Category Archives: Business

Où est la Thatcher française?

This article speaks volumes about the French government’s understanding of global business practices: French President Francois Hollande has met the boss of General Electric’s (GE) to discuss his firm’s interest in buying part of engineering firm Alstom. It follows reports … Continue reading

Posted in Business, France, Politics | 7 Comments

Managing Contractors in the Oil Industry – Part 2

Part 2 – Respect your contractor’s technical knowledge. There are two reasons why oil companies subcontract work. The first is when you know how to do a job, but you don’t have the manpower to carry it out.  For instance, … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Oil & Gas | 3 Comments

Managing Contractors in the Oil Industry – Part 1

One of the main tasks in my current position is to manage contractors, i.e. companies to whom we are outsourcing work, on behalf of my employer, a major oil company.  In fact, this is pretty much the main role for … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Oil & Gas | 7 Comments

Why Some Countries are Poor

“Why do some places prosper and thrive while others just suck?”, asks P.J. O’Rourke at the start of Eat the Rich, “It’s not a matter of brains.  No part of the earth (with the possible exception of Brentwood) is dumber … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Economics, Nigeria, Russia | 15 Comments

Nokia’s Demise Unsurprising

There has been a fair bit in the news lately of Nokia’s troubles, and the likelihood of the company having to lay off several thousand people as they try to arrest what looks to be a terminal decline.  Whereas folk … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Customer Service | 8 Comments

Great British Retail

First shop, advertising itself as a “diamond and watch specialist”: Me: “Can you stick a new battery in this watch (an ordinary Seiko) and replace the seal?” Assistant: “No, we’d have to send it away for 6-8 weeks.  We don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Business, UK | 4 Comments

Buying Airline Tickets in Russia

In February 2011 some changes were made to how you can book tickets on Thai Airways from Moscow.  The website on which the new rules are described speaks volumes about how business is conducted in Russia. Please be informed that … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Russia | 2 Comments

Murdoch: Not Actually Stalin

Amongst all the speculation as to why Rupert Murdoch has not fired Rebekah Brooks, the chief editor of what was the News of the World, there doesn’t appear to be the most reasonable explanation: he considers her a valuable employee and … Continue reading

Posted in Business | 1 Comment

Doing Business in Russia – Part 5

If you want to set yourself up as a company in Russia providing, amongst other things, scaffolding services (for construction, not public executions) then you need a license.  This seems reasonable enough, as badly assembled scaffolding can be pretty dangerous.  … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Russia | 3 Comments

Doing Business in Russia – Part 4

I was first exposed to common business practices when I worked in Dubai.  How to generate a budget, business development, financial reporting, all the usual stuff.  Included in this was the contents of a contract, and I realised that this … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Russia | 8 Comments