Episode 53: “Global Networking”

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In this episode, Dr. Misner calls in from Toronto to talk about Global Networking with Niri S. Patel from Yorkshire and Robert French from Korea.

So why would people want to network internationally?

  1. To be really successful, you have to find a trend and work your way into it. The trend now is toward social networking and high-touch
  2. The center of gravity of the global economy is shifting eastwards to China and India. Graduates of Oxford and Cambridge are being recruited to work at Indian multinationals.
  3. The credit crunch opens the way to profitable East-West collaborations and means that the fast will win over the slow.

How can members develop resourceful international relationships quickly?

  1. Use events worldwide, such as BNI Worldwide’s International Members Event in Kuala Lumpur in May 2008.
  2. Ask your trusted network “Who do you know who…?”
  3. Ask the people you see trading internationally how they do it.
  4. Raise your profile with international contacts via Ecademy, LinkedIn and the BNI Yahoo! Group.

The world is moving fast. We have to move fast. Jump on it. Go to these international events.
Sponsored by Networking Now.

Complete Transcription of BNI Podcast Episode 053 –

Hello, everybody, and welcome back to the official BNI podcast brought to you by networkingnow.com, which is the leading site on the Web for networking downloadables. I’m Priscilla Rice, and I’m coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkley, California. And I’m joined on the phone today by the founder and the chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner.

Hello, Ivan, how are you?

I’m doing great. This week I am in Toronto, Canada, for their national conference, which is perfect, because the topic of our podcast today is about networking globally, and we’ve got some guests on the line with us who are definite experts on that. We’re going to try to touch upon three topics with them today:

Why it’s important to network internationally;
How members can develop international relationships as quickly as possible;
Raising your profile among international contacts.

We’ve got two gentlemen who know what they’re talking about. They’re both directors for BNI, Niri Patel and Robert French.

And, gentlemen, welcome to the BNI podcast.

Thank you, Ivan. Thank you for having us on the show.

Thank you, from Korea.

You’re in Korea, and you have an announcement, don’t you, Robert?

Yeah, we’ve had a very successful launch of our first chapter in Korea, Ivan, where we’ve had about 80 people attend. And we’ve received 32 applications to join our first group, so we’re well up into the 30s on their first launch, so we’ve had a spectacular day.

Outstanding and congratulations. That’s our first chapter in Korea.

Niri, you’re calling from the United Kingdom, correct?

Yes, I am. I’m here in the United Kingdom. Congratulations to you, Robert, on getting BNI established in Korea. And thank you, Dr. Misner, for getting me on the call.

My pleasure.

Let’s start with you, Niri. Why would people want to network internationally? We had these members in about 38 countries around the world. Why do they want to network internationally?

Well, that’s a great question. Global networking is something, I guess, you do if you’ve got or aspire to have an international business. But there are, I think, in my opinion, two incredibly compelling reasons to consider broadening your networking horizons, that is, internationally.

The first reason stems from what a very successful businessman, an old friend of mine, told me. And he said, “Niri, if you want to be successful in business, you’ve got to find a trend and work your way into it.”

For example, there were fortunes made by those who got into plastics in the ‘60s and those who got into dot-com businesses in the mid to late ‘90s and obviously got out at the right time. I believe there are actually three major global trends happening right now as we speak, and they’re being validated by what the media is actually reporting.

The first of these global trends is the actual trend in business and social networking. If you look at the recent proliferation of increase in popularity in networking sites like My Space and the business networking forums like Linked In and Ecademy. That’s evidence of it, and they are, obviously, all excellent.

My personal take is that high tech and highly-timed pressurized world that people are now finding themselves in actually crave more of a high touch interaction, both in social terms and as well as in business.

So, that’s the first trend. The second trend is that the global economy center of gravity is definitely shifting eastward. There isn’t a day that goes by when we don’t hear about something happening in China and India, whereas, even ten years ago, these were things that would be so remote.

And in the UK, where I’m actually based, top graduates from the top universities, like Oxford and Cambridge, the equivalent of what you in the United States would call the Ivy League colleges, are now actually being recruited to work in India and multi-national companies, for example. In fact, on a recent business trip to India, I found out that some of the large Indian companies are actually outsourcing their call centers to eastern Europe and the UK because the high net worth Asians want to speak to people with a western English accent.

And the third global trend, Ivan, is actually affecting us here in the West more than in the East, and that is the dreaded credit crunch. Now, countries like India and China are obviously aware of the global crisis in the credit market, but on the recent trip, that I just mentioned, to India at the beginning of March this year, I saw no real evidence of anything that was going to dampen the enthusiasm and optimism that they have about the positive economic outlook there.

And, the multi-nationals in this world have a strategy and a presence for these markets, which allows them to tap into this shifting balance of economic power.

But, here’s the thing. The SMEs can also tap into this global trend by actually linking in to their trusted network. So, the little guy, for example, who does web sites in India or Malaysia or China, somewhere like that, wants to partner with a similar small business, say, for example, in the UK or US, and collaboration of this kind can actually develop into something very quick and very big over night.

