Weekend Digest: August 24th 2018
Thu Aug 23

Weekend Digest: August 24th 2018

F.B. International’s Weekend Digest is an easy-to-read breakdown of what we’re reading and highlighting from the past week.

More from this week’s theme: Restaurant chains who go international–failures and success stories

Image from Princeton University

  • France is McDonald’s second largest market after the US. Here’s a case study that looks at their success in “the land of Michelin stars”: https://whr.tn/1hC7p3s
  • A Harvard Business Review case study examining KFC’s success in China: https://bit.ly/1zVJv8K
  • Case study: Starbucks’ failure in the Australian Market: https://bit.ly/2JQC90F and…
  • …a short video explaining Starbucks’ unexpected difficulties in Australia: https://bit.ly/2OUUXP7
  • “Italians to wake up and smell Starbucks coffee in Milan” –Executive chairman, Howard Shultz, reassured consumers that the company was coming to Italy “with humility and respect, to show what we have learned”: https://bit.ly/2IprNbA

What our team is reading this week:

Each week, the team at F.B. chooses an article to share. These are not necessarily related to international business, but are some “good-reads” we think you may enjoy.

Fabrice Bonvoisin, President

Two weeks ago, our son started his college life. Coming back to our Chicago empty nest, I was thinking “now what?” Like many parents, we went through the hurdles of college visits, career orientation, college application, orientation, course selection, food plan choice, shopping, and finally, move-in day. However, it seems to me that the clock only started to tick now.

It takes so many years to get there, but only a few days to see the first tuition bills. Then I asked myself, how do families with multiple children manage to do it? I looked for statistics surrounding this situation and what I found was not surprising but not pretty either. According to the website Student Loan Hero (www.studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics) Americans owe over $1.48 trillion! This amount of debt is bigger than the total from credit cards and would rank 14th in the 2017 World Bank list of GDP per country (www.databank.worldbank.org/…/GDP.pdf). The only thing we told our son was “because you’ll spend more time with your colleagues than with your own family, pick a career that you like. However, it has to be one that offers enough job possibilities and has enough potential to pay the bills, including student loans, and raise a family.” Trying to feel better about his choice for engineering, I looked for more data and found that between Industrial Engineering and Aerospace engineering, he’ll have a lot of career options to choose from (www.statista.com/2018/unemployment-rate-of-us-college-graduates-by-major).

Somewhat reassured, I looked at the other side of the equation: unemployment. The August 16th, 2018 report from the Department of Labor and Statistics indicates that the unemployment rate for youth between 16 and 24 is 9.2% as of July 2018 (www.bls.gov/news.release/youth). Another article from May 2018 shows that among recent associate degree recipients, 79.8% were employed in October 2017. The rate was of 77.6% for bachelor’s degree recipients, and 77.5% for advanced degree recipients (www.bls.gov/graduates_employed-in-october-2017). These numbers don’t really help me, as a parent, to imagine the potential future that our son will face in 4 years. The good news is that he won’t face the challenges I had to overcome as a legal, educated immigrant. As the Council for the Americas puts it, the U.S. labor force needs immigrants. The Council published a paper in 2013 (www.as-coa.org/five-reasons-why-us-labor-force-needs-immigrants) which was taken into account by the U.S. Senate for consideration.

After digesting all these statistics, I better understand the complaints about access to education, concerns about adequacy of education programs and job opportunities, and the real risk of not being able to get a job that brings enough to pay the bills while raising a family. Many things can happen in four years. Like most parents, I can only hope that the investment we are making in our son’s education will lead him towards a happy life.

Ruby Blau, Marketing Associate

“We are approaching the pursuit of work-life balance with the same obsessive (and oppressive) energy as we do our careers.” In recent years, “Self-care” has become the rallying cry for younger generations to focus on their mental and physical wellbeing in order to combat burnout and general stresses that come from leading a contemporary life. But has self-care become just another item on already overflowing to-do lists?

This article from Harvard Business Review examines the self-care industry and how it is affecting peoples’ mentalities.

          Article: https://hbr.org/2018/08/how-self-care-became-so-much-work?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=hbr

Balint Homonnai Varga, Assistant Project Coordinator

I have been cursed with “Walter Mitty Syndrome” since I found out that National Geographic made its own expeditions platform, where you can reserve a spot on several National Geographic trips. There are cruise expeditions, private expeditions, and more to choose from. Some of these trips have experts who accompany travelers on their journey. These experts are all National Geographic professionals: specialized in wildlife photography, geology, biology, et cetera. I have been looking at some options and day-dreaming about polar bears yawning into my camera…

Image from National Geographic

              Link: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/expeditions/

Events you may be interested in next week:

  • August 29th: Automotive Manufacturing Meetings Detroit 2018. Webinar sponsored by the U.S. Commercial Service. Speakers and topics include: S. Suresh, Board Member – Finance, Airports Authority of India, Ministry of Civil Aviation: Key airport development opportunities; Amber Dubey, Partner and Head of Aerospace & Defense, KPMG, New Delhi: Overview of the Indian aviation market; Mike Hopkins, Program Manager, International Air Traffic Control Systems, Raytheon: Best practices and doing business in India; Erick Kish, Commercial Attaché, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi: Assistance for U.S. companies in India. 9:00 – 10:15 a.m. CDT. Fee: $25. For information & registration, please see: https://bit.ly/2w7w38f
  • August 30th: PROMOTE 2019 [Cameroon]. Direct Line webinar sponsored by the Bureau of Economic & Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State. Peter Barlerin, U.S. Ambassador to Cameroon, hosts a discussion about PROMOTE 2019, the largest trade show in Central Africa, bringing together over 1,400 exhibitors from industries including IT, automobiles, solar energy, construction equipment, medical equipment and services, trade consultancies, real estate, and more. 11:00 a.m. CDT. No charge; advance registration required. For information & registration, please see: https://bit.ly/2P1We71
  • August 30th: Doing Business in Argentina. Webinar, sponsored by the U.S. Commercial Service, will provide an overview of current business opportunities in Argentina, as well as export financing options for exporting to Latin America generally. 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. CDT. Fee: $35. For information & registration, please see: https://bit.ly/2MMzIln

Next week’s theme: Food & Beverage Products and “terroir”–a legal link between taste and place


Next week we’ll be discussing food and beverage products and their legally recognized links to soil, culture, tradition, and taste. What effect does this sort of recognition have on international marketing and sales? Make sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to see these posts.

Author: Ruby Blau

Ruby is the Marketing Associate for FB International LLC. Ruby focuses on supporting the marketing, social media, and business development efforts of FB International’s clients.

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