Densil Williams launches book for regional firms aiming at the international markets

Senior staff reporter

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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IF you are interested in detailed information to help get into international business markets, there is no need to look much further than Professor Densil Williams' International Business Blunders: Lessons for Future Managers .

The new book, which highlights detailed lessons for firms seeking to enter larger international markets, was launched on Wednesday, June 5, at Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston.

Dr Williams, professor of International Business and pro-vice chancellor for Industry/Academic Partnerships and Planning at The University of the West Indies (UWI), says he was inspired to write it after noticing a glaring gap in literature addressing the mistakes that firms from developing countries make when transitioning to larger markets in more developed countries.

This motivated him to take a closer look at cases involving firms from the Caribbean. The book specifically targets managers in enterprises that are seeking to go international, but it is also useful for students of business and management, as well as other academics who are interested in studying issues in the international business arena.

While undertaking research for the book, Professor Williams noted that his most important finding was the inherent danger of applying a one-size-fits-all approach to international business transactions, especially when moving into unfamiliar markets.

His research also uncovered just how costly and damaging an incorrectly planned transition can be, especially for small, resource poor firms from developing economies seeking to compete with firms from large and developed economies that have large amounts of cash and financial wealth.

“It is my wish that this book will be used as a reference source for managers seeking to enter new markets in developed countries. I hope the lessons presented in the volume will become a useful source for managers to reflect on how they should approach international business activities, in order to avoid common mistakes that can erode shareholder value,” he suggested.

Speakers at the launch included National Commercial Bank CEO Patrick Hylton, who commended Dr Williams on producing a book which he described as “well researched”, and which provides a thorough guideline on how businesses should operate within the international market, and the contribution which is required from the staff to ensure the company's success in that very competitive space.

Interestingly, Hylton is a former chairman of the board of the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) which was led by Dr Williams up to a few years ago, and since that period the bank has been extremely supportive of the school and its efforts to match international standards.

During Hylton's tenure as chairman, a $22-million finance lab was constructed at the MSBM, the first of its kind in the region, featuring Bloomberg data and providing students with real-time access to 50 global exchanges, as well as to the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and individual computers for access to data and analysis tool.

The bank also provided close to US$1 million to finance a programme of applied science, which focused on strategies for corporate renewal and transformation in the Caribbean region.

Other speakers at Wednesday's launch included minister of state in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green; Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips; president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica Howard Mitchell; and Professor Alvin Wint, professor emeritus of International Business at the UWI.

Williams, who has been engaged in the efforts by The UWI as part of its globalisation thrust, said that this is necessary to forge strategic partnerships with globally respected universities in order to benefit from knowledge exchange, strengthen the university's research capabilities and to offer global opportunities to its students.

Examples include a UWI-SUNY Institute partnership for Sustainable Development in New York, and a partnership with the Global Institute of Software Technology in Suzhou, China, to establish the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology.

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