exception though: avoid putting your briefcase or handbag on the ground (local superstition holds that your money may run away). Restaurants sometimes provide hooks or clips to help.

• It is always best to arrive at a business meeting in a suit, but sometimes even investment bankers wear “smart casuals” in the office.

• In this workaholic city, don’t be surprised if meetings are scheduled after 6pm. Brazilians talk about “pontualidade britânica” (British punctuality), which means turning up on the dot. But you should neither give nor take great offence if you or others arrive a little late. Bad traffic is usually the excuse.

• Business contacts tend to speak English, often fluently. But locals will appreciate even clumsy attempts to chat in Portuguese. (Remember “Bom dia”, “Boa tarde” and “Boa noite” for “Good morning”, “Good afternoon” and “Good evening”.) Do not assume that people will speak Spanish.

• Poor plumbing originally led Brazilians to dispose of toilet paper (papel) in the bin (lixo) rather than the toilet bowl. Though pipes have improved in newer buildings, the habit persists. You may be asked to follow this practice".