I am a firm believer that if good people get together, than good things can happen. And according to Mukesh Ambani, who is now regarded by the Indian media as the richest man in the world, ahead even of Bill Gates, due to the weakening of the US dollar in recent times. He says that it will no longer be big winning over small, but it’s actually going to be fast winning over slow.

And that’s were I think that tapping into global networks, such as BNI, is going to allow people to actually access the opportunity to suddenly find themselves doing business internationally.

If I could give you one very quick example.

A real quick one, because we only have three minutes left.

There is a lady who is a copywriter here in the UK, got a very local business, but now she is actually writing copy for an Indian bank because they want to attract high net worth individuals from the UK. So all of a sudden, because of the power of the Internet and the trusted network through BNI, she has now actually got a client internationally.

Yeah, I think more and more BNI members understand the need to do business internationally, and they want to do business internationally.

But, Robert, let me ask you: How can members develop a resourceful international business relationship fairly quickly?

Yeah, well, the thing is we have to do it fast now, because the world is changing fast. So one of the ways it can be done is to use events worldwide, and the one that BNI is putting on is an event for international members in Kuala Lumpur in May on the 27th and 28th. Check out the Web site, BNI-worldwide.com –

That’s BNI-worldwide . . .

Dot com.

Dot com.

That’s correct.

We’ll have that in the transcript here.

Exactly. That’s great.

And, you know, the thing is, you can ask trusted network, “Who do you know who . . . ?” That’s a very quick way to do it. There are other very, very resourceful things as well, many, many ways, but you can actually develop fast, resourceful things. Don’t forget the Chamber of Commerce. It’s very, very useful. Government trade departments can be extremely helpful. Another way is to ask people already doing it. If you see successful people trading internationally, don’t be afraid to ask them, “How do you do it?” because they’ll very often give you the right answers.

Another way is, obviously, raise your profile with international contacts. Ecademy and Linked In, which we already mentioned, are powerful ways to get yourself known around the world.

Can I add one more, Robert?


The BNI Yahoo Group, for BNI members who want to network with other members, they should connect on the BNI Yahoo Group. We’ll have that link on here as well. And, of course, Ecademy. As you mentioned, we have a strategical alliance with Ecademy.


But all of these things are really important, and listeners to this podcast really, really should go to the Ecademy and BNI Yahoo, but the trick is the best way to really build a relationship is to get face to face. And so, here, you’ve got a global conference that you’re putting on in Malaysia, which I went to two years ago. You did it two years ago, and you may do it again every couple of years. What a tremendous event. I saw tons of business generated. I think the biggest referral I saw was a $1 million, Australian dollar, referral for somebody who did – it was a technology business, and that was one of the biggest referrals.

So, members who are listening to this podcast, I get members all the time that say, “How can we use the international network?” The way to use it, I believe, is to go to international events, go to the national conferences of the various countries. They almost all have Members Days days. Go to this BNI global event in Malaysia, because you’ve got more than one day for members, don’t you? One day or two days?

We have two days with the [inaudible] at the end of it, so it’s a lot of fun.

And you’ll meet tons of members. Yep, that’s the key.

Well, we’re almost out of time. Any last thing you want to add before we wrap up this podcast?

The world is moving fast; we have to move fast, jump on it.

I couldn’t agree more. My last observation is, if you’re a BNI members and you want to do business internationally, take a really hard look at participating in some of these national and internationally events, use BNI Yahoo Group, and use Ecademy as a way of communicating with other BNI members, but go to these events because there, where the rubber meets the road, is the place where you’re going to network with people and build the relationships and do business.

So, Robert, thank you very much. Niri, I appreciate it. Back to you, Priscilla.

Thank you, Ivan.

Thanks, Ivan.

Hi, Dr. Misner. Well, before I close this particular episode, I just want to say congratulations on this being the first anniversary of your podcast.

Thank you.

It’s number 53, right?

Yes, it is.

That’s great. All right. Well, thank you so much. This has been so interesting. I’m sure the listeners are going to be really interested to hear everything about the international networking. I know I was.

Thank you so much. I just want the listeners to know that this podcast has been brought to you by networkingnow.com, which is the leading site on the Net for networking downloadables. Thanks for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we will see you next week on the Official BNI Podcast.


  1. says

    Dear Dr. Misner,

    I joined Ecademy at your recommendation and it has been a mind expanding experience. Although I only have a small part time business that could be international, I see great potentional for even my local and national businesses. The world is truly getting smaller. Europeans and all foreign nationals keep an eye on the USA. They all know people in the States.

    The Earth is becoming just a big contact sphere.

    Thanks to Niri and Robert for putting this Podcast over the top.

  2. says

    Dear Ivan,
    Congratulations on your 1st Anniversary with the BNI Podcast. We use it extensively in Sydney Inner West Region, including in our Newsletters and Weekly Networking Tips. Also about half of our members now get the weekly Podcast alert.
    It’s such a valuable resource and so easy to access.
    Well done!
    Tony Benner in Sydney
    PS I look forward to seeing everyone at the World Conference for BNI Members in Kuala Lumpur!

Solutions-focused comments are welcome