Developing Relationships

In the course of launching the office in Kamaria in 2008, Ajith had recruited a dedicated local management team. This team oversaw the staff of doctors and supervised all other aspects of day-to-day operations of Laurent in Kamaria. Ajith’s commitment to accountability and transparency in his organization were inspirational to his staff. Determined to fit in with his staff, Ajith began learning the Kamarian language, and only stopped conducting meetings in Kamarian when his staff expressed their desire to practice their English with him instead. He also plied his team for their expertise on a wide range of issues involving local customs and traditions, gaining insight into the tightly-knit culture of Kamaria. This expertise helped shape the vision Ajith was forming of what Laurent could offer the Kamarian consumer once the pharmaceutical registrations were approved.

At the same time, Ajith had been working closely with the French embassy in Kamaria as Laurent’s operations were ramping up. In recent discussions with embassy officials, Ajith observed that the upcoming trade negotiations were a frequent topic of speculation, with strong opinions on all sides of the debate. Some embassy officials felt that the government of Kamaria was simply too corrupt to be considered a good free trade partner. Others saw great potential in Kamaria, and supported Europe’s participation in free trade agreements with Kamaria, but worried about the weak protections in Kamaria for intellectual properly. Still others advocated for totally open trade, arguing that once Kamaria entered the global market, market forces would require the government to behave differently or risk losing their lucrative export position.

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