The Metropolis, Saturday November 9-10, 1996

Dr Hiru Bijlani, President, Zenith Global Consultants

I believe that many emerging joint ventures and alliances globally particularly in the rapidly developing countries are being scouted in a manner that is akin to a love marriage. Herein people experience mutual attraction and then encounter problems arising from incompatibility. Therefore, I suggest that business joint ventures and alliances follow the route of arranged marriages. Instead of starting a joint ventures or alliance based on emotional decisions, it would be advisable to exercise 'match-making' gauging if the firms involved are compatible.

Our world is a diverse one: nations vary on several counts, starting with size and population, climate, language and currencies. Add to these differences, there are other disparities in education, technology and income levels, the variations in trade and investment regulations in tax laws. Adding to this there exists a platform for trade and investment opportunities both on the part of business firms and among governments.

While it is an extension of domestic trade, global exchange springs largely from the comparative cost advantage. World trade covers the transfer of resources in the fields of capital, labour, technology, management and knowledge in the realm of natural resources and finished products, from one nation to other, based on factor endowments and on government regulations.

Globalisation means looking outwards, which generally starts with a look within with the planning and the execution of successful international joint ventures and alliances. A process of self-examination and introspection is really the beginning.

To start with a company's vision and mission is really important. The vision of a company, refers to its founder or (CEO) who wants to achieve in the long terms. From the vision, a more focused and realistic statement can be drawn which is called the mission statement. This statement can then be translated into objectives and targets.

While highlighting the goals and targets of the company always focus on what the company is looking for and see yourself as a potential global player in the market. When you are going for a joint venture with any of the company always look for its history, its financial position and growth, its products, the manufacturing process, human resources and competition.

After the vision and corporate strategy of the company analyse the possible Strength, Weakness, Opportunities available and Threat (SWOT) you are going to face followed by the global survey of a particular industrial sector which has enabled you to identify a niche on the international horizon. Together with a specific examination of the industry on a global basis in order to locate yourself within a potential niche, you have to take an overview of the geographical possibilities for global business open to you.

Having chosen the specific country and its competitiveness and risk, examine the state of your industry in the chosen country. Search for joint venture/alliance partner and before actually clinching a final choice, clarify the type of the tie-up which is both possible and desirable for you to enter into. Our frame work is now a firm one, we are clear on the industry segment and the country in question, we have a reasonable idea of the nature of the joint venture or alliance which is both desirable and possible and we have also formulated a desired partner profile. Since there has also been personal interaction in the country in question, there's also a good chance that we have a short listed a couple of potential alliance partners. After finding a right one, go ahead and make your day.


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