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Business Strategy in Indigenous Asia: Where are We Now?

Business Strategy in Indigenous Asia: Where are We Now?

Understanding Indigenous Asia’s rich cultural history and how it influences today’s Asia is an important consideration when looking at an overall business future for Asia.

Developing strong social connections between business leaders and indigenous people must be taken into account to enhance the success of business networking between the two. When a business understands a culture, its history, and its people, they can strive to make innovative products that add to its established culture.

One Business Strategy isn’t Enough for Asia

When focusing on a business strategy in Asia, one must consider how the culture and rich history of a nation impacts the success or failure of businesses and products. Each culture has distinct preferences. Take for example, the culture of Singapore. It has existed in Southeast Asia in its current form since the 1800’s and has gained success by focusing on education and human capital. Even in today’s business practices, Singapore values it top performing employees, focusing it’s time, energy, and resources on the top tier of talent.

Business leaders need to remember that although many Asian countries exist in close proximity to one another, each has a varying and complicated history and culture. A strategy used in Hong Kong may not work in Indonesia. For many companies, especially those located in the West, an us vs. them attitude may surface. This is a mistake and a priority should be to work toward connecting each diverse culture together – instead of fighting against a culture, learn about it, embrace it, and consider it when thinking about business strategy.

What Works in One Culture May Be a Disaster in Another

Culture and the habits and processes that come with it vary from region to region. What may work in China may be offensive or untenable in Japan. Take for example the Chinese culture of business that promotes top-level executives wealth at the risk of their employees. In Japan, this is quite different. While a business in Japan works to maximize the value of the company, including the value of shareholders, the business commonly takes a more active role in taking care of their own employees. When Western businesses can understand a culture the business model can be modified to meet both the needs of the stakeholders and the needs of the culture and its citizens (your new employees).

With the modernity that greets many Western travelers in places like China and Japan, the confusion of a mostly conservative culture can be overwhelming. After all, how can technological and scientific advances like these exist in a fairly conservative culture? The answer is easy. After all, China is a country where Confucius still provides the moral structure and influence on daily behavior. In order to make sense and become successful, business leaders should consult with knowledgeable experts on Asian customs, history, culture, and business.

Conducting business in today’s world should be focused more than just locally or statewide – business is now global and we live in a global community.

Educating employees, both top and bottom level alike, will ensure a smooth and successful transition. It will also show business associates, shareholders, and future business partners that a company is serious about its entrance into the global marketplace.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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