While I was working in Dubai as a regional product manager, I had to travel to all the countries in our region. One of those countries was Nepal. You can imagine the stark difference between life in Dubai and life in Nepal. Not many people from the regional office liked to go there. On my first visit I noticed two things: 1) The business was in a shambles because there were two new unions, a staff and an agent one that were stopping the business and 2) the General/Country Manager had been there 7 years and wanted to leave.
When I got back home to Dubai, I talked to my wife. Nepal was a burning building, but maybe this was my chance to become a GM, something I always wanted to be. BUT there were a ton of things to think about if I did get that job. I want you to look at these issues and give me your overview and at the end give me your recommendation on which job to pursue and why.
1) It was a mess. The two unions had effectively stopped the business. How does one navigate Unions in a country where you can't fire anyone?
2) The country was a mess. The King had just left (died) and the Maoists were trying to take over. In effect, there was no government that worked. The people were mad and when they got mad they would shut down the city with a "Bandha". This meant the whole city became a war zone for one day, and then went back to normal the next. If I took this job, should I go alone, and leave my family in Dubai, or take them with me?
3) I had never been a GM, and I really didn't know what it entailed. How would I sell this to Upper Management that I could do it?
4) The infrastructure was incredibly dangerous. Planes fell out of the sky and cars went off small roads down ravines all the time. If I got that job, do I just risk it or do I just stay in Kathmandu and manage from there?
5) I was informed that if I took the job, I would only be "Acting GM" but that my real title would be Chief Marketing Officer. They tell me that they need at least 6-12 months before they can really give me the title of GM. Do I trust them?
6) As I was thinking about all this my old boss from the Off-Shore Dollar Business called me. He told me that over the two years I had been in Dubai, the business we had set up went with RE LEE and they were making millions. They needed a Head of Sales in Hong Kong to run the business from there.
For Part 1, I want to hear your thoughts on all these topics. I will post Part 2 on Wednesday.
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