No Marshmallows, Just Term Papers
Today’s multinational enterprises are presented with the challenge of successfully entering the foreign market. This can be the difference in having a thriving empire or packing up your belongings and heading home. In our background materials there were several examples of cultural mishaps. From President Richard Nixon’s “A-Okay” (Wade, 2004) to holding up two fingers like a peace sign with your palm facing inward in Britain and many English speaking countries. Understanding cultural customs is plays a huge role in international business. In the Muslim world, the sole of the foot should not be shown because it is seen as dirty. In Bulgaria shaking your head “no” means that the person is listening, not that they disagree with you. The consumption of alcohol during business meetings, gift giving, bowing, and handshakes are other examples of cross-cultural customs that if not understood can turn into mistakes made by business associates. (Wade)
To establish its fast-food chain in India, Subway chose two Indian brothers who had been educated in the U.S., Gurpreet and Manpreet Gulri. They're responsible for finding franchisees and helping open stores while overseeing the brand's operations across India. It took them two years to gain the approval to open India’s first Subway store despite having been familiar with the country’s financial procedures. Obtaining supplies, especially finding flour, suitable for making sandwich bread was unexpectedly difficult. "The quality of the flour in India is not the same quality of flour in the West," Manpreet Gulri says. "That has posed a lot of issues." The Gulris also encountered a problem that Subway franchisees elsewhere aren't likely to face: "Indians are not a bread-eating community," Manpreet Gulri says. So he and his brother must continually educate prospective customers on the merits of their products. And to win over the vegetarian multitudes, the Gulris...
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