Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Holiday Season!

Winter time and mostly end of December - beginning of January is a Holiday Season for most of people around the world, of all religions and all nationalities. So here is my HAPPY HOLIDAY greetings to all my readers around the Globe.

Most of the Christians have just had Holly Jolly Christmas - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everybody! In Russia, however, Christmas is on January 7 so this holiday is still to come. And one more thing about holidays in Russia: our Santa ("Father Frost") brings us presents not on Christmas, but on New Year's Eve and he usually comes with a company - his granddaugter, The Snowgirl. So below are 2 greeting cards: for my Western and Russian friends (Santa and Snowgirl):

Our Jewish friends have their own holiday this time of the year - Chanukah, which is the festival of light and it celebrates triumph of light over darkness. The festival lasts 8 days and in 2006 it was celebrated December 16 - 23. Happy Chanukah!

Our Muslim friends celebrate their holiday this time of year too - Eid-al-Adha or Feast of Sacrifice. It lasts for 3 days and commemorates Ibraham's (Abraham) willingness to obey God by sacrificing his son. Muslims believe the son to be Ishmael rather than Isaac as told in the Old Testament. According to the Koran, Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son when a voice from heaven stopped him and allowed him to sacrifice a ram instead. In 2006 Eid-al-Adha will be celebrated on December 31. Happy Eid!

Finally, our Chinese friends will be celebrating Chinese New Year on February 18, 2007. And thought there is still time till that holiday I wanted to congratulate our Asian friends anyway since we are talking about Christmas and New Year. Year 2007 will be the year of Pig according to the Chinese calendar. I wish you Good Luck in the New Year!

You can find more beautiful e-cards for all your family, friends, colleagues and customers on these websites (where I found mine): ,,
In my experience, it doesn't matter what nationality a person is - everyon will be very happy to receive a note from you on THEIR holiday. So send warm wishes and spread the joy!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Russia in the Spotilight, Part II

One of my blog readers asked about the link to the articles about Russia I mentioned in my post called "Russia in the Spotlight". I didn't include the links to these articles because I read these articles in the hard copy of Business Week. But I value my reader's opinion and thus, I performed on-line search for these 2 artcile and here are the links:


Monday, December 18, 2006

How to be a successful International Business Consultant

At the end of November 2006 I was giving a presentation at the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC USA, Chicago Chapter) about skills to have and things to know to be a successful International Business consultant. I put the essence of this presentation into an article which I have recently published. You can read this article at (article # 5)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Russia in the spotlight

If you are interested in doing busienss in/with Russia you should have a look at the recent Business Week magazine (December 18, 2006) There are 2 full articles about Russia, which in a way complement each other.

On the bright side it shows that Russian middle class is growing, hence the consumption is growing too including the demand for foreign made goods. In addition Russia is also popular with foreign investors and the stock market is up.

However on the dark side there is a question raised about the sustainability of such a growth since the most of the money inflow is oil money and only a very tiny percentage of population really benefit from it. And in addition all the recent political scandals and a growing controling role of the government are called "troubling signs" by foreign experts.

Both articles make a great reading (one is an essay style and the other is an interview with a famous Russian chess player, Garry Kasparov) and I just wanted to add my personal views on the topic. It is true that sometimes doing business in Russia is like walking on the mine field unless you have a map of dangerous areas. But even with the "map" you have to be very careful because there might be a dozen of addendums to it which you, as an outsider, might not know about. Or in the middle of your walk the government can intervene and change the rules of the game...

Why are people still coming then, you may ask? Well, I guess it's because the prize on the other side of the field is really attractive. Just look at the automotive industry: in the recent years a number of foreign car manufactures (Ford, Toyota, VW, etc.) started to open their huge manufacturing plants in Russia despite the fact that the Russian governemt is very protective of the Russian automotive industry and potentially it can interefere with the foreign manufactures' plans if they see a real threat. But Ford and the likes are still going for it because there is demand and hence, there is future. It might not be the bright and easy one but the potential is there.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Links we LOVE

I wanted to say a few words about a section of this blog called "Links we Love".
These are not the links I am paid to promote but rather great examples of orgnizations that excell in doing business internationally: sensibly and for the greater good of the communities they opperate in. An I believe the future competitve landscape will be changed by the appearance of a bigger number of such organizations who sincerely care about communities and environment and are not just extracting cheap resources (labor, natural resources) from developing countries.

Protect Nature link takes you to Word Wide Fund for nature protection. This organization is famous all over the world and doesn't need a special introduction. I just admire their work in all the remoter coners of the globe and support them by being a member of WWF and taking action whenever I could.

Beauty+Purpose link takes you to the fashion site (scarves designer). The company's accessories are designed in USA and are hand made in Latin America. For once, this company tries to preserve a rare technique of knitting (doing greater good for the local community) and also it makes sure that a percentage of the proceeds from sales support organizations dedicated to Conservation of Beauty, Environment and Community.

International Art Gallery link is a link to an internet art gallery, which gives possibility for artists around the world to exhibit and sell their art. This is especially importnat for the countries where e-commerce capabilities are not well developed yet and the talanted artists do not have an outlet to promote their art internationally (Russia is a goof example here). A portion of procedes from sales is also spent on charitable purposes.

EMAdvice is my own company and my goal is to promote understanding and cooperation between cultures and countries for the benefit of all the sides. And in addition I support WWF, as I mentioned earlier and this is my contribution to "the greater good".

77 Sigma is a link to my friend's blog who is like myself a consultant and a great promoter of being internationally aware. A great expert on China, he runs an organizatioonal development consultancy whose slogan is "Make your Resources more Human."

Each of these links reperesent a case study if you wish that helps you understand what makes an organization successful internationally. Each from a different industry but with the similar purpose in mind.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

International Trade Newsletters

I've recently found a couple of useful newsletters to which you can subscribe for free and get loads of precious information if your business is related to International Trade. They will provide you with the latest news on trade, trade shows, laws, etc. Here they are:

International Trade Law Alert
Offers news up-dates on International Trade, Export, Import and Immigration Law.

Latin Business Chronicle
A fantastic source of information if you you are doing/planning to do business in Latin America