Heineken in Africa – Olivier van Beemen

A book, a review or a management toolbox for operating in the African Continent. Heineken is a big brewery, operates world wide and understands how to get people with a Heineken beer in their hands. Africa is a rapidly growing economy where many companies want to be nowadays. Heineken has been there since the sixties. Business in Africa is different than business in the Netherlands. The scope of Heineken in Africa however goes beyond revelations and scandals. Van Beemen gives new insights and analyses about conducting business in Africa and the role of multinational companies in developing countries. 

Next to reading the book I attended a panel discussion. No one of Heineken showed up as speakers, only as public. It made me wonder how much responsibility a company should take when their goal is to brew beer, do they really have to answer the question why in Nigeria grown yeast is sold to Heineken because they fund the farmers and they want to close their cycle? Or should we look at the smaller size companies that make management decisions in social change where cycles remain open? In the class from Matt Marsch we were told that we the designers have this responsibility at some point which reminded me of this Heineken book. The way we motivate our decisions has become more important. This masters will be my soil where I can let all the plants grow that hold information about decision making.

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