Monday, November 30, 2009

How To Derive 65% Of Your Revenue Outside Your Home Country

India-based Tata Group chairman, 71-year-old Ratan Tata, has pushed to expand internationally. In an interview with a WSJ reporter Paul Beckett, he talks about the value of recent acquisitions his firm has made, succession plans for when he retires and how Indian companies can manage their image in the United States.

First, though, a couple of highlights.

When asked about two specific acquisitions:
Tata: If we assume that the global meltdown is a phenomenon that will be over in the near term, I think we will look back and say that these are very strategic and worthwhile acquisitions.
What has he done well?
Tata: One company standout is Tata Motors. It was particularly badly hit with its acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover, which was in trouble because of the collapse of the auto industry abroad. Tata Motors was able to extinguish its borrowing of $3 billion through this difficult period, and most people don't realize the magnitude of that task. This was executed very quietly and very successfully. It was achieved by raising new capital and it was achieved by liquidating some of the assets. And it was done by increasing margins by doing away with some loose practices.
How are you conducting the search for your successor?
Tata: ... I would hope, would have integrity and our value systems in the forefront and hopefully would carry on the path that we have tried to set for the company's growth.
Interrupt: Amazingly, 65 percent of Tata's revenues come from overseas.

How have you seen the relationship between India and the U.S. developing both on a government-to-government and business-to-business level?
Tata: ... We should not be aggressive and alien to the kind of pain that is happening [in the U.S.]. And we should find ways to be complementary to the needs of U.S. companies and not in fact be a pain to them. I believe we still have the cost advantage which we can use to the benefit of U.S. companies without in fact taking jobs away from them. If we can overcome the difficult period that the U.S. is undergoing, I think we can emerge as a very strong business ally of the U.S.
Read the entire interview here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

America-style Agribusiness In Africa?

Are American companies boosting poor economies by swooping up farmland or is there some other hidden agenda going on?

Read more at "Land Rush in Africa" and weigh in with your comments.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Innovation Matters According to Members of the World Entrepreneurship Forum

In follow up to the World Entrepreneurship Forum, Business Reporter Laura Noonan, from The Irish Independent, provides her perspective on the Forum.

Read the article here.

About the World Entrepreneurship Forum

Founded at the initiative of EMLYON Business School and KPMG, the World Entrepreneurship Forum benefits from the high patronage of Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the French Republic. It is the first worldwide think tank dedicated to entrepreneurs, creators of wealth and social justice. It gathers annually more than 100 members of over 40 different nationalities.

For more information:

Full disclosure: Laurel Delaney (quoted in article) is a member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum.

Pictured: Patrick Molle, President, EMLYON Business School

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving From The Global Small Business Blog

Thank you for your readership and comments. Without you, this blog would not be possible.

Have a great Thanksgiving (United States).

The origins of Thanksgiving can be found here. The famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is here. And if you ran out of ideas on what to cook, go here!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

World Entrepreneurship Forum 2009

The World Entrepreneurship Forum is being held in Lyon, France this year.

Our goal at the Forum was to promote a type of entrepreneurship that creates wealth and social justice on a global scale by building on the backgrounds and experiences of members represented from more than 40 countries!

Based on the nine recommendations from last year, we focused on the role public authorities can -- and sometimes should -- play in developing entrepreneurship. Our target was to deliver three key proposals at the end of the Forum (which we did) and I will report on that shortly.

About the World Entrepreneurship Forum

Founded at the initiative of EMLYON Business School and KPMG, the World Entrepreneurship Forum benefits from the high patronage of Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the French Republic. It is the first worldwide think tank dedicated to entrepreneurs, creators of wealth and social justice. It gathers annually more than 100 members of over 40 different nationalities.

For more information:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's Your Approach to Global Trade in 2010: Conservative or Aggressive?

