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|June 14, 2000|
New guide to doing business in Asia
Nitish S Rele
Here's something for company executives and policymakers looking to conduct business in Asia: Bombay native Usha C V Haley has just released a new book, Strategic Management in the Asia Pacific: Harnessing Regional and Organizational Change for Competitive Advantage' (Butterworth Heinemann, 585 pages).
In it, business experts from around the world have contributed articles that analyze and interpret Asia's changing economic and business environments. Companies and governments looking to guidance on Asian ethics, strategy, governments' changing policies and taxation practices will find the publication immensely helpful.
"The book deals generally with doing business in Asia and the Pacific, but has quite a bit on India, mostly my work on overseas Indian business networks (and how they differ from the overseas Chinese)," said Haley, an associate professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
"Also, it spotlights how multinationals from India are coping with foreign competition."
In the book, Haley identifies how to choose an Asian country in which to base operations. She makes the job easier by updating and reinterpreting research that was conducted before the economic crisis took place in Asia. She also makes suggestions on how to minimize the advantages of investing in turbulent major markets such as China and Indonesia.
Strategic Management in the Asia Pacific... features research that was conducted before the Asian crisis with updated results. This makes it easier for readers to compare the experts' pre and post-crisis analysis to judge where they have maintained consistent positions, where they have changed their positions and how best to use the information. To facilitate readers' judgement, Haley has included an extensive list of Internet sites, which track Asian business and economic news and statistics.
Born in Bombay, Haley earned a bachelor's at Elphinstone College. She then received a scholarship to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She completed a master's in political science there and then worked as a journalist.
"As a journalist, I got opportunities to interview several Indian leaders, including Indira Gandhi (thrice; twice when she was prime minister), Morarji Desai (when he was the prime minister), etc," he said. "I then did a master's in journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and finally a master's and a PhD from New York University's Stern School of Business in International Business and Strategy."
Thereafter, Haley went to work at Elea, Olivetti's consulting and research division in Florence, Italy for a year.
"But, I had an interest in emerging markets... I'm an academic, so I took an opportunity to return to both," she said.
"George (I married a native Texan while doing my PhD) and I got chairs to teach International Business at ITESM, in Monterrey, Mexico. We have a book coming out on Mexican business; actually the groups operate quite a bit like Indian business families."
It was time to move again. This time, the Haleys were offered jobs at the National University of Singapore's business school
"We had postponed going for a year, but NUS said it was now or never," said Haley. But they liked the experience.
"Singapore was great and gave us an opportunity to understand business in southeast Asia as well as to go back regularly to India where I have a family.
After Singapore, they headed Down Under. For two years, Haley worked at the Australian National University, one of the premier centers for studying business in Asia, and researched Vietnam and Thailand in particular."
Now, we have been back America for a couple of years after being away for eight years," said Haley. After taking up a job as associate professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers, Haley recently joined the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she is to teach and research International Business and Strategy. The Haleys are spending summer at Harvard University teaching Asian Business.
"We now have recurring summer appointments there (as full professors) and we teach/co-ordinate all Asian business and international business courses," she said.
Haley's previously published book,The New Asian Emperors: The Overseas Chinese, their Strategies and Competitive Advantages, is being reprinted in India. Her forthcoming books are From Catalysts to Chameleons: Multinational Firms as Participants in Political Environments and The Chameleon in the Cactus Patch: Managing Multinational Firms in Mexico.
More information on Haley and her book is available at www.asia-pacific.com.
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