Business Environment in Challenging Times: a Note

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BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT IN CHALLENGING TIMES: A NOTE

Naseer Khan; PhD
Associate Professor of Management, Al Ghurair University, Dubai, UAE naseerkhan@agu.ac.ae ; Phone: +971507783383
&
Gouher Ahmed; PhD, PMP
Associate Professor of International Management and Strategy, Al Ghurair University, Dubai, UAE International Management Consultant, North America, Middle East and India Email: gouher@usa.net; gouher@agu.ac.ae ; Phone: +971508367165 &

Rashid Rahman; PhD
Associate Professor of Management, Al Ghurair University, Dubai, UAE rehman@agu.ac.ae ; Phone: +971505107203

Introduction
It is needless to say that the International Business Environment (IBE) is the environment or broad conditions in which businesses are held across the world, by and large . Again, it is needless to say that the present world is given to growth and development, which flows from business enterprises of all sorts- agricultural, industrial, service, etc. For instance, India’s economic policy is focused on a 9-10 per cent rate of economic growth for a generation and more, following perhaps the example of China which is dominating the business world or world exports, for not only extinguishing the age-old mass poverty but also to take the country to the ranks of developed countries. The 9% rate of growth is the for-ever refrain of the UPA government, particularly its economist prime minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, an economist of world-standing. The second UPA government- UPA-11 (2009-14) has got more strident about growth, as the be-all and end-all of the Indian economy and its business sector. It doesn’t seem to matter even if an economy is over-heated in the process of a high growth drive, and the environmental and human or real costs prove to be quite high, and almost prohibitive. There doesn’t seem to be high growth without certain or a fair amount of human suffering and environmental damages; a certain ‘trade-off’ between the three-some. The world, at large, is on a high growth mission, agenda, so much so that GDP estimates and business results are done on ‘Q’ or Quarterly basis, and it is well-known that if GDP shrinks for 2-3 Qs, consecutively, it is ringing of the bells of recession.

Incidentally, the world today, since the fall of the US business giant of the 19th to 21st centuries standing Lehman Bros in August (15) 2008, is amidst a Great Recession (GR), a lower version of the Great Depression of 1929-33 , all said to be due to corporate greed and ‘perverse’ incentives of fees, pay, bonuses, perks, jets, mansions, and what not. That is, all is not well in the IBE, marked by a breakdown of big business leadership and corporate management . In the meanwhile, how is the IBE, internal and external or domestic and foreign business, on high growth mission and what is its theory? The IBE needs to be laid bare for whatever it is worth.

So, in a world given to Growth and Growth, the pace of which appears to be set by China with a 10+% rate of growth since the country opened to capitalism in 1979 , how is the International Business Environment? Competition

‘Competition’ and ‘competitiveness’ appear to best describe and portray the today’s global business situation . It applies well to businesses, as well as Nations , as well brought out by Porter. The heralders of this international business era are President Ronald Regan in the United States of America, Prime Minister Margret Thatcher, the ‘iron lady’, in the United Kingdom, the ‘little great leader’ in the people’s Republic of China, and, not the least in our Mother-land India, the Rao-Singh duo, i.e., the Prime Minister Sri P. V. Narasimha Rao and the then Finance Minister and the present Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh-a strange combination of outstanding statesmen in their own right. The result of this new business environment in India, imbibed from abroad including the original or founding ASEAN nations of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand , is a New...
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