In my last post, I shared my experience of pouring hundreds of cans of beer down the drain in Vietnam due the high level of care Heineken take to ensure that every can of their lager meets their strict quality standards.
I mentioned several more of my favourite brands that, presumably, are managed in the same way: Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, Weetabix, Marmite, Heinz Baked Beans, Guinness, Laphroaig.
I am sure you have your favourites too.
Brands like this are known in the trade as Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) – and the CV of anyone who is anyone in marketing is strengthened by FMCG experience. Read More
An abiding memory of my career is sitting on a pavement in Saigon pouring hundreds of cans of lager down the drain.
As an expert in the potential of the Vietnam market, having been there once before, I was with a regional director of Heineken. He carried a widget on his key ring by which he could identify the origins of every single can of his beer, including full details of when and where it had been brewed.
Yet, even if the beer was only marginally out of date, we bought it from the shops at full price and into the gutter it went. Read More
Here we are again.
Great Britain, I can report, has descended to the yaboo politics of yesteryear. Inept career politicians, none of whom have ever managed a business, biff-baff each other with naïve and unrealistic ‘policies’ to the detriment of us all – especially the old and needy.
Biff. Last week the Conservative-led Coalition government privatised the Royal Mail, a move which runs the risk of devastating rural communities and which, with a bit of forethought, was completely unnecessary.
The Rt Hon Theresa May, Secretary of State for the Home Office has announced that she wishes to create a ‘hostile environment‘ for illegal migrants to Britain. But early attempts to do this run the risk of alienating those of us who have every right to be here.
In July, the Home Office, led by Ms May, launched an advertising campaign against illegal immigrants to the UK. The chosen message was as follows: Read More
These days, television programmes come round and round like race cars on a track. Gone are the days when, if you missed them, you missed them. And you can pause and rewind programmes too which means, if anyone says anything sensible, you can think about and transcribe what has been said.
This week, I have done this with an interesting interview with Max Mosley on Sky’s F1 channel.
You may not know Max Mosley but he has long interested me. I described my meeting his half brother Nicholas Mosley last year but have never met Max Mosley. Having said that, I feel I have known him since the mid 1970s – not least as the constructor of the car that Vittorio Brambilla crashed at the end of the Austrian Grand Prix which I attended in 1976 and described in my last post. Read More
Twice in the last week, I have watched Rush the new film about Niki Lauda and James Hunt.
James was the first ‘celebrity’ I ever met. As a schoolboy in the 1970s, not only did I meet him – but he drove me in his car!
Well, not his car but, thankfully, a hire car.
In the passenger seat was another Grand Prix driver called Jody Scheckter. I was in the back with one of James’s younger brothers, a close friend of mine at school.
This was after a Grand Prix at the Nürburgring in Germany when, after the race, we needed to get to a train station. James said he was going our way and would give us a lift.
And, boy, what a lift it was! Read More
In life there comes a time when, like me, you’ve had more than you’ve got left.
When this happens, you can look back at decisions you – and your contemporaries – have got right (and, I’m afraid, wrong).
In my experience, you have only three decisions that are really important: Read More
Good luck to students who receive their A Level results today. If you have achieved your aims, good on you. If not, please do not despair. The longer you live, the less important they will be.
Take it from me, the exam results you achieve at school are no criteria for a successful career.
When I achieved a level of management where people began to ask me for careers advice or – far harder – to review or appraise my colleagues’ performance, I wanted to recommend books to help them improve themselves and their prospects. After all, what is the point of criticising anyone without offering guidance on how to progress? And what better guidance than a book?
This was when I became aware of how little my A Levels, had prepared me for management or, for that matter, a life in business at all. Read More
And so, as we enjoy our short, hot summer, a new generation of university graduates return their rented gowns and mortar boards and head off into the big, wide world.
The lucky ones know what they want to do and are taking the first steps to fulfilling their dream of becoming a doctor or a lawyer or, God forbid, a banker.
Some will seek to monetise their talent in the arts by maximising the life-changing royalties their talent can bring. Others will have a sporting ambitions and dreams of glory, perhaps, in the Olympics in Rio in 2016.
Some won’t have a clue what they want to do. Read More
Recently, I was invited to meet a television production company at well-known studios just outside London. Having supplied its colour, make and registration number in advance, I was directed to park my car just outside the studios.
After the meeting, I began to take my leave and was asked to wait for ‘security’.
Wondering what this meant, I shut down my tablet and packed my bag. Then, much to my surprise, a big burly man in a black uniform entered the room and, holding it open, stood by the door. Read More