In scanning the article, "What 2010 Has In Store for SMEs," published in the Times LIVE (South Africa), I found it refreshingly bizarre. How so?
He (Stanlib economist Kevin Lings) says that recent data from the United States shows that this powerhouse is recovering, and adds that global manufacturing has turned the corner.
It is also worth noting that South Africa takes about three to four months to react to global trends, so our recovery will come after a worldwide upturn.
"We are nowhere close to normal but it seems the worst is over. It is going to take a long time to recover, but the numbers look better."
Mike believes that the world's economic growth will stay muted for the next two or three years, so it will take some time to see significant growth on local soil.
Rode & Associates CEO Erwin Rode echoes these sentiments, saying that a conservative approach to 2010 is probably the best advice for SME decision-makers.
"For planning purposes, I would rather be a pessimist than an optimist. Don't expose yourself to great risks," he says.
This really cracked me up, "I would rather be a pessimist than an optimist." Anyone else feel that way? It seems so opposite of how American SMEs perceive their outlook on business!
Yet the article closes with:
Nevertheless, Mike is fairly optimistic about the prospects for SMEs, saying because of their lean and streamlined nature, they will be able to take up opportunities presented in 2010 much quicker than their large counterparts.
Read more here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Climate Change is a Growing Global Challenge

Back from Lyon, France after attending the World Entrepreneurship Forum. I will report about it later this week (catch a quick glimpse of award ceremony venue here).

In the meantime, a new APEC website for the Environmental Goods and Services Information Exchange (EGSIE) went live. The EGSIE is an innovative new website that will promote information-sharing and collaboration related to cutting edge environmental technologies in the Asia-Pacific region and will also promote the dissemination of such technologies globally.

Learn more here.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Amazing Autumn

Photo credit: Laurel Delaney
"Delicious autumn (Chicago photo)! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." ~ George Eliot

Have a bountiful weekend.

Posted by: Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, November 20, 2009

Blogging LIVE at the World Entrepreneurship Forum in Lyon, France

I had the great honor and opportunity to listen to Minister Lee Yi Shyan, the State Minister of Trade and Industry, in charge of Entrepreneurship, Singapore talk about Singapore's strategy on entrepreneurship development.

Here are twenty (20) highlights:

1. How can government be a part of entrepreneurship (big question he was faced with)?

2. Ten percent (10%) of all businesses in Singapore are small businesses.

3. World Bank named Singapore the easiest place to do business.

4. Businesses in Singapore can no longer compete on the basis of low-cost pricing.

5. Projected growth for Singapore is 2-5 percent.

6. After a recession year, Singapore always bounces back.

7. Singapore involves the private sector to encourage and develop entrepreneurship.

8. They set up structures and the environment for entrepreneurship to thrive.

9. They also set up an action committee for entrepreneurs.

10. They set up a PRO enterprise panel to cut red tape and reduce regulatory burden; they seek and act on suggestions by the public.

11. Private equity platform; access to private equity financing (for those companies with high growth potential); micro-loan program -- up to $5 million dollars.

12. State Minister gave an analogy of how a tree grows in 10 years whereas a person takes a century.

13. Will check into his comment about a BlueSKY Festival which encourages SMBs to try out entrepreneurship and reach for their dreams.

14. Has a YES! School which helps schools develop entrepreneurship programs (ten percent of Singapore's schools reach 1,000 students).

15. Eighty-four percent (84%) of people would NOT give up business for better job!

16. There were 50,000 start-ups in 2009.

17. Launched a IES (International Enterprise Singapore) program.

18. Considered most innovative nation according to International Innovation Index.

19. Moving ahead: Innovators, Entrepreneurs, Scientists and Venture Capitalists = dollars + knowledge + market connections.

20. They participated in Global Entrepreneurship Week (this week) with 40 different programs.

Based on Minister Lee Yi Shyan's comments along with his high spirit, it is easy to understand why Singapore is flourishing with entrepreneurs!

Global Trade Gap Grows

Even with a sinking dollar that aids exports, the trade gap still grows.

Important excerpt here:
Long term, however, economists say the U.S. needs to address its trade deficit by spurring exports to help offset imports of other nations' goods and services. One way to do that is by lowering the value of the dollar relative to other currencies, making U.S. goods and services cheaper abroad and more attractive to buyers.
That is already beginning to take place, as a recovery of the global economy has reversed investors' "flight to safety" that spurred demand for dollars during the past year. The U.S. dollar has been trading near a 15-month low this week against a basket of other currencies.
Even so, "the dollar may need to decline further," said Mr. Pandl, to spur exports enough to help narrow the trade gap and boost U.S. economic growth.
Read more here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Could China Dominate a New Asian Trade Bloc?

