These are the top five highlights of the year, from my perspective:
- Karvy Data Management Services: We positioned an emerging leader in India’s Information and Communications Technology sector for success in entering Afghanistan through business development, strategic planning, and matchmaking services. Read the case study.
I really enjoyed managing a team of senior-level experts to deliver this engagement. Between this and managing our internship program, I learned that I love the challenge of managing others in cross-border engagements.
- Uzbekistan: On the invitation and full sponsorship of the Uzbek government, I traveled to Tashkent to contribute to the International Conference on Implementing the Food Program, which was opened with a keynote from President Islam Karimov. I met with top-level Uzbek officials and business leaders, and spoke with the press about the importance of food security investment. I was invited to submit a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade on increasing international collaboration and foreign direct investment to improve Uzbekistan’s food security. Read the press release.
I had wanted to travel to Uzbekistan since my childhood. What an honor to finally do so in auspicious circumstances as representative of my own company.
- Pure Inventions: We achieved serious results in establishing a luxury distribution channel in the Middle East for this boutique company with a high-end product. We did this through providing them with representative-style consulting services. Check out the case study.
I personally enjoyed shopping for new clothes so that I could show up more stylishly, and less corporate-looking, to the luxury spas and resorts that we visited on behalf of Pure Inventions.
- Internship Program: In 2014 we started an internship program, providing students with invaluable emerging markets business experience. Through this program, we hope to instill a passion and encourage talent for emerging markets business in the younger generations. So far we have had three interns from the nation’s top business schools. You can read more about this experience both from my perspective and from the perspective of an intern.
While all three interns were excellent, I really enjoyed working with interns from the Wharton School, since that is where I myself studied business. It felt really good to work with students whose shoes I was in a decade ago, and to share with them some of my experiences.
- Social Media: We established social media accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. We initially created these because many of our clients are consumer-focused and very active on social media. We wanted to be able to relate to these clients better. The benefits we have gained go far beyond this, and we have become quite passionate about our social media activities.
I have actually met some of our followers in person, and discussed various business opportunities with them. Originally, I was not interested in social media because I felt that emerging markets business needed to be done in person. I failed to realize that social media could be a conduit for getting to know people that I may want to do business with, before finally meeting them in person.
These are five of my goals for SH International in 2015:
- Sharing our ideas: We want to share our knowledge and ideas more extensively. We need a plan for contributing in a more regimented manner to emerging markets thought leadership beyond our monthly briefing and social media accounts.
- Executive Coaching: We have started to build up our Executive Coaching Program, and have lined up a couple of clients for 2015 already. This program will be a cornerstone of our service offerings. We are particularly proud to offer this to our clients who prefer a "Do-it-Yourself" approach to their emerging markets business issues.
- Emerging Markets Clientele: We have dedicated our business to helping US companies expand into emerging markets. However, we have seen a strong demand for our services from emerging markets clients, and we would like to consider how to best serve this demand while not taking the focus off of our US clients.
- Profitability: I plan for SH International to have average quarterly revenues in 2015 of double 2014 Q4 revenues. We will do this by first asking ourselves how we can provide more value to our clients, and then by letting revenues follow.
- Giving Initiatives: We want to have a more solid giving plan. While one of our founding goals was to contribute a percentage of our revenues to the needs of society, and we have done so thus far, we do not have enough clarity around this vision. In this coming year, this will become more important as we expect our revenues, and corresponding giving initiatives, to increase dramatically.
The power of making goals is revolutionary. What are some of your business goals for 2015?
Happy New Year!