Why you and your Ukrainian wife must be compatible while dealing with conflicts

Ukrainian brides

Indeed, at the end of the day, managing a marriage is similar to managing a business because both are about building and maintaining relationships with real people. My wife is a lady from Ukraine. She is my best friend and my assistant at work. We have discussed everything – from business to love – hopefully you will learn a thing or two from what I’m going to share below.

Conflicts in business VS conflicts in marriage

Truthfully, nobody can avoid conflicts. I would argue that conflicts are inevitable in business, love and life. Take the case below as an example:

I run a tech company, so I observe a lot in this industry. Currently, the primary goal is to minimize the impact from Sino-American trade war. This is appropriate because Foxconn can move its factories to other locations such as India, Southeast Asia, Latin America or Africa where tariffs might be low and the labor cost is low as well. In the second place, Foxconn would be well-advised to develop a long-term business strategy, thereby minimizing the dependence on other countries in terms of manufacture and development. Lastly, Foxconn can venture into total Technological Manufacturing (TECH-MAN) entity in the next few years.

My insight: If something doesn’t work in a marriage, double down on what’s actually working! That’s what my Ukrainian bride and I do all the time.

Because there is no huge influence on Taiwan yet, Foxconn can wait for the US president election next year. Also, President Trump has recently announced the end of the trade war (ABC 2019). Nonetheless, several recommendations still need to be considered in the long run: Foxconn may relocate its factories to countries where lower labor costs are available (e.g. India, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa); Foxconn can invest in Technological Manufacturing (Tech-Man)/automation – this can be achieved through in-house manufacturing – in this way, labor costs will be reduced a lot and high standards can be maintained at the same time.

Evaluate different options in terms of improving the quality of a business / a relationship with a Ukrainian lady.

First and foremost, when a new location is considered, production should be concentrated in locations where fixed costs are substantial, minimum efficient scale of production is high and flexible manufacturing technologies are available.

Speaking of countries in Africa, there are two major advantages. The first advantage is the availability of labor; the second advantage is the availability of raw materials and land. However, there are many more disadvantages in African countries: corruption is very serious – Hill and Hult (2017) state that many African countries are the most corrupt regions in the world; political instability is present in Africa; terror attacks in some African countries are quite frequent. Since its disadvantages outweigh its advantages, Africa is not a feasible option in this case.

As to Latin America, there are three obvious advantages: rich natural resources can be accessed easily; low entry barrier makes everything handy; low labor costs can bring more profit to Foxconn. Yet its disadvantages cannot be ignored. To begin with, lack of infrastructure in Latin American countries means building factories there is difficult. Next, serious corruption and bribery will make running a healthy and sustainable business almost impossible. Hill and Hult (2017) suggest that a lot of Latin American countries are much more corrupt than Asian countries. Then, lack of materials will impede the progress of a business. Furthermore, language barrier is an issue – most workers in Latin American countries do not speak English or Chinese at all (ICEF Monitor 2015). In addition, there are a wide variety of cultural conflicts in Latin America as well because many aspects of Latin American culture and the Taiwanese culture are incompatible – these will not help Foxconn’s future business ([email protected] 2005). As there are many more disadvantages than advantages in Latin America, this location not ideal.

It seems that other countries in Asia should be more suitable. To start with, most Southeast Asian countries are close to Taiwan; thus, the geographical advantage is big. Further, the majority of Southeast Asian countries share a similar cultural background with Taiwan; hence, this should make communication easier. Additionally, cheap labour in other Southeast Asian countries can benefit Foxconn financially. Last but not least, policies from Southeast Asian countries are relatively beneficial. Nevertheless, this region has two main disadvantages, i.e. lack of Free Trade Agreements and political/cultural issues (Shan 2019).

That being said, Southeast Asia is still an advantageous location because of its easy access to other resources from China (Sourcify 2019). Due to the cultural similarity, easy skill transfer can be achieved in this region as well. In the meantime, Taiwan has introduced a new southbound policy which encourages economic and trade collaboration with other countries in Southeast Asia. For instance, investment subsidy is available; resource sharing is encouraged, talent exchange is characterized by a large number of internship opportunities so as to strengthen regional connectivity.

Having said that, some key challenges in Southeast Asia cannot be neglected. There are various political and cultural issues in this region as well. Potential conflicts in this region include active terrorism in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines (World Bank 2019). Constant ethnic conflicts are happening in Malaysia and Indonesia. Furthermore, separation, trans-national issues and interstate disputes are commonplace in this region, too. All of these factors make Southeast Asia less stable than China (Trading Economics 2019).

Be creative (and do things with a Ukrainian woman differently).

When it comes to moving production from China to India, Foxconn must look at the unfair advantage offered by India. It is obvious that India is the world’s fastest growing smartphone market already which supports the Indian government’s policy “Make in India” – this movement covers 25 sectors of the Indian economy. This policy was launched by the Indian government in September 2014 in order to encourage companies to manufacture their products in India and enthuse with dedicated investments into manufacturing in India. After the launch of this policy, India gave investment commitments worth $240 billion and investment inquiries worth of $22 billion between 2014 and 2016. Hence, India has already become the top destination for Foreign Direct Investment, surpassing China and the United States in 2015 (with $60.1 billion Foreign Direct Investment). Hill and Hult (2017) point out that Foreign Direct Investment can immediately bring jobs to a host country. Since India has a big population, many more Indian citizens will have jobs because of the increasing Foreign Direct Investment. Thus, the Indian government is very likely to encourage Foreign Direct Investment by introducing more policies that allow foreign companies to benefit from investing in India. More exactly, with the demand for electronic hardware expected to rise to $400 billion by 2020, India has the potential to become an electronic manufacturing center. As a matter of fact, Foxconn has already invested $5 billion during five years in development and research and hi-tech semiconductor manufacturing facilities in India. It is said that this policy will expand India’s $25 billion smartphone manufacturing to $400 billion in 2024. Another important benefit in India is its low cost of labor: the average Indian worker’s wage is 50% lower than the average Chinese worker’s wage (Trading Economics 2019).

My understanding: When I don’t have time for a date night per week, I literally have a date holiday per quarter with my Ukrainian lady. The ability to adjust what I do and be well-calibrated is so key!

“Being happily married to a Ukrainian wife is a skill.”

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