What's up and what's the hurry?
China's total trade volumes are expected to drop 20% this year largely because of the U.S. recession. Beijing has to keep exports growing to keep workers employed, and it needs commodities to turn into finished goods. China also needs other nations as customers and suppliers—if not the U.S., then Korea, Japan, Australia, and others will do.
Find out what China's strategy is and what the U.S. intends to do to remain competitive here.

Blogging LIVE From World Entrepreneurship Forum in Lyon, France

Arrived in France for the World Entrepreneurship Forum where there are already fabulous exchanges between members of so many different backgrounds.

Enjoying the experience immensely. Follow my Tweets @Laurel Delaney or

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cuban Bloggers Count

Prominent dissident Cuban blogger, Yoani Sanchez, got herself into a little trouble lately for telling the truth (criticizing?) about the Cuban government but what struck me is how strong and resilient she is.

And her blog entries (she won a top journalism prize from Columbia University but was barred by the Cuban government from traveling to New York to accept the award) are pretty powerful too.

Take a visit to where she blogs at: Mediaite. Ain't no stopping Yoani.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Guiding Principles of World Entrepreneurship Forum

On my way to the World Entrepreneurship Forum in Lyon, France (November 18-21) and our 2009 main topic is:
How can governments, at all levels, support the development of entrepreneurship?
We will also review the nine (9) recommendations we proposed during our 2008 Forum, aimed at enabling and fostering the development of the various forms of entrepreneurship. They are as follows:

World Entrepreneurship Forum Guiding Principles

1. Reform Regulations

To promote a truly entrepreneurship-centered business climate, reform tax and regulatory environments so as to make it easier, faster, and less costly for entrepreneurs to set up enterprises, grow them if they are successful, or close them if not; minimize the time they spend on licenses, tax procedures, litigation and other similar activities.

2. Create New “Entrepreneur-Friendly” Institutions

Introduce new-style entrepreneurship-friendly support institutions that provide technological knowledge, market information, business know-how, certification services, access to capital, and other essential business support.

3. Promote Proper Governance

Set forth a governance framework which unambiguously encourages risk-taking, while also ensuring that ethics lapses, corruption, and neglect of environmental sustainability carry a high cost to reputation.

4. Foster Positive Entrepreneurial Attitudes

Foster a cultural context where entrepreneurship has a positive image and where entrepreneurial success is publicly celebrated.

5. Create an Early Education Entrepreneurial Curricula

Include within schools a curricula that promotes the development of the skills and attitudes that are the hallmark of entrepreneurship, such as: Creating a vision, perseverance, creativity, spotting needs, empathy, leadership, dealing with ambiguity, risk-taking, and follow-through.

6. Develop Young Adult Entrepreneurial Curricula

Include within an education curricula practical elements of entrepreneurship and business development so as to increase the entrepreneurial IQ within the community.

7. Promote Lifelong Entrepreneurial Education

Provide entrepreneurs lifelong learning and development platforms for sharing of experience and best practices, coaching and mentoring, mutual support, and international networking, with the strong support of key stakeholders from business and civil society.

8. Empower Entrepreneurial Women, Minorities and the Disadvantaged

Support programs must also specifically target women, minorities, and the disadvantaged. Further, governments should implement laws and policies that ensure that entrepreneurs are sensitive to gender empowerment as well as diversity promotion.

9. Understand Entrepreneurship

Make it known that entrepreneurs are positive agents of social change, wealth creation, transparency, sustainability, and innovation.

