Thursday, August 10, 2006

Need to do some reflection?

Marius van den Bergh — MBA ‘95 - Australia

Marius van den Bergh approached his telling us about business in Australia from a different angle, as can be expected. There are horses for courses, and people all write in their own styles. This diversity makes life interesting …

“I was educated at Grey College in Bloemfontein, obtained an MBA from the University of Pretoria in 1995, and completed a DBA at Unisa in 2002.

I spent my working career in South Africa in the pharmaceutical industry in various positions in sales, business development, marketing and strategic affairs. We immigrated to Australia in April 2001 where I joined SIRTeX Medical as Sales and Marketing Director. SIRTeX Medical is a well-funded Australian medical device company with products in oncology that are sold in Australia, the USA, Europe, India, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and New Zealand.

I was part of the senior management team that created a viable company from an IPO. SIRTeX was the second fastest growing company in Australia listed on the ASX for 2003. The primary objective was to commercialize the novel, small-particle technology for liver cancer of SIRTeX Medical Limited. My position involves brand implementation, strategic business development and the development of marketing objectives. All in all, I am responsible for the general management of the entire Australian and Asia-Pacific functions of sales, marketing, business development, technical and regulatory, with revenues in excess of A$ 18 M. SIRTeX Medical Limited also provides global marketing support services for the USA and European markets.” When asked what it is like doing business in Australia as compared to other parts of the world (concentrating specifically more on soft issues such as culture rather than facts), Marius responded as follows:

“The business culture in Australia is based on values and attitudes such as self-regard and concern for others. That is:

Employees need to be provided with the necessary support, resources and training necessary to do their work.

They need to be involved in decisions that affect their work.

They need to be empowered to do what is necessary to complete their work and meet customer expectations.

Further, the management style that appears to best suit the Australian archetype is that of a ‘Captain Coach’, someone who works with people, provides leadership from inside the group, and creates stability, rather than one that creates instability — the ‘Task Master’ — which, in my experience, has been the predominant management style used all too frequently in South Africa.

The multi-culturalism in Australia and the nature of my role have also provided me with a better understanding of the importance of cultural recognition as a very important aspect in doing business in a global economy. The term ‘diversity’ and respecting it has taken on a new meaning for me. If you want to be successful in international business, embrace the concept and structure of your planning, business strategies and products strategies accordingly.”

From a TUKS alumni site- was communicating with Rasputin’s cuzin when this caught my eye :grin:

Maybe the underlying reason for 49ZIP, and some of our other problems- lies within this - expat saffa’s view

I think this is a good description of some of the leadership probleams that seems to haunt us here is SA

I hope TG or The Brand will add thier views- a lot of others will have some well judged wisdom as well - on this issue
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