This was a week of bureaucracy. Whilst easter was at the start of the week and that was fun, what I was singly focussed on was obtaining an Indian Visa in the time I had in Melbourne. India has a beautiful system that negates anything being simple. For example, I needed to have a letter from my employer (me) on my company letterhead (don’t use one) telling the Visa people why I am going to India. Solution – make up a letterhead – write a letter from me about me – print it and sign it and hand it in.
Part of this tour has obviously been flights venues and hotels, plus collecting and distributing money from the tour to the various affiliates and suppliers. In Africa for example no one uses paypal, so people like to phone to book. In India people prefer another system all together. In africa the way we collect payments elsewhere is essentially not strictly legal under the South African banking act, written after WW2. So everything has to be changed to accommodate certain markets and idiosyncrasies from those markets.
So here is a tip:
If you want to trade internationally you need to be ready to alter your system for whichever market you move into and your system needs to be flexible to adapt to local conditions. In addition you need to adapt your marketing to local conditions and even markets within markets.
Doing business means coping with bureaucracy and flowing with it’s marvelous challenges and often stupid unsimple ways.
- Having time with sold of my old school buddies in Melbourne
- Lunching at a fabulous all Vegetarian restaurant called Enlightened Cuisine
- Having meetings with India, South Africa, UK all from the couch at my friends place
- Spending 2 hours at the Indian Embassy explaining that I don’t live in Australia but need an Indian Visa
- Waiting patiently for my new phone to find DHL delivered to the wrong address
- Getting food poisoning from a crappy meal at a pub, because the place we really wanted to go wasn’t open for lunch