19 December 2013

Cultural literacy, doing business overseas

Culture, customs, relationships --

South Floridian businessman’s struggles highlight changing cultures, business practices - Business - MiamiHerald.com: " . . . To stay abreast of shifting market conditions, Rifkin and other South Floridians who regularly manufacture products in Asia advise making regular visits to suppliers and on-site supervision of factories. “Get your butt over there and learn about the factory that makes your product,” Rifkin said. Before he sold his company, Rifkin set up shop in China, Vietnam and Bangladesh, where he worked with multiple factories to make a variety of hangers for high-end retailers, hotels and individuals. Rifkin made it a point to conduct foreign business face-to-face, which often forced him to learn the history of the country and the customs of its citizens. . . . But for Rifkin, cultural literacy still holds more weight than any other factor. “You literally have to give yourself a history lesson on how a country was born and what their struggles were,” he said. “That way you can go into a conversation and understand who they are and what they’ve been through.”

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