The Metropolis, January 21-22, 1995

As the world shrinks into a global village, it is imperative that governments and corporate firms around the world take advantage of the changes taking place to benefit themselves. In fact, the very survival of governments and firms depends on their ability to do so.

Dr Hiru Bijlani, a leading management consultant in Asia, a doctorate in business policy and administration specialising in international business and various areas of globalisation of business, in his latest book, Globalisation : An Overview, has aimed at providing readers with an overall understanding of the subject starting with the history of trade, the patterns and types of trade that are in existence and how trade leads to direct foreign investments and how joint ventures and foreign investments take place.

The book highlights why companies and countries need to be looking at globalisation as an imperative within the parameters of competitiveness for globalisation. The book also examines different aspects of global marketing, global finance, global management and cultural adaptation. It also highlights the obligation of nations and firms towards environment protection and some pointers to the future.

Excerpts from an interview with the author :

You are known as a business manager and as a consultant. How did you come to this state of writing the book ?

I have been a professional business manager and then a consultant for a long. All my professional life, my experience has been in international business. I have had the Middle East beat in the 1970s, the West African beat in the 1980s and the south-east Asian beat in the 1990s.

I have been involved in variety of projects ranging from manufacturing to the service sector, and in various types of businesses; one of the motivations to be a consultant was also to find more time to play some golf, relax and write. That's how I evolved from being a business manager to a consultant, and now to writing, teaching and training, besides consulting, which I continue as an advisor.

How were you motivated on this particular theme of globalisation ?

The motivation for the book come from my teaching : in the course of my classes, I discovered that thee was nothing available on the shelf that gave an overview on the subject of globalisation.

To understand it from a point of view of, let's say, a business manager or an entrepreneur, or a student of business was very difficult. And so I thought I'd put this all together in a capsule and link it in as a sort of subsequential form.

My book starts with the history of trade, goes on to the basis of comparative trade advantage and then on how trade has taken place between various nations. The book also discusses such topics as joint ventures, its advantages and disadvantages, the role of government in joint ventures, strategies for globalisation, global management and cultures, global marketing, global finance, global organisation structures, and environmental issues that have been raised by the United Nations and other bodies. It also contains some sort of guesstimate on what the future trends will be.

Mind you, it's not a comprehensive book in any of these areas, the idea is to condense knowledge.

What do you think is the downside of your book? If you were to review it yourself critically, what would you say?

Well, as I have said in the preface, each of the chapters of the book could be the subject of a book by itself, and that could be a criticism, that it does not do justice to anything while covering a log of ground. But, then the purpose of the book is just to give an overview.

Another criticism from an Indian readers point of view could be that the book is tailored specially for the Indian environment, but a general text for any business executive who may be anywhere, it does not have Indian examples, but has instances that are relevant and drawn from a variety of companies and countries around the world.

I specifically did that, as I intend to write another book which I am working on. It will be titled, Globalisation of Business for Indian companies.

How long did it take you to do the book?

This book took a long time to be completed : it took me almost three years to write this. But my next book is a quickie, so to say, it's on globalisation through joint ventures and alliances.

You know that I present seminars in this field. I have put together the slides and created the book with some cartoons. Thus it's more like a handbook.

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