July 2010


For or against, either decision can have a significant impact on your decision to enter – or expand – into the Turkish market. Considered a “2cd world country” in the 1970s when I lived there, Turkey has continued to grow and advance its economy. Today the Turkish market has attracted many companies from around the world to invest. One example: Midwest retailer Best Buy entered the market a few years ago, and continues to support investment in the country.

Why Turkey? Is it a European play, to gain a foothold before they join the EU? Is it a Middle Eastern, or even southwest Asia play, to gain market share with an eye to expansion from a friendly base? Turkey has historically been the “crossroads” between Europe and Asia, and shouldn’t be overlooked in any international business strategy.

BusinessWeek article from 27 July caught my attention (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_32/b4190014477970.htm) as the European debate continues around the Turkish bid to become an EU member. In the meantime, take a look at this important market from the perspective of your company’s needs for future growth.

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BusinessWeek certainly caught our attention with this headline recently. Yum! brands, like Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell, are finding the U.S. market challenging as consumers focus on saving money and getting in shape. However, Yum! has taken the long view with regard to their international markets, and continue to enjoy success even as they shore up global market gains against competitors like McDonalds. 

Yum! Vision & Strategy

“Yum! Brands is committed to continuing the success realized during our first ten years. Our success has only just begun as we look forward to the future, one which promises a long runway for growth, especially on an international level. We maintain a consistent commitment to deliver at least 10% EPS growth annually. With more than 37,000 restaurants in over 110 countries and territories, Yum! Brands international growth sees no signs of stopping as we continue to enter international markets, introducing people around the world to our winning brands.” (Yum! website http://www.yum.com)

“Yum!’s is an amazing story about how they conquered China so much earlier than their main rivals,” says RJ Hottovy, an analyst at Morningstar. “Part of the reason is that they built up their supply chain and their distribution system quickly, and that is giving them a real competitive advantage. When you are setting up restaurants in new territories it is often difficult to procure packaging and to develop good relationships with suppliers, but Yum! now has a nice little edge.”

The Yum! story doesn’t stand out because they are a large, multinational company.  It stands out because Yum! has a defined international strategy and focus: they localize as needed, but more importantly they paid attention to supply chain and distribution – key, relevant factors in their industry  that would support sustainable growth and profitability in the long-run. It’s hard to argue with 10% EPS growth annually.

http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/jul2010/gb20100714_088544.htm

Does LinkedIn mean as much to someone outside the US as it does to someone in the US? I think it does.

At first, I thought many of my international friends and colleagues were just being kind when they accepted my LinkedIn request. They had a few connections but usually not too many.

That was a couple of years ago. Now it is almost a requirement for someone who is international that wants to do business in the US to be a part of LinkedIn. It’s that networking connection and not just the latest trend. I hope my friends and colleagues are becoming more active on LinkedIn because it makes good business sense.