Being competitive in the global marketplace is virtually impossible without having partners in the countries where you want to do business, according to Seth Blumenfeld, group executive for external affairs for MCI.
Speaking at the 15th annual International Business Seminar at Utah State University, Blumenfeld said partnerships are so essential that companies are teaming up with their competitors. They cooperate in some areas and compete in others, he said.Blumenfeld said a company just can't do it on its own and used his own MCI as an example. Even though MCI is the third largest carrier in the world, the company needs partners when it goes to a foreign country, the executive said.
He outlined three different partnership arrangements his company has in three different countries. In Britain, MCI formed an alliance in which British Telecommunications bought part of MCI. In Mexico, the company entered into an agreement with a financial services company to compete against Mexico's monopoly in telecommunications. In Canada, MCI licensed computer software to a Canadian company.
To succeed, both partners must feel they need each other, said Blumenfeld.
"Pure financial involvement is not enough," he said, adding that the companies' employees must also buy into the venture.