Reviews – East Meets West – by Christopher M. Schroeder

Professor Melodena Balakrishnan has written and edited a must-read analysis on the central and rapidly evolving opportunities for doing business in the Middle East. “East Meets West,” commissioned by the non-profit Academy of International Business — Middle East North Africa Chapter, was written by some of the leading global thinkers on emerging growth markets. It is the most thorough, comprehensive and provocative collection of business case studies and study guides for the rise in entrepreneurship in the region and how companies manage growth; new opportunities for enterprises accessing enhanced research on the region and unique marketing sensitivities; and how to balance cross cultural currents in business-to-business expansion.

With painstaking research, it is the first detailed telling of the rise of the logistics juggernaut, Aramex, and how its economic success has been combined with path-breaking initiatives in culture building, innovation, corporate responsibility. How can GE best introduce the importance of breast cancer awareness and screening in Saudi Arabia? How should Kentucky Fried Chicken load balance the demands of consumers in Mecca? What unique packaging designs can impact sales of Pepsi country by country? Can a high-end food services group from Germany compete with low-cost competitors in region? Through these remarkable and fascinating stories, data and insight, Balakrishnan and her team answer the most central question of all: MENA is open for business in new and exciting ways, with incomparable market opportunities for those who understand it, and want to genuinely embrace being of the wonderful cultures and societies.

Christopher M. Schroeder, US-based internet entrepreneur and venture investor, author of Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East ( out end of summer 2013.