In a previous post I discussed how many Western-headquartered companies have not yet gotten used to think ingof leveraging the tremendous diversity that exists in Asia. Instead companies tend to develop country-focused strategies: a Japan strategy, a China strategy, an India strategy etc. But the tremendous diversity of Asia provides massive opportunities – if it is leveraged. Companies such as Li & Fung understand which is why Bangkok was such an attractive alternative. The diversity there makes it easier to put together innovative teams.
I did not actually expect to be in Bangkok only weeks later after making that post. It is actually my first time here and it was for the launch of the Thai version of The Medici Effect. The publishers here provided me ith a great tour of both Bangkok and the outskirts of the city - and what I found interesting was that the country’s diversity is so deeply ingrained in its history. Everywhere there are clear signs of how China, India, Burma and other regions has been a huge influence in the country’s development. Thailand is, in some ways, at a huge intersection of cultures and so it makes sense that they are failry comfortable with this diversity. Yesterday I went to Singapore and the diversity here is also quite great – albeit from a different historical context. I spoke at the Ministry of Education here yesterday and will speak for the CPF (the country’s state-pension fund) as well as for the senior management at the Economic Development Board. Will give my impressions from this trip soon.