We’re going to need a bigger boat...

August 27, 2012

People ask how I ended up in Asia building an HR/Payroll business. I'm an Army veteran from California. When I was discharged from the service 40 years ago, I never expected to leave America again. Then I did. First stop was Singapore on an HR/Payroll consulting assignment with Singapore Telecom. One project (and country) led to another. Now, over 20 years later, I’m leading HR/Payroll and business support services in a dozen countries across Asia. This place has colored my life and changed the course of my personal history, but importantly for clients, it’s opened doors to a thriving market.

What drew and kept me here requires some deep soul searching. From a business point of view, it's not that complex. What I saw in Asia was a frontier-one that was unknown and misunderstood by more “mature” countries like America and Europe-and a frontier that offered growth, opportunity and resources. Mature countries had products, services and money to expand into Asia. What they didn't have was local knowledge (from Asia business culture to employment law)-or the necessary enterprise support infrastructure.

Many brought their own business models, implementation strategies, culture, practices and customs to Asia. They sent teams of expatriates to Asia on fancy, expensive, complex missions with enormous compensation packages. They opened exclusive offices in the prime areas of central business districts. They spent a lot of money to do business the same way they did it successfully in their home country. Many companies-big and small-failed. They couldn’t compete with enterprises that were operating within the local customs, practices, culture and prices, so they inevitably folded their tents and went home, but only after suffering great financial, competitive (and individual career) losses.

The total cost of relocating an expatriate to Asia and providing a full expatriate benefit package (salary, medical, travel, housing, transportation, education, tax equalization) can cost up to five times their base salary. Expatriates are an important ingredient of expanding into Asia. They provide the leadership, knowledge and skills to optimize the potential for success. But, in order to thrive in this market, there needs to be a balance between expatriates and local staff. In 20+ years, we've helped over 120 companies successfully make the move. We understand "balance" and how to succeed in Asia

With Tiger-Consulting, your business can easily open satellite operations throughout Asia Pacific. All can be managed through one point of contact from office space and hiring to payroll and benefits. So, why go at it alone when the sharks are circling already?

Mercy Mildener
Public Relations and Marketing Consultant

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