Experience shows that conducting business in Asia can lead to a mine field of corporate ethics, best practice and governance issues. Established local marketing practices in countries such as Indonesia can appear extreme from a Western perspective. Solving these dilemmas takes calmness and multi-country experience to ensure the right perspective and definable actions are clearly thought through. This leads to defining the right time frame required to rectify behaviors and implement the appropriate best practices and corporate governance.
A few basic tips:
1. Senior Executives who have worked in a given market all their lives have a more tolerant attitude to ethics that internationally experienced professionals.
2. Relationship selling practices which have previously been over relied upon need to change gradually unless significant risk to business performance is mandated.
3. A risk assessment is required within both a local market and international perspective when deciding how fast to take action.
4. Dialogue with physicians and pharmacists (who often request these services) from all levels of management allows a smooth transition.
5. Setting a clear timetable to eradicate some practices and alter others pays dividends – whilst carefully tracking the impact.