Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Risky Business"

According to an article in the Economist, MBA students may soon be learning of the art of business not from trump and sugar, but from Somali pirates.The threat to life and liberty aside, Somali pirates' business model is impressive.On average one raid in three is successful.The reward for a triumphant venture, however, can be in the millions.Their succes has even prompted one village to open a pirate "Stock exchange", where locals can buy shares in up to 70 maritime companies planning raids.Professor James belives that the most important lesson firms can learn is one of strategy, he teaches his MBA class that one reason for the pirates' success is that they avoid "symmetrical" conflict-challenging their targets head on by, for example,linning up against the western navies patrolling the waters--battles they would surely lose.Instead they use stealth and surprise, attacking targets at their weakest point, in this way with only a dozen-or-so sailors, they wrest control of huge assets, in the form of oil tankers.

No comments: