Day 10 – Deloitte & the Global Village

January 18th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Today, we breathed. Having no obligations until 1 p.m. allowed us to ease our way into a riverside breakfast and enjoy the garden pool for the better half of the morning. Sounds like an extinguishing schedule, doesn’t it? The peak of the afternoon sun led us outwards from the Royal Orchid to visit Deloitte Consulting in Bangkok.

We were welcomed by fellow American and UVA alumni, Nelson Nones. Mr. Nones joked about the in-room rivalry between UMD and UVA, and consequently began an interactive discussion on business in Thailand and business with Deloitte. A list of questions from none other than the present UMD students quickly outlined the topic flow; a bright, easily implemented strategy for leading an educational session. Questions ranged from the topic of tax and government to overseas living and the impact on one’s self while abroad. In a room of 23 people, we must have had over 60 questions because of all the inquiry tributaries that took form off of each subject.

So, here’s the highlighted version of Thailand from an economical forefront. Using the PPP (purchase price parity) Mr. Nones broke down the South East Asia competitors into similar, territorial measures; i.e. comparing Thailand with China’s provinces, rather than the whole. The result? Thailand has a median GDP output on this basis. Currently exporting to the U.S., Japan, China and Singapore as their top four locations; Thailand ships out textiles, fishery products, rice and rubber and automobiles as their main exports. Here’s where one of those educational tributaries comes in: the physical location and shape of Thailand makes it difficult to ship to and fro, therefore having Laem Chabang port represent only half a percent of the South East Asian port flow. In order to conquer this roadblock, there is speculation that Thailand will implement an East-West highway with Vietnam or even dig a canal at the skinniest section of the country to really beat out the competition. Of course, there is always the option of settling for what already is, but in a country that has the highest entrepreneurial rate in the world (that’s right, America), settling doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon. Thailand also has the 14th busiest airport in the world, comparable to the George W. Bush Airport in Texas. It seems Thailand has a couple of ways to say size doesn’t matter.

On the matter of Deloitte, itself, Mr. Nones let us know that consulting in Thailand versus consulting in America was exactly the same; a surprise for most of us. Sure, he mentioned, there are the risks involved in government and people (i.e. the P.A.D. overtaking of the airport last year, but hey, my airport is Newark). Tax laws vary for individual businesses, and the RD (our IRS counterparts) audits and searches for a chop and signature on every single tax invoice. Mostly, though, the struggle abroad is a struggle within, if you let it be. In his creative illustration of the three tiers of cultural differences, Mr. Nones finished with a reiteration that all people truly are the same, no matter where you go or where you work.

“If you are willing to see and accept that belief,” Mr. Nones explained, “you have joined the global village.”