August 31, 2012
Our survey of Aussie international businesswomen (which I mentioned a few weeks back), is closing at midnight tonight (August 31st).
We’ve had 370 responses thus far, but we’d love that number to be higher. If you are an Australian woman engaged in international business please complete the survey. If you know any Australian women engaged in international business please tell them about the survey. If you make cyber shouts out in the wilderness through a blog, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or any other such media, please mention this opportunity. The link is this:
Thanks hugely for your efforts.
On the ‘shouty media’ front, I now also make (much more frequent) twittery noises under the moniker of @drsamma.
July 27, 2012
I’m currently involved in a really promising Honours research project here at the University of Melbourne, and I’d love to get you involved.
Sarah Gundlach and I are surveying Aussie businesswomen on behalf of a multi-government network called Women in Global Business (they’ve grown in just over a year to more than 1000 members).
We are exploring what motivates these women to engage in international business. We ask about where they are targeting and why. We ask them to identify any barriers they have encountered to expansion and the networks they have used. We also explore aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset. It’s the first study of this scale in Australia (and one of the first in the world).
It will not only give us a sense of what Aussie businesswomen are up to, but also what could drive more international adventurousness, and how organisations like WIGB can help (via lobbying, networking, info sharing etc).
So, this is a call to any women who would like to share their views with us. Click on image below (or here) to tell us about your experience engaging in business across borders.
Please pass it on to any eligible businesswomen you know.
And there’s a chance to win a funky laptop bag for one lucky survey participant.
I’ll be reporting back on our findings towards the end of the year too.
Finally, WIGB are currently doing a roadshow of events with great speakers. Click on this pic below to see where and when (and if you’re at the Melbourne event look out for me!).
June 20, 2012
I was in the process of drafting a post about the recently announced Lion Nathan/Kirin takeover of Little World (the folks who brew Little Creatures and White Rabbit), but my little brother meet me to it. So head to his always entertaining and insightful blog and read about it: It’s a Little World after all…
… OK, now that you’re back, I would add that this was a nice “long play” by Lion Nathan/Kirin given they had a ‘blocking’ shareholding in this growing firm from the outset (20% on formation, 35% since the IPO in 2005). This meant no rival brewer (i.e. Fosters, Coca Cola Amatil or Coopers) was going to get hold of this prospect without Lion getting a ‘right of reply’.
It was a very sensible ‘option’ to have taken on what has turned out to the most successful craftbrewer in Australia in terms of growth and brand awareness (Little World pitched themselves as the 5th biggest Aussie brewer in this document).
Lion does have a history with acquisitions of microbrewers, taking over Hahn back in 1993 (see here for a decent description of that move), which has evolved into James Squire.
And, Lion Nathan failed in a bid for Coopers a few years ago.
I agree with Leon that the biggest ‘kick’ that’ll come from this acquisition will be much greater reach for Little Creatures beers. I would not be surprised to see the brand become a real challenger to Coopers in the medium-term (and wallop SAB Miller’s/Matilda Bay’s Fat Yak along the way).
And, meanwhile,the Casella/Yellowtail beer (that I mentioned back here) is finally on the shelves, and the winemakers are talking very ambitiously (their brewery reportedly has the capacity to service 7% of the Aussie market – that’s more than Coopers!).
Maybe even macro-brewing might get interesting in Australia in the coming couple of years.
May 21, 2012
Like Craig Thompson I am being hounded by the press, although in my instance it’s neither painful nor (hopefully) career-destroying.
This article has some quotes/possible insights from an interview I did today regarding international joint ventures.
May 16, 2012
I had a brief email exchange with a journalism student last week, and I thought I would share my views with you (my verrrrry patient readers).
The background is that market research had been recently released indicating 72% of Australians don’t trust Coles or Woolworths and these levels of distrust have gone up since last year.
Q. How do you think Woolworths are faring in the Retail sector/Stock market?
Me: Woolworths had been a darling of the stockmarket until quite recently. Their main rival, Coles Myer performed poorly for many years, and Woolworths was much quicker in adopting and adapting ‘best practice’ from offshore (most notably through a close alliance with Wal-Mart). Much of these practices are on the warehousing/stock management side of things. Woolworths grew faster than Coles Myer and had better margins. It made some strong moves in the non-supermarket space – with alcohol sales being particularly strong.
The split up of Coles Myer and the acquisition of the non-Department business by Wesfarmers has negatively affected Woolworths. The revamp of both the Coles supermarket business and K-Mart variety stores have put pressure on Woolworths’ (and Big W’s) margins and curbed their growth. At the same time, Woolworths has been burnt by the poor performance of the Dick Smith business, and the large investments in a rival to Wesfarmers’ Bunnings are a long way from paying off.
Q. What implications might these figures of the survey have for the company and it’s competitors?
Me: As for the distrust aspect, this is far from surprising. The supermarket sector in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world. The attempts by both Coles and Woolworths to further squeeze suppliers (as part of the drive to improve margins) have coincided with a period of perceived price inflation (although I’m not convinced the latter is actually occurring).
Consumers have apparently resigned themselves to the idea that these two duopolists are not really competing too hard. Stories of struggling suppliers seem to have fuelled this animosity.
But like the big banks, I’m not sure customer dissatisfaction will genuinely translate into consumer action. There is a strong tendency to ‘stick around’ while grumbling. Any incursion by Aldi (or to a much lesser extent Costco) is unlikely to have a big impact given the sheer weight of numbers (in terms of stores and ease of accessibility).
What do you lot think?