Formal Guiding Principles can be found here.
I hope to have a chance to report out to you while in France but if I get too busy, which is very likely, I will wait until after I return to provide you with key takeaways. However, in the meantime, catch a LIVE broadcast of key moments here (

By the way ... here's why I am a member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Even a Caterpillar Knows How To Unleash Itself Into a Beautiful Butterfly

Today marks the beginning of Global Entrepreneurship Week, an initiative to inspire young people around the world to embrace innovation, imagination and creativity. It runs this year from November 16-22 and virtually connects approximately 4 million people in 87 countries (read Kauffman Foundation's release about it).
Each nation has found a different way to kick off what is the culmination of months of organizing and engaging their communities.
How do you plan to celebrate and connect with the world? You can start by making a comment here with "I support Global Entrepreneurship Week!"

To find out more, visit Unleashing Ideas. Get live updates at the Unleashing Ideas Blog.

Go ahead ... unleash yourself and your potential -- globally!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Delivering Results for Children Affected By Aids

We had a reader comment on our entry about, "The Tipping Point For World Recovery: Women Entrepreneurs," with this:
Great article! Our organization has been supporting women-owned micro-enterprises in less-developed countries for two decades and the results have been remarkable.
Learn more about FXB International ( And if you are in the spirit to support, go here.

Thank you to our reader and congratulations on your success!

Friday, November 13, 2009

China Holds Great Promise

Long time friend, colleague and Borderbuster fan, Paul Barsch, Global Services Marketing, Teradata (CA), who has weighed in thoughtfully from time to time on this blog (e.g., here and here), has written still another provocative piece for the Marketing Profs Daily Fix Blog with a headline of: "Going For Growth ... In China."

Fortunately, I had the great honor and pleasure of being interviewed for part of it. I say fortunately because Paul has a way of making all information concerning China -- palatable. And in this case, he doesn't let us down. Here's an excerpt:
Why all the difficulty? Western firms must deal with the fact that for all the excitement of capitalistic economic zones in China, most of the enterprises in China are state owned. That means Western companies must deal with plenty of costly and unending red tape from protective Chinese authorities. And while China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, there is much work to be done to level the playing field for Western companies to effectively compete.
So take a moment to read Paul's post to learn tips and strategies for how to prosper in Chinese markets. The comments are enlightening too -- be sure to add your own.

Many thanks Paul!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Tipping Point For World Recovery: Women Entrepreneurs

Let me catch my breath on this one because it's a doozy of a "Groundbreakers" report #2 by Ernst & Young, "Scaling up: why women-owned businesses can recharge the global economy," detailing how women entrepreneurs are critical drivers of economic growth and provides resources and insights for private sector, government and NGO leaders who are seeking to close the gender gap. I love to see that women entrepreneurs and women-owned business owners are finally getting the respect and attention they so rightfully deserve.
The Center for Women’s Business Research study shows that there are about 8 million women-owned enterprises in the US. Those businesses have an annual impact of nearly US$3 trillion dollars and create or maintain more than 23 million jobs — 16% of all US employment.
Women entrepreneurs have economic clout. Greater participation of women in the labor force correlates with higher GDP growth.
Worldwide, women own or operate 25% to 33% of all private businesses, according to the World Bank. Women-owned enterprises grow faster than those owned by men and faster than businesses overall.
And that's not all. What has made a difference for women entrepreneurs lately?
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The more wind and support we put behind women entrepreneurs, the faster and more powerful our global economic recovery. Read more here.

Download "Scaling up: Why women-owned businesses can recharge the global economy," as a printable document (818KB PDF).

We've been on this same trend (and agree with the report findings) for some time but see for yourself by visiting our sister social enterprise, Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global (WEGG). You might also re-visit our Top 10 Global Small Business Trends in 2009 (refer to No. 8: Women entrepreneurs will rule the global marketplace).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

China Investigates Sales of U.S. Cars

China is investigating sales of GM, Ford, and Chrysler vehicles, and the inquiry could lead to higher tariffs for American automakers.

Read more here. Comments are interesting. Do you have any? Let's hear.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Free, Free ... Free At Last: Dig and Learn

A couple of resources that might come in handy for you as you kick your business up a notch in 2010:

Allows you to deliver live presentations, whiteboards and Web pages while sharing your voice and video. No downloads required.

