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Wal-Mart Asia CEO Examines Challenges of International Business with Students

October 05, 2012
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   Scott Price
Scott Price (left), president and CEO of Wal-Mart Asia, emphasized to students the importance of business customs abroad and learning about the psychology aspect of business.

Scott Price, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Asia, joined School of Business students at a luncheon on Oct. 5 to discuss the challenges international business poses.

Price, who has a daughter who attends the University of Miami, has been the CEO of the division of Wal-Mart since 2009, but it was not his introduction to international business. Prior to Wal-Mart, Price served as CEO of DHL Express Europe and spent a decade with Coca-Cola Co.

 “It is an interesting new day when it comes to international business compared to where I was 10 years ago,” said Price.

Price attributes this to the changing role of technology and hiring markets, especially in China.

“There are not many Chinese who speak English who have experience running multi-billion dollar businesses,” said Price. “The ones who do, want to work for state-owned companies.”

Instead, Price says they tend to focus on the transfer of knowledge and skills when hiring new employees. As CEO, he is responsible for over 150,000 associates.

“Trying to get every single one of them to show up and do what they’re supposed to do is really, really hard,” said Price.

Price emphasized to students the importance of learning the psychology aspect of business while in school.

“You can have the technical knowledge but if no one is paying attention to what you’re saying, it doesn't matter how smart you are,” he said.

When in comes to international business, familiarity with the different customs overseas is also key, says Price.

“The rule of women in business is widely different around the world,” said Price. “In India, women are not allowed to work after 8 p.m. When we would do voice calls after that time, people would ask, “Don't you have any women who work for you?’”

Price opened up the luncheon to questions from students and gave them the opportunity to meet with him after. Among the questions asked was, “How do you balance it all?”

 “In terms of work, life and business, it’s really hard,” said Price. “I’ve moved 9 times. Frankly, it would have never ever worked if I didn’t have the support of my wife.”

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