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7.3 global business cultures


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Description of how to do business in the tech-heavy areas of the world

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7.3 global business cultures

  1. 1. This presentation is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this presentation are the sole responsibility of Rick Rasmussen and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government. Global Business Cultures
  2. 2. Going Global • Trust is an essential element • Each country has its own profile • Learn to navigate local business practices • Benefits: – Business expansion beyond local borders – Adopting local customs allows increased acceptance – Understanding systems reduces fraud and IP issues • Pitfalls: – Legislative and regulatory concerns – Cultural nuances – open and closed systems – Protocols of communication and business
  3. 3. Global Business Business Clusters • North America • Europe • Asia • LATAM • MENA • CIS • Australia, NZ
  4. 4. US Regional Dialects Each conducting business differently
  5. 5. Regional Clusters
  6. 6. Doing Business in Silicon Valley • Meritocracy • Open business culture and full startup ecosystem – Accelerators – Service Providers – Universities – Angels, Angel Networks, Micro VCs, Venture Capital • Embraces startups and contains all the elements to help them succeed • Huge number of networking events, meetups, pitch contests, hackathons – Get out of the building
  7. 7. Doing Business in New York • Great pride in being the “center of the universe” – Financial capital, cultural and media center – Not looking for help from the outside because they have it all • Hard working, hard driving, Type A personalities • Historically a banker mentality but beginning to understand startups • Act confident, be tough and become respected
  8. 8. Doing Business in Los Angeles • Culture grounded by Hollywood mentality • Strong culture in media, international distribution and military/aircraft • Watch for insincerity and phony-ness
  9. 9. Canada • Top entrepreneurial hubs – Toronto, Vancouver, Waterloo • US and Canada have similar business philosophies – Friendly, generally trusting, direct – Meritocracy over family and history – Welcoming of outsiders – Best product or solution generally gets the deal • North-south cultural similarities – Atlantic Canada – Boston – Toronto – NYC – Calgary – Texas – Vancouver – California, Oregon, Washington
  10. 10. Europe • London • Continental Europe – Germany – France – Scandinavia – Italy, Spain, Portugal – Eastern Europe
  11. 11. London • Closest business partner to US • Business attire is stylish and trendy • Bond over a pint – or even tea • Don’t discuss deals with meals • Pace of business moves slower than US Resources: London Entrepreneurial Exchange Old Street in Shoreditch – “Silicon Roundabout”
  12. 12. London • London does not sleep. People on the move. • Culture – subtlety and tact • Londoners are proper • Brits appreciate classic wry British humor • Communication style – courteous, proper Resources: London Entrepreneurial Exchange Old Street in Shoreditch – “Silicon Roundabout”
  13. 13. Paris • Don’t plan business trips from July-Sept – Everyone is on congé • Don’t expect service at a snap – exaggerated formality. • Begin with using “vous” • Less direct than British - subtlety and tact • Be formal in attire & put on your best behavior • Talk pleasantries (know what the latest strike or protest is!)
  14. 14. Paris 2 • The French are very well informed about news, culture, arts • A few meals (usually lunch) before business decisions are made • Men always pick up the tab for the meal (Je vous invite) • Where you went to school in Paris has caché Resources: Silicon Sentier, LeCamping, HEC Paris Incubator
  15. 15. Berlin • Hip, trendy, great energy. • Berliners are outgoing • Talk pleasantries first before business • Good for entrepreneurs – bootstrapping mentality (more so than London or Moscow) • Frankness is evident • High on diversity, international • English is quite common
  16. 16. Berlin 2 • More central in location in Europe so accessible to both Western and Eastern Europe • Little less formal (less dressy than London or Paris) – but ok to be formal • Sticklers for manners • Avoid history discussions! Resources: Rocket Internet, Berlin Web Week, Next Conference
  17. 17. Asia • Japan • China • India • Four Asian Tigers – Korea – Taiwan – Singapore – Hong Kong
  18. 18. Tokyo • Very meticulous culture • Business card etiquette – It’s like receiving a precious gift • Gift giving as token of respect is appreciated • English is not common – but subway signs are marked in English and Kanji • NO TIPPING (it is an insult, sign of underservice)
  19. 19. Tokyo 2 • Business is conducted over 7 meetings – First meeting is just an interaction with no deliverables – No business discussed before the 5th meeting • The rest of business interaction is not as formal • Bow back but not as deeply • Each is a step forward to the next • Bonding over drinks happens
  20. 20. Taipei, Taiwan • Many family-owned businesses – decision makers are the heads of families • Management style is more authoritarian • Age is venerated as in traditional Chinese culture, so it is a good idea to send senior- most members of your team • Building trust takes time – Trust, courtesy, respect, patience • Same business card protocol as China
  21. 21. Shanghai • Much more open than other parts of China • Chinese business formalities prevail • Receiving business cards • Keep your visa documents with you at all times • Guanxi reflects your personal networks
