Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Global & International: A Subtle Irony


Many people always use the word “Global” and “International” interchangeably, as they view these two words as synonyms to one another in definition. However, further analysis on the meaning of these words discerns the apparent differences. While their differences may seem trivial to many; it is crucial to FingerTec.

Both “Global” and “International” terms are interwoven and inseparable in FingerTec’s marketing and support system. “Global” amplifies “once and for all”; it is obvious in our online platform, marketing materials, products design, software application, System Development Kit (SDK), multilingual platform, packaging and etc, all to serve the world as one with single activity.

Extension of Globalization: Localization

The globalization strategy spun into localization when we start to term it with different regional markets. The localization strategy is an extension of our very core globalization system which if multilingual, it is definitely originated from English; if features added, we would compile them under one software or hardware platform as selectable options for users.

Inter-National: Nation-to-nation
What about “International”? I detach the word by adding a hyphenation in between to become “inter-national” for easier comprehension. Yes, it is all about “between two countries”. Nation-to-nation, border-to-border, it has a lot of differences when goods and money change hand due to different government policies.

Some countries require Certificate of Origin (CO) for goods importation; some requires an independent organization such as BIVAC to inspect goods prior to release of cargo; some requires a formal sales contract for every shipment to prevent under declaration of goods value. And for payment transactions, some countries disallow Telegraphic Transfer; some only accepts Letter of Credit and some prefers Euros than US Dollar for international trade.

Cope with the Varying

How well a company can handle the varying transactions and logistics issues in ensuring smooth, prompt and cost effective product delivery determines the successfulness of the company in its overseas business dealings.

In summary, “Global” is a strategy to achieve “once and for all” that applies to one world, and to reduce job duplications; in contrast, “International” is a strategy to adapt to the varying factors of bilateral trade effectively.

Simplicity vs Complexity
It is bizarre for the two words that carry almost the same meaning can lead to the opposite ways in marketing strategies. In short, “global” moves towards “simplicity”, and “international” heads towards “complexity”.

The only route to reduce complexity is to reduce tangibility of your products. Selling or providing intangible services or products such as the ones provided by Google, you're free from all the hassle in transportation and border control, which you can forget about “International”, and concentrate more on “Global”.

Envy of Google making a huge profit by offering online services? Such service might seem far-fetched for FingerTec, in your opinion, but we're closer than you think. Stay tuned for FingerTec’s next development.

by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ

Thursday, October 9, 2008

FingerTec in Iran: Perceived Sensitivity

Tehran, Mt. Damavand in background

You won’t find urinal in any gent toilets in Tehran; but it doesn’t really matter, you carry out your business like usual. What really matter is, you have to use cash to pay your hotel, your meals, your shopping, practically everything. No merchants take credit card here. This should be part of the outcome after the US imposed a blanket trade embargo on Iran in the aftermath of the Islam Revolution back in 1979. And most of the active importers have to make Dubai their financial hub to deal with suppliers.

Once strong and fascinating ancient Persian culture slowly receding after the Islam revolution, left Persian carpet, still attracted buyers for its whiff of mystique. No alcohols, no western entertainments and the TV channels could doze you off in a matter of seconds.

What is well perceived by all foreigners: Women have to put on scarf to cover their hair, and enough cloth to cover their body before stepping onto the Iranian’s soil. What’s not so sensitively perceived by me: My exhibition booth’s backdrop showing a model lies on her belly exposing her arms, although considered quite conservative in other places, create some uneasiness here.

The controversy backdrop and the conservative Ms Mehri Molaee

Being the world’s fourth-largest exporter of oil, the petrol price here is extremely low and enviable, USD0.10 per liter. Tour the city with a cab, you won’t feel the pain.

Back to business: FingerTec is Farsi language-ready for hardware and software; hence the inquiries were overwhelmed in the Trade Show. But without the assistance from my interpreter, Ms Mehri Molaee, the communication would most probably be a halt.

Always strike hard and hope for the best; FingerTec in Iran, and in everywhere.

by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