Small business owners can conduct an online business meeting with clients and contacts in an affordable manner. Educators can use HearMe's web meeting services to teach students around the globe.

Lets you explore your online world of chat sites with community chat rooms, lots of people and cool webcam technology that lets you see and be seen. Use for voice and video chat. All for FREE.

Project Gutenberg is the place where you (in the U.S.A.) can download over 30,000 free ebooks to read on your PC, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone or other device.

Lifelong FREE e-Learning

In this tough global economy, online education -- especially when it's top caliber and free -- is worth a serious consideration. It can never hurt to take a refresher course that might very well strengthen your competitive position in the world marketplace.

The best free cultural and educational media on the web. This place is terrific. Take the time to dig and learn!

Monday, November 09, 2009

A Sumptuous Soap With Lots of Scents from Portugal

It's time to start thinking of special gifts for special people in your life since the holidays are nearly right around the corner. Every week or so, we'll feature a unique item made from a different part of the world and will include a link on where you can buy it.

We have no tie or affiliations to these organizations. It's our way to shine a spotlight on businesses worldwide who are doing remarkable things and many for a very long time. If you have a remarkable product that you would like to have featured on The Global Small Business Blog, send us an email and we'll get our team right on it. Here goes ...

Country of Origin: Portugal

From Oprah's Favorite Things 2007
Established in 1887 in Porto, Portugal, the Ach Brito Company (site in Portugues or English) is the oldest family owned soap and perfume manufacturer in Portugal. Until the 1960's Ach Brito specialized in producing soaps and perfumes for the wealthiest of Porto's merchant families. The products were made and packaged specifically for certain families. The bath products produced in this factory are still made today, using the same turn of the century methods and techniques.
A place to buy? Try here.

Or go direct:

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Lighthouse of the World

From far away, a friendly light, a safe haven and place to hang your dry hat.

Hope your weekend shines bright.

Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, November 06, 2009

Are There No Worlds Left To Conquer?

According to Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup, "hardly."
There are still vast new business frontiers left unexplored.
-- thank goodness!

Here are 14 questions that Jim addresses with interviewer Jennifer Robison of GALLUP Management Journal® (GMJ) on the future of corporate leadership.

GMJ: Before you talk about the next generation of leadership, what was the last generation of leadership?
GMJ: How is the business jungle more dangerous? And what should the next generation of leaders know?
GMJ: What do you mean by "states of mind"?
GMJ: Explain what you mean by "mathematically describing states of mind."
GMJ: So why will leaders who can quantify states of mind be the winners in this new world?
GMJ: What's the value of mathematically describing states of mind?
GMJ: Do you need direct access to people to affect states of mind?
GMJ: That's the political angle. What's the business value of quantifying states of mind?
GMJ: Such as workers and customers?
GMJ: Quantifying your customers' states of mind seems difficult and expensive. Isn't it cheaper and easier just to create their state of mind through marketing?
GMJ: That's a lot of complicated things for businesses -- or governments, for that matter -- to measure.
GMJ: When does policy succeed?
GMJ: How, ultimately, will behavioral economics data benefit leaders?
GMJ: Well, yes. What's the meaning of life?
Read -- but get yourself in the right "state of mind" before doing so -- the fascinating discussion here. And while we are on Gallup, you might also explore the Gallup World Poll.

What's Your Push Into China?

If you run a global small business, and I am assuming many of you do, what should you be doing to swing open that door to China? The first step is to track what others are doing and determine success rates.

For example, innovative healthcare product company Novartis announced on Tuesday that it will spend U.S. $1 billion spread over five years to make China (starting in Shanghai -- pictured) a third global pillar for its research and development. Why? Couple of good reasons:

1. Rapid growth is one key reason for the expansion.
2. Projected to become one of Novartis's three biggest markets by 2014.
3. Revenue in China has been growing at annual rate of 30% in the last few years.
4. Health-care reform alone will fuel growth.

The question Novartis asks is: "Where do you need to be down the road, and clearly it is here." It's a question many of us should be asking and facing but what small business can afford to make the kind of investment required to do business in China?

