An Anecdote about Doing Business in Asia
People often ask what I think the biggest differences are doing biz in US, China, and Japan. Here is how I can answer.
A man walks into an American convenient store and asks for a Pepsi (Note: I prefer Pepsi over Coke so I’m using Pepsi in this example.) The clerk says sorry we only have Coke.
A man walks into a Japanese convenient store and asks for a Pepsi. The clerk says sorry we only have Coke but my friend next door has Pepsi. Please tell him I referred you, we have a good relationship.
A man walks into a Korean convenient store and asks for Pepsi. The store owner tries to convince the customer to buy a Coke but when he does not succeed, he calls his friend who brings him a Pepsi, and sells it to the customer. The two split the profit.
A man walks into a Chinese convenient store and asks for Bai-Shi Kele (Pepsi). The store owner tells the customer to wait a minute. He then walks out the back door, over to his friend’s place next door and buys a Pepsi from him. He then comes back and sells the Pepsi to the customer for a 100% markup and tells him its the only place in town.