Why Mexicans Don Drink Molson Hardcover – Mar 1 2007
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It's hard not to feel pessimistic about Canada's chances of transcending perennial bridesmaid status on the world's business stage after reading Why Mexicans Don't Drink Molson. If author Andrea Mandel-Campbell is to be believed--and given her experience as a foreign correspondent for London's Financial Times, Argentina's Business Week, the Miami Herald, and the Globe & Mail--and she is--the current (soon-to-be-ex?) G8 nation is less investment powerhouse than provincial backwater.
Using illustrative examples too numerous to list (but including the titular Molson company whose colossal failure in Brazil is emblematic of Canada's larger foreign expansion problem), Mandel-Campbell describes a nation hobbled by arrogance, diffidence, xenophobia, short-sightedness, excessive government intervention, and a general lack of moxie, as well as some really appalling manners.
"In 1997, the Mexican president returned to Vancouver to attend an APEC leaders' summit, which included a dinner held in his honour with the CEOs from eighteen Asia-Pacific countries. During the dinner's opening speeches, the Canadian hosts stumbled while trying to pronounce Zedillo's name. The most embarrassing point, however, came when the head of the Vancouver Port Authority attempted to engage Mexico's minister of commerce in conversation. 'Do you own a car?' she asked, followed by: 'Do you live in an apartment?' The Westcoast Energy people were already squirming in their chairs when the head of the Port Authority managed to outdo herself. As the waiter came over to fill the water glasses, she leaned over to the Mexican minister, lightly touching his elbow, and confided, 'In our country, it's safe to drink the water.'"
Mandel-Campbell argues that the real action is unfolding in China; if Canada hopes to soar in areas of manufacturing, trade, R& D and finance, it must step outside its comfort zone, adjust its worldview and take a damn chance already or the missed opportunities will continue to mount. The author closes with examples of entrepreneurs and companies that have done just that with bona fide success while suggesting tenable ways of reversing this downward trend. Why Mexicans Don't Drink Molson isn't easy reading, but it is essential for anyone--business or lay person--unwilling to be left behind in our ever-changing world. -- Kim Hughes
About the Author
Andrea Mandel-Campbell was bureau chief for London’s Financial Times in Mexico and correspondent for Business Week magazine in Argentina. For ten years she was a foreign correspondent in Latin America. She has written extensively on global competitiveness issues, including business ties between Canada and China. She lives in Toronto.
Top Customer Reviews
Canada needs to migrate its brand aggresively from a position of abundent natural resources, low-cost manufacturing, and marketing mediocrity. Far too often our innovations are snapped up by foreign companies and their origins or connection to Canada are soon lost. We need to be known for our intellectual capital and business innovation alongside our resources and manufacturing capabilities.
The book remains relevant years after its initial publishing and should be required reading in Canadian business schools, for business leaders and managers, and for our politicians. We cannot afford to be an economy that stands for nothing.
The book is important because it compares our place in the global economy to that of other "minor" or middle-states such as Scandinavian countries like Sweden, small European countries like Switzerland or small Asian tigers like Hong Kong, Malaysia or Singapore. We are falling behind many countries around the world because we haven't adapted to the changes in the global marketplace; we don't outsource enough manufacturing to places like China, we don't even invest enough in China while all other major traders and producers are doing so. We rely on our natural resources endowment, which can't last forever, because we are being too myopic and thinking only about the short term rather than how our country can remain competitive in the long-term (e.g. think of the economic well-being of your small children and your grandchildren).
Fortunately I haven't given anything away about the book; there aren't any secrets as to what it is about.Read more ›
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Item received on-time, as described. Good vendor. Would buy again.Published 16 months ago by JV_Montreal
The book should be mandatory for every business person in Canada and, indeed, for any one in Canada concerned about the country's future. Read morePublished on Sept. 12 2009 by 2 Cents
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