One of the biggest challenges of living in a foreign country is meeting new friends and belonging to a new community. Developing acquaintances through work, school or social clubs could be a good way, but you need to have some common ground like playing the same sport, having young kids or having similar experiences in different cultures… People tend to socialize with people from similar backgrounds or interests because they would like to understand each other without extra effort and enjoy each other's company. There is a global organization dedicated to serving as a bridge among expatriates from different nations called InterNations.
Business in Turkey
Mother India… Land of rich history, heated politics and rising giant IT corporations but also home of vivid colors and spices, warmhearted people and incredible monuments and landscapes…
India is a huge land of controversy: It is one of those places in the world where you can see the most exquisite pieces of diamonds, emeralds, and rubies adorning the forehead of a gorgeous Indian lady and the poorest child you could imagine walking bare feet begging just a few feet apart from each other. It is the place of incents, milk and arali, vilvam or lotus flowers dedicated to Gods and Goddesses with morning and evening rituals. It is the birthplace of Bollywood movies, which make viewers laugh and cry with funny dances, social burdens, innocent dialogues and colorful saris.
Do you know any woman who is content with her weight? One that would try on jeans, look in the mirror and not think that she would look much better if she loses one or two kilos? Being one of these women, I always try to control my appetite, eat less and choose healthy food. It is easier to manage having smaller size healthy meals at home since I am the one buying and preparing the food. But, when I was working at the office, it was tough to find healthy alternatives for lunch and even dinner as it takes an extra effort to plan and cook after work. I am sure city women with hectic work schedule would agree that sometimes it is even hard to spend half an hour for a proper meal between two meetings. No need to say most of the time we find ourselves starving or eating at McDonalds just to be stuffed. What if there is a service that provides a well-balanced meal 5 times a day including snacks? Plus, what if these meals come to your door on the time you indicated? Wouldn't this be a fantastic solution for your nutrition needs? Imagine there is someone cooking delicious calorie-balanced meals with great variety.
The modern time innovations have been dominated by the US and Europe where giant companies allocate large sums of investments for research and development to create new technology. Plus, these companies spend huge marketing budgets to promote this new technology and raise awareness on its unique advantages among businesses and individual customers. Today, companies don't have such large funds that they can generously allocate for R&D or marketing. They have to be innovative within a budget. Instead of developing sophisticated features for new products or creating brand new technologies, they need to listen to their customers carefully to evaluate both praises and complaints, watch the customers' spending behaviors and try to see what the customers are really looking for...
Three fundamental concepts are crucial to do business with Chinese businessmen. The first concept Guanxi, which means relationship in Chinese can be defined as developing close ties with business partners whom you respect and trust. These mutually beneficial relationships don't happen over night but takes time and effort to develop. On daily business activities, guanxi could also mean referring your Chinese business partner to other businesses as a trusted partner and getting him to establish new contacts. The Chinese business community engages in business with close partners only. The second concept is Mianzi, which means face in Chinese. In this case, "face" refers to how one is regarded in the world. Mianzi is lost when one is criticized or insulted in public; it is gained when one is praised or thanked for good work done. Losing face is the worst nightmare for a Chinese person. They cannot even tolerate lighthearted jokes in public. The final concept is Renching also related to face. It means to bestow an honor or a favor on someone, as an expression of respect. There is no need for immediate reciprocity, however, if a Chinese is bestowed such honor, he will try to find appropriate ways to return the favor.
As we approach the new year, there is a festive mood everywhere. Especially those of you who work closely with the Western world can tell the Christmas holiday is already here. Celebrating holidays is much fun with the family and loved ones in the company of delicious food, good wine and champagne. Residing in Singapore and being surrounded by Western expatriates, I am planning on enjoying this time of the year with some good wine and friends.
When we think of a religious holiday Kurban Bayramı or Eid, we think of vacationing in the South of Turkey or cultural sightseeing tours in Çanakkale, Pamukkale, Cappadocia, Mardin and many other destinations. Tourism blossoms with local tourists when the religious holiday is more than 4 days, as more people hit the roads to enjoy relaxing, exploring different places and tasting different food. This holiday has been great especially for hotels in Cappadocia with 100% occupancy. Tourists from big cities like Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir preferred culture tours and seashore destinations. Thanks to the warm weather, many tourists chose Antalya, Marmaris and Çanakkale. Religious and national holidays are great for a quick boost for businesses in tourism; however, long term strategies in the global platform are very important for sustainable growth in the sector.
Turkey is an unsaturated market for non-profit organizations and grassroots activities. Since much development is needed in fighting poverty, empowering women, and preserving the environment, the small number of non-profit organizations is increasing incrementally. One of the international movements on the rise in Turkey is former US Vice President Al Gore's worldwide grassroots movement, The Climate Project (TCP). Mr. Gore founded TCP in order to raise public awareness of the climate change in June 2006. He structured the organization with a limited number of professional staff in Nashville, Tennessee and with thousands of volunteers around the world, who are committed advocates of fighting climate change and establishing a low carbon economy on a global level. Mr. Gore personally trains TCP volunteers with a version of the slide show featured in the Oscar winning movie 'An Inconvenient Truth.'