Guest post by Sara Haq

It is impossible to know everything about emerging markets business. Even if one could know all of the pertinent information at any given moment in time, emerging markets are by definition undergoing incredible amounts of rapid change. Knowledge quickly ages, and it is critical to continually renew one’s understanding. This is one reason why getting on the ground is so critical to understanding the pulse of emerging markets business.

Humility is critical. As soon as you think you know all of the answers, you stop asking questions. That is when you are the most vulnerable to costly errors in judgement.

When we provide trainings in multinational and emerging markets business, we endeavor to teach a certain mentality and lens that will lead to emerging markets business success. The actual answers will change according to the country environment, current state of affairs, and other factors specific to the situation at hand.

This lens is fundamentally defined by a weaker rule of law, and the corresponding heightened importance of relationships. There is a related body of knowledge that is critical to understanding how to do business in any emerging market. This lens changes the way one negotiates, leads, manages risk, and achieves results.

Once you learn this way of thinking, you can more quickly and adeptly calibrate to any emerging market. You will have a compass for engaging in productive and profitable business and negotiations, whether in Brazil, India, Vietnam or Liberia.

Sara Haq is Principal and Founder of SH International LLC, which helps entrepreneurs build and scale multinational businesses. For more information go to