Do you think at the very least it might be prudent to give Novartis a call or send an email to an appropriate person to see how you might partner with them on some of their initiatives? It's a great way to attempt to crack open the market -- together.

Read more here.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Are You Growing Global At the Right Rate?


The Impact of Emerging Markets

Now Playing

Deloitte CEO Barry Salzberg on the challenges companies face when operating in emerging markets.

Challenge No. 1: How to fuel growth.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Everything You Want To Know About The State of Blogosphere

To find out about the growth and trends in blogosphere, catch the State of the Blogosphere 2009 report released, starting October 19th, in five consecutive daily segments.

Here's a snippet of Day 1:
Overall, bloggers are a highly educated and affluent group. Nearly half of all bloggers we surveyed have earned a graduate degree, and the majority have a household income of $75,000 per year or higher. As blogging is now firmly a part of the mainstream, we see that the average blogger has three or more blogs and has been blogging for two or more years. We are also noticing an ever-increasing overlap between blogging and mainstream media.

So who are the bloggers? Let's delve into the demographics:

• Two-thirds are male
• 60% are 18-44
• The majority are more affluent and educated than the general population
◦ 75% have college degrees
◦ 40% have graduate degrees
◦ One in three has an annual household income of $75K+
◦ One in four has an annual household income of $100K+
◦ Professional and self-employed bloggers are more affluent: nearly half have an annual household income of $75,000 and one third topped the $100,000 level
• More than half are married
• More than half are parents
• Half are employed full time, however ¾ of professional bloggers are employed full time.
Jump to Day 5, Global Impact of all (including the use of Twitter) here.

A hat tip to cool colleague Dan Webber, Account Supervisor, Edelman (D.C.) for bringing this to my attention.

Go here for additional data.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

How To Chart an Export Course Right Out of the Recession

Here's the task at hand for 46-year-old chief executive N. Chandrasekaran (better known as "Chandra" -- pictured) at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.: To chart a course for India's largest software exporter out of a recession that deflated global technology spending and exposed the reliance of Indian outsourcing firms on the U.S. and U.K. markets.

In an interview conducted by WSJ reporters Amol Sharma and Paul Beckett, Chandra shares his mind about how he plans to navigate Tata out of the downturn.

Let's focus primarily on the 21 takeaways that I picked up on that might enable you to get a better hold on global strategy for your business:

1. Expand your company's footprint (think about emerging markets).
2. Tackle new areas (such as cloud computing).
3. Make sure you are very close with all your customers.
4. Manage your costs better.
5. It's not about taking costs out; it's about bringing more efficiency.
6. Become closer to your customers.
7. Stay with your customers during the downturn (don't abandon them).
8. Coach your team to have them understand your customer's "pain points."
9. Ask your customers: "What can we do to help?"
10. Don't continue to pursue BIG deals in the pipeline that may never come to fruition.
11. Focus on deals (develop an entirely new strategy) that will come to fruition.
12. Expand your presence in other parts of the world (consider emerging markets).
13. Develop a full suite of services that you can sell end-to-end offerings to customers.
14. Go after "nonlinear" growth. In other words, find ways to generate more revenues with less headcount additions.
15. Create something once, then re-use it to serve multiple customers!
16. As your customers go global, be there before they arrive to service their needs.
17. Send people on-site to make it work -- especially if language is a problem.
18. Select strategic locations to conduct business in.
19. Pick the right strategic location and then scale it (e.g, Mexico).
20. Train people to develop your firm's methodology across all continents.
21. Look at cloud computing as a business model, not a technology.

Tata Consultancy to Expand Footprint in Emerging Markets

Monday, November 02, 2009

Bring America to the World

This is a fascinating commentary not just about the wildly popular "Mad Men" series but more about Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Worldwide hotel chain. There's so much I didn't know about him.

In the series, Hilton, portrayed by Chelcie Ross, says, "It's my purpose in the life to bring America to the world." In real life he called it, "planting a little bit of America around the world."

I'll let you read the piece for yourself, "Hollywood Discovers a Real Businessman."

The only reason why I am blogging about it is because I feel a little of The Global Small Business Blog brings America to the world too. Don't you?