Friday, October 27, 2006

Iflex in Latin America

I visited the Iflex Hqrs in Bangalore on 29 Sept.
The building goes with the name... interesting architecture.
The company was started and is still run by professionals. They have achieved global leadership in their niche area of banking solutions with 660 customers in 120 countries.

i-flex began its operations in Latin America in 2002 with a small team of two people and has now 100 professionals working in the region, including a multinational mix of people from India, Colombia, Venezuela , Honduras, amongst others. They have 20 banks in the Latin American and Caribbean region as customers including Banco de Chile, Bladex, Sicredi, Citibank, Inverunion, PanCaribbean Financial Services, and FirstCaribbean International Bank.
Banco de Chile, one of their early customers selected i-flex to replace its entire core processing system and the project is currently underway in Chile. Likewise, Bladex of Panama, a leading 2nd tier bank in the region, selected their solutions to transform their core and business intelligence platforms.

To know more, visit:

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Talk on Latin America at IIM Kolkata 2 November

My friends laughed... when I mentioned that I was going to give a talk at the IIM. They asked if i was inspired by a colourful politician who gave a talk at IIM recently.

It struck me. Surely the rustic wisdom of Bihar and the lusty Latin America add new dimensions to the otherwise staid and serious business of management. The first one is important to understand the growing rural market of India while the second one will help to reach out to the promising Latin American market. Understanding of the culture is the key to business success in both the cases.

Latin America can surely teach how to have fun and enjoy life to our young managers, who miss out on these, in their unrelenting pursuit of career glory. Salsa and Samba will reinvogorate the management mind.

Of course, our globalising managers need to understand the culture of Latin America to do business with this region which is becoming prosperous and stable and is offering opportunities for Indian business.

IIM Kolkata has a tie up with a management school in Rio and their delegation has come back from a successful trip to Latin America recently.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mexican Printing Business delegation 18-23 october

This 9- member delegation will stay at taj mahal hotel, New Delhi. The programme is being arranged by the mexican Embassy. contact Luis Gerardo
CII organising meeting on 19 oct. contact Gunveena Chadha
Progr includes meeting with Federation of Printers and Printing machinery Association

Delegation List

Mr. Alfredo Virgen Vallado Director General of Educational Programs S.A. of C.V. and National President Canagraf

Mr. Carlos Almeida HerreraDirector General of Color Cuatro S.A. and National Vice President Canagraf

Prof. Marco Suárez Director General of Commercial Lithography S.A. and Advisory Secretary Canagraf

Mr. Arturo Adona Castro Director General de Cajas Micro, S.A. and National Ex-President Canagraf

Mrs. Maria de los Angeles Cuevas de Virgen Director General of Mexican Publidiza

Mr. Ricardo Macias González Director General of Canagraf

Mr. Eduardo Pérez Abarca Coordinator of Projects for Canagraf

Mr. Araceli Aguerre Balido

Business with the New Latin America- book by Thomas Becker

Doing business in the New Latin America
a guide to cultures, practices and opportunities

by Thomas Becker- 2004

The title of the book is self explanatory. I finished the book(230 pages) in two sittings today. The reason is obvius. The subject is dear to my mind and heart. While many conclusions of the author are similiar to mine, I learnt some new things particularly on the historical roots of Latino business culture.

It is meant for the Americans, who have stereotyped vision about Latin America.
It is useful for the Indian businessmen too.

The author brings out the emerging new Latin America breaking free from its forgettable past.
He is optimistic about the new latino mindset driving politics and business of the region.

The author has dug into the historical reasons for the difference in business approach of Latinos from those of Americans. he has traced it to the Iberian colonial mindset, vertical hierarchy, influence of the sword and cross, unrealistic and rigid royal rules to be flouted in practice and the civil law deriving from the Romans and Napoleonic code. The last is important since it limits what is permissible as those predefined. But in the common law followed in Anglo American world, the right to act exists unless otherwise specified.

The author has vividly portrayed the cultural dimension of latino business. some highlights:
- language of latinos has two more forms besides the verbal. watch out for silence and the body language.
-manana does not mean tomorrow. It means not today.
-Negocios ( business) in spanish means denial of leisure (nego- denial, ocios-leisure).
-trust and face saving more important than a piece of paper called as contract.
- time is construed as cyclical ( another opportunity might come!) by latinos while Americans take it as linear.
- negotiations are spontaneous and impulsive.

I will recommend this book for the Indian businessmen pursuing opportunities in Latin America.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Business Visas for Central America

good news !

Honduras and Guatemala have agreed to give visas for Indian bz visitors, without the need for prior approval from their immigration depts and foreign offices. Prior approval used to take lot of time earlier .

Of course, they do not have embassies in India. But visa application can be made in their embassies in other countries.

Costa Rica has announced that Indian bz visitors do not need visas for entry. Ideal solution !

Credit for this goes to Ambassdor Tomar in Panama, who has been pursuing this vigorously.

We are hoping that Nicaragua and El salvador will also follow this lead soon. There is still no success with panama, which takes months for prior approval for issue of visa. There is also problem with Belize, which has onerous conditions for visa. For belize, visa application can be made with the British High Commission in India.