  22. 22. Shanghai 2 • People are relatively up front in business • Be aware of local holidays; avoid August • Business is formal – be punctual • Lot of business people talk general talk (sports, family and no politics) • No Dutch treat on dinners/entertaining
  23. 23. Bangalore, India • Known as the Silicon Valley of India • Many often only think of out- sourcing in India • Moving from cost-conscious to value-conscious consumers - great for global market expansion • Consumer market is high in potential • Formal business etiquette – “Namaskara” • Punctuality expected but cancellations can occur • Trust and relationship is essential • Hierarchical business relationships
  24. 24. LATAM • Mexico • Central and South America • Brazil
  25. 25. São Paulo, Brazil • Financial center; hub of business activity • International in flavor – Expect more English to be spoken here • Brazilian culture is less formal – Infamous for being late to meetings • Sao Paulo business people are more punctual than elsewhere in Brazil
  26. 26. São Paulo, Brazil • Start with pleasantries before diving into business talk • Meetings can run long so plan accordingly in your schedule • Brazilians like to wine and be wined Resources: Brazil Innovators, Endeavor, Aceleradora
  27. 27. Santiago, Chile • Chile has a great atmosphere for startups • Entrepreneur community strong - Startup Chile. • Dress & personal image important in Chile • International outlook – some English; Spanish gets you farther • Business always begins with relationship building • Once you get relationship going, Chileans are quite demonstrative
  28. 28. Santiago, Chile • Personal networks – “Pitutos” • Business is hierarchical • Be formal and respectful (“Usted”) • Chileans use both father & mother surnames – father’s comes first, address them by this name. • Business style – things get done last minute
  29. 29. Mexico City • It can take time to build relationship – a few social meetings before business • Trust is often more important than professional expertise • Many Mexicans belong to private clubs so these are great ways to network • English is widely spoken in business circles • Logistics is tough in the city (bad traffic and offices are spread out)
  30. 30. Middle East & North Africa - MENA • Persian Gulf • Middle East • Israel • North Africa
  31. 31. Tel Aviv • #2 Entrepreneurial economy, Startup Genome • Global businesses being created here • Microcosm of normalcy • Expect politics to come up at the end of the day after business is concluded • Mediterranean vibe mixed with the cutting edge high tech
  32. 32. Tel Aviv • Deals are made in cafés • Dress is business casual, business is sharp • Know the holidays even minor ones • Sunday is like our Monday morning • Communication style – no nonsense combined with Mediterranean expressiveness StarTau – center for Entrepreneurship
  33. 33. Dubai, UAE • Very formal in business & attire • Don’t handshake automatically • Don’t shake hands with women unless a handshake is offered • Relationship building is the big first step • This may take longer than expected
  34. 34. Casablanca, Morocco • Morocco has a long history of positive relationships with the west, especially the US • English is getting more popular but French is the commercial language • Greetings start with inquiries about you, your family, etc. • Meetings can be long – people can be late to meetings • Business conducted in offices not over meals • Moroccan hospitality is well-known • It’s all about the relationship – Arab sensibility
  35. 35. Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) • Member Nations – Armenia – Azerbaijan – Belarus – Kazakhstan – Moldova – Russia – Tajikistan – Uzbekistan • Participating States – Turkmenistan – Ukraine
  36. 36. Moscow • Russians are not punctual but often expect foreigners to be • Know who the decision maker is before the meetings • Russians appreciate directness • Business cards are a must • Deals are sealed with vodka • Corruption and petty theft are common so be careful • Russians are known for their hospitality
  37. 37. Bribery • Mordida in Mexico • Propinha in Brazil • Baksheesh in Middle East, India • Bastarella in Italy 1. Cameroon 6. Honduras 2. Nigeria 7. Tanzania 3. Indonesia 8. Yugoslavia 4. Azerbaijan 9. Paraguay 5. Uzbekistan 10. Kenya
  38. 38. Relative Ease of starting a company
  39. 39. Bribe or Gift? The moral dilemma • In many cultures, gift giving is a normal part of doing business • The US and UK have the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act which prohibits gift giving to government officials • Companies are just trying to do business abroad and observe the local customs • Many companies just let their local agents handle these things – be aware of how things are being handled
  40. 40. Bribe or Gift? Questions… • If a gift is needed to seal a deal, is that a bribe? • What if the local culture encourages gift giving? Where is the line drawn? • Are there kinds of gifts that constitute a bribe? • Open vs. hidden bribery • What about lobbying or preferential contracts awarded to some for pushing a deal through?
  41. 41. Bribery Economies
  42. 42. Conclusion • There are significant upsides to doing business internationally, but navigating the country specific market entry can be tricky. • Evaluate the upsides against the downsides. • Hiring the right global experts can help mitigate country/cultural risk. • After you’ve committed to going global HAVE FUN!
  43. 43. Chinese literal translations for European country names