Thursday, July 29, 2010

managing overseas business ventures

summary of yesterday's talk.
this is things that i jotted down.
yang mana sempat and yang mana i found interesting.
some of these are from the Q&A session.

aviation industry:
- cost intensive
- labor intensive
- high level of regulations
- difficult to forecast; unstable
- technology intensive
- if you make it wrong, you'll lose a lot of money

airport industry:
--> construct and/or manage airport
- a lot more stable

what malaysia airport have learned from overseas venture:
- it's very very very important to choose the right partners
- need a lot of resources, of course
- no time to do research, sometimes it's all about the right judgements
- have to accept the fact that to gain some, you'll lose some
- do not deal with unions or governments of other countries, appoint locals to be the director
- everything is about business; it's not about running the airport efficiently, it's about how much money you can make from the airport
- talk to other organizations e.g. epf, tabung haji to be your partner especially for capital purpose

"run 1st class BUSINESS airport"
--> run airport well (operational)
--> at the end of the day, BUSINESS is about making profit

important keys:
- trust your partners
- get to know your partners, find chemistry, be comfortable with each other; if there's no chemistry, you definitely can't work with them
- aim for long-term relationship; must have give and take
- contract is only the foundation, sometimes one party will get more than the other; it's very difficult to get the exactly fair agreement; must be realistic
- inside the agreement, there must be a clause that if something goes wrong, there is a way to exit from the agreement

art of negotiation:
- must be very clear of what do you want
- must have clear mandate from the board on what to agree and what not to agree; still, must have some lehway to move which is agreed also among the board
- do not rush
- must know your strengths and weaknesses
- do not kill your partners, or one day they'll kill you back
- sometimes, you have to compromise; make your partner a happy man
- each culture has different way of negotiating

working life vs academic life:
- very different
- in case studies, you learned what other people have done
- at work, you need to know how to apply the knowledge
- you have to demonstrate that your knowledge are right
- knowledge is one thing, but the judgement is very crucial
- knowledge is important, but it's more important on how you apply the knowledge
- knowledge + experience + judgement + intuition

discipline is very important:
- have to be on time
- deadlines are important; if you cannot meet your deadlines, do not wait until you deadline's over, talk and discuss with your boss before deadlines (common mistakes made by many in working life)
- you must do what's right, not what you like
- get the work done or at least prepared before you do something else

attitude of nevermind:
- one time is okay, ten times are not!

you are good or not?
- it's not you who decide you do good or not, it's your peers and bosses
- if you think you are good, others might be better

- you don't become leader from the courses, it has to be developed
- you have to decide what kind of leader you wanted to be
- there are many with business degrees, but there's only one CEO in the company; you have to have leader attributes

right judgement vs rationale judgement:
- you must have rationale for decisions and for that you need knowledge
- judgment and knowledge have to tag along together
- opinions of others are very important in making decision

before you go into overseas venture:
- check you partner background
- check the country and government background
- check the risk from many aspects

knowledge or experience first?
- knowledge
- you can't make decision without knowledge
- get as much knowledge as you can before jump into working world

intuition vs strategic plans
- intuition is not superior
- it only comes in when you are not sure

speaker: tan sri bashir ahmad, managing director and CEO of malaysia airports holdings berhad

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