14 May, 2009 | by
Topics: Economy, Global

commonsense

I am begining to think that the lack common sense is what got all us into this Mega Mess. The problem is that common sense is still missing and I wonder why?

The markets are rallying and it’s good but shouldn’t we do a reality check before we get too carried away? I mean the expectation are so LOW that any number above the bottomless floor is sending the markets into rallies. We all want rallies but sustainable rallies please that are supported by solid fundamentals and not driven by speculative play. Folks are talking about recovery against the backdrop of some pretty bad numbers. Yes we are now seeing some mixed numbers ( some positives )come out from the 1st quarter but the real economy is still hurting.

To get some perspective let’s just look at the numbers out of UK released back on May 01, 2009 .

According to the Govt figures, nearly 5,000 companies in England and Wales went into liquidation in the first three months of 2009 and a record number of people succumbed to insolvency. continue reading »

3 Apr, 2009 | by
Topics: Sports, Strategy

Soccer

I have been spending many sleepless nights over the years watching the FIFA World Cup on TV and I can’t wait for the latest one coming up in South Africa in 2010. Between the occasional dozing off and celebrating the beautiful goals, I have been inspired to link up the soccer business with entrepreneurship, in particular startup business. I see that there are many important learning points that are useful for startups and small businesses.

The people business
The most important asset that any soccer club has is its people. So who are these people? They are the board of directors, the coach/manager, players and club supporters. Many of the clubs understand this fundamental aspect of their business and that is why they have scouts, agents, brokers, etc. scouring the globe for the best talents.

Now for the startup case, it is similar in the sense that they don’t have many assets in the new company except for its people. That is why it is imperative that the founders spend a large amount of time scouring for talents. I have some experiences putting together new startups and have also received kind advice from folks who tell me that it would be best that I get the people from my social circle, or plainly, people who I know. Despite this, I feel that it would be good actually for me to expand the talent search to outside my circle. This would not only reach out to other great talents but also to diverse views and styles. It is useful to understand that one’s personal circle is never adequate in the search for the talents of the world. The only challenge here is that managing a team of people you haven’t gotten to know very well can be a test of the person’s man-management skill. continue reading »

13 Mar, 2009 | by

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Better Prospects = Better Transactions

These are chaotic times for business valuation.  The old rules are changing to reflect the dramatic new reality of the markets.  Companies that were hanging on won’t make it much longer, and companies that need to sell will not receive the pricing they would have eighteen months ago.  Equity buyers call it the “catch a falling knife” metaphor.  Business valuation has always been more of a black art than a science.

Corporate buyers with access to cash receive far better returns on their acquisition dollars during recessions. Troubled deals that would be done in good times are being liquidated, mundane companies are finding it hard to get a fair multiple, and cash is at a premium.

All this points to acquisition as a growth strategy.

Those that discipline their acquisition process will improve their return on investment. continue reading »

8 Jan, 2008 | by
Topics: Strategy

It’s been nearly 30 years since Harvard Professor, Michael E. Porter, wrote his original, ground breaking, article on “How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy”. This framework has become a well known universal standard in strategic thought leadership in both management and marketing across any industry. It’s also part of just about any reputable core curriculum in most business schools across the nation. I vividly recall numerous references to “Porter’s Theory” in several courses back in my graduate school years. continue reading »

16 Apr, 2006 | by

I, like many students of business, have great admiration for Walmart’s tremendous success through its innovative supply chain management structure, relentless pursuit of always having the lowest prices, etc, etc.

This does not mean I admire their complete and total disregard of their own blue collar employees. i.e. Paltry medical benefits and just a shear disinterest in workers in general. I’ll just leave it at that.

Recently, Walmart has begun to cannibalize sales of their own existing stores in various locations. Essentially stores are opening up in close proximately to older stores. Now, you would think Walmart would recognize and avoid such a maneuver given past experience of other retail giants. i.e. Home Depot, Target, etc. continue reading »

8 Nov, 2005 | by
Topics: Global, Strategy

The Harvard Business Review classic article called “The End of Corporate Imperialism”, written by C.K. Prahalad and Kaenneth Lieberthal was passed along to me sometime ago and figured I’d comment on this nice piece of work.  Below is a summary and personal assessment… 

Article Summary:
This pointed article discusses the realization that growth inspired multinational corporations will have to compete in the emerging markets of China , India , Indonesia and Brazil . As these developing countries grow rapidly the necessity to penetrate these markets are apparent as MNC’s clamor for new market share. The article presents the concept of an imperialist mind-set which in their meaning depicts MNC’s of the 80s looking to explode onto the emerging market scene with old products.  Not to mention and old mindset such as “we can still squeeze some profits out of these sunset technologies”. continue reading »

7 Oct, 2005 | by

The following is a summary and assessment of an article I read from the New Zealand School of Management by Des Dearlove called “MANAGING Purpose, Process & People: The new management philosophy”. 

This was a very interesting article that discussed a new management philosophy that claims will one day become dominant. It is called the purpose, process, people philosophy. It is expected to replace our current dominant philosophy, which has driven business for the past 50 years and is based on the idea that a company is purely an economic entity. The current trend indicates that there is almost a paradigm shift from financial capital to human capital, which in itself carries major repercussions under the current model. This new philosophy or trend will move beyond strategy, structure, and systems to purpose, process and peoples. It is a very different mentality that really brings value to an individuals net worth, which in turn puts the onus on employers to realize this value. continue reading »

17 Sep, 2005 | by

I recently read an article, “Corporate Governance: A Development Challenge”, which was authored by two “organization for economic co-operation and development” (OECD) employees.  It peaked my interest as it articulated a compelling argument for global corporate governance that I had not heard before. 

The article touches on the broad spectrum of corporate governance and how it applies to the developing world specifically. I’ve been exposed to local corporate governance issues up to this point in my career and thought this article may expose me to a different perspective.

Article Summary:
The article opens by posing a key question: “Is corporate governance as important in the developing world?” This question was a consistent theme throughout the article as it methodically elaborated via subtopic headings which included “why corporate governance matters for development”, “oligopolistic rivalry and corporate-control rents”, “Pyramids, cross-shareholding, multiple share classes.” And closes with a “what to do?” section. I will comment on each of these sections below followed by some analytical commentary. continue reading »