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Posted January 2, 2006
Small USA based business explores opportunity in Latin America
Thanks to Dr. Becker for explaining in practical and action oriented detail the growth opportunities in Latin America for my small USA based company. After stumbling onto our first Mexican client, my team and I thought we better learn more about how Latin American business operates. Becker clearly highlights the economic and cultural factors that shape doing business in the region, as well as provides many ¿real-world¿ tips on how to spot opportunities, avoid pitfalls, and develop long term, profitable customers. An excellent book that provides current market intelligence on Latin America in an easy-to-read form. Chris SlocumWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 13, 2005
The best book on doing business in Latin America. Period.
I highly recommend this book for anyone doing business in Latin America. I recently expanded my business into Central and South America and was desperately in need of education regarding the business practices and social customs of these new markets. I am usually more critical in my reviews, but Doing Business in the New Latin America exceeded my expectations tenfold, so please forgive my enthusiasm. I was expecting a dry and analytical tome in the style of the two other books I had already read: Winning Strategies for the New Latin Markets and Latin America's Economy: Diversity, Trends, and Conflicts. These books were beneficial in their own way, but Doing Business in the New Latin America is in an entirely different league. With only six chapters and 236 pages, you might think that the scope of the subject matter would be limited, but Thomas Becker has managed to cover every base by presenting only the most cogent and relevant material. This book is written with a casual professionalism--I felt as if I were having a conversation with a well-informed friend. Topics that elsewhere are lackluster and uninspired are here presented with enthusiasm and even humor. This book was actually fun to read. I began speed-reading the text, but quickly found so much worthy content that I finished the book word-for-word. My second time through, I marked up the pages for later reference, only to discover that I marked up almost every page so much that my business partner had to order his own copy. The chapter: Using Cultural Literacy to Hone Your Competitive Edge (alone worth the price of the book and the investment of time) explains not only the current and relevant customs and rituals of Latins, but gives them context by explaining the origins and evolution of those customs. I found these stories to be as fascinating as they were useful. I was horrified to learn that many of my new Latin relationships were already tainted by numerous easily-avoided faux pas and that I had missed opportunities that this book made clear to me. Still, my business has only begun to capitalize on this vast new market and the lessons I learned in this book will, I¿m certain, be incredibly beneficial. The entertaining quality of this book does not overshadow its pragmatism. There are negotiating and selling tips (that are contrary to anything you¿ve ever learned in the U.S.), communication methods, risk avoidance strategies, management practices, and brilliant applications of old-fashioned business approaches to an entirely new market. I particularly enjoyed the contrasts between the business styles and social norms of our two cultures, often presented in crystal-clear tabular format. I was surprised to learn, for instance, that the U.S. fascination with individualism is not well received in Latin America, where collectivism is the norm, especially among workers. The comprehensive index makes this book an excellent reference source. A Latin associate mentioned guayabera (a style of shirt) in an e-mail referring to dress codes and I found four references to this word in the book. I learned so much from this book that I came away feeling like an expert in Latin American business. I won¿t say that this is the only book you should read on the subject, but I will say that if you were only going to read one, this should be it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 28, 2005
What We Wish We'd Read Four Years Ago!
I just finished reading 'Doing Business In the New Latin America.' Why wasn't this book available sooner? It pinpoints many of the hassles and heartaches our company went through - and still goes through - as we worked for almost four years to grow small orders into large accounts in Mexico and Central America. Whereas other books on doing business abroad seem either to be written for large multinationals or are weak on practical advice, this one contains the kind of hardhitting cost-saving and time-saving tips that fit the needs of our medium size company. I don't think you will find anything like it available anywhere else.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.