Global Leadership Blog

Global Highlights

Five Global Highlights: Smog and Coca-Cola

As I was reading through various articles in order to share five global highlights with you, the most compelling ones split into one of two categories: the conditions of doing business in a different countries, and the global transactions that take place in the midst of those conditions. Each country has conditions which make the business environment unique. No transaction takes place in a vacuum; each one is influenced by the country’s conditions.



What do you think of as a country with fantastic working conditions? I would not be surprised to find Switzerland at the top of the list for many people. Expats agreed, as described in the Wall Street Journal’s Expat Blog. Respondents to the Expat Explorer Survey said that Switzerland was the best all-round destination for a career abroad, citing its excellent earning prospects, higher salaries than they could earn at home, working culture, and job security.

Factors affecting satisfaction with a country’s working conditions include earning prospects, working culture, and job security. {TWEET THIS}

On the other side of the “conditions” coin is the impact of environmental factors. In India, for example, extreme air pollution has made New Delhi the most polluted city on the planet, according to Global News. The government is attempting to restrict vehicle traffic in order to reduce pollution. Previous efforts, however, have met mixed success because the bus system was not robust enough to support the increased ridership which which resulted from motorists who could not utilize their private vehicles.


While we are speaking of India, Free Basics and Facebook’s Waterloo in India captures the essence of why it is critical to approach business with a global mindset and an innate respect for the culture. Facebook attempted to offer cost-free internet service to people in India with a different kind of cost: a restriction on which sites they could visit, sites chosen by Facebook. As the author states, “Facebook acted arrogantly and didn’t attempt to understand Indian values and markets.”

Another geographical and cultural area which presents challenges of scale and complexity is Africa. In The Secret Behind Coca-Cola’s Success in Africa, the authors highlight a critical component of successful transactions in Africa, the establishment of approximately 3000 micro distribution centers. Nathan Kalumbu, President Coca-Cola Eurasia & Africa Group, stated, “These micro distribution centers are normally run by individuals who live in the community, they employ local people and they distribute to local retailers. It is a very good system that allows us to be able to reach consumers that would otherwise be difficult in reaching because of infrastructural challenges.”

Lastly, a relationship between two countries which has not been (and will probably never be) simple, but is showing incremental progress is the one between China and Egypt. In Egypt and China: Partners on the Long Road, Mahmoud Allam, Former Ambassador of Egypt to China, reflects on the significance of the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first visit to Egypt. He writes, “This visit is of high significance for the two countries as this year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Egypt and China.” Of special importance, writes Allam, “both countries are striving to develop and to create a world order based on fair and just principles for all nations.”

Have you read something this week about conditions in another country that surprised you or a transaction that broke new ground? I’d love to hear about it! Tweet me at @melissa_lamson1 or email me at *protected email*!

Other posts I have written about doing business globally:

Taking Tech Companies Global

Setting Global Management Priorities in a Shifting Business World

10 Questions for Cross-Cultural Effectiveness

Melissa Lamson

About The Author

Melissa Lamson, Founder and President of Lamson Consulting, is an author, consultant, and speaker who accelerates the business expansion goals of today’s most successful companies by developing global mindset, refining leadership skills, and bridging cross cultural communication. More About Melissa Lamson