In today’s globalised world, cross-border trade and business play a significant role in driving economic growth and development. The Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey (BCCT), Chris Gaunt, is a veteran of building relationships and working across multiple cultures and economic backgrounds. Dinis Guarda interviews Chris in the latest episode of his YouTube Podcast series to discuss his experiences and insights from his extensive career.
With the increasing interconnectivity of economies around the world, businesses now have access to a larger customer base, cheaper resources, and new market opportunities. However, with this global reach comes the challenge of navigating the complexities of different cultures, languages, and regulations. Building trust and healthy networks of relationships are some of the essential practices to ensure the smooth operation and maximise the benefits of global engagements.
With over five decades of experience building cross-border relationships, Chris Gaunt has invaluable international experience across several key business sectors. Speaking from his experience about the importance of building relationships in business and life, Chris said that it requires a unique set of skills, knowledge, and experience. He emphasised that to be successful globally, cross-cultural competencies, such as language proficiency, cultural awareness, and interpersonal skills are necessary.
“For people who have been to business schools and other places where you get taught about best practices and all such fancy terms. You quickly realise that when you are in an environment where you have to work across different cultures and borders, these concepts don’t actually work. There is a combination of practices that you have to bring together. So, best practices specifically in Uzbekistan, actually make Uzbekistan work, and you can’t ignore that. You’ve got to integrate that with what has been with you, and make sure that you make the best of both. This applies globally”, Chris told Dinis.
Bridging the UK and Turkish economies as the Chairman of BCCT
Developing a network of contacts in different countries is another important aspect of building healthy cross-border relations. This may involve attending industry events, joining professional associations, and seeking out opportunities to connect with people from different countries and cultures. Maintaining these relationships requires ongoing communication and a commitment to building trust and rapport.
Building networks and healthy relationships is a key element, both in business and in life. Enterprises, governments, and even individuals rely on their networks to access opportunities, gain new insights and perspectives, and overcome challenges. Building a strong network of contacts can lead to increased sales, new partnerships, and access to resources that may not be available otherwise.
The British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey (BCCT) is the world’s second-oldest British Chamber established abroad, and it offers a range of business services to promote networking and B2B matchmaking in the Turkish market.
Explaining the role of his network in facilitating a better understanding between the two economies, Chris told Dinis:
“If I face an issue that I can’t really resolve myself and need extra support for, I then call upon my network of corporate colleagues to support and advise on that. So, it is a merger of experience and capabilities that gets us through those difficult issues to provide sustainable solutions.”
Under Chris’s Chairmanship, The BCCT represents business people and companies of all sizes and from a broad spectrum of sectors, including major multinationals as well as a substantial number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from Turkey, the UK, and the surrounding region. Since his joining in 2014, BCCT has served more than 700+ UK clients, has delivered hundreds of market-related services, and has contributed to export wins totalling more than GBP 75 million.
The Power of Trust: Building Strong Relationships in Business and Life
Trust is an essential component of building strong relationships, whether in business or life. Trust is a vital ingredient in building long-term partnerships and successful collaborations. When companies, individuals, or governments trust each other, they are more likely to work towards mutual goals, share resources, and invest in each other’s success. This level of trust creates a sense of security that allows both parties to be more open and honest in their dealings with each other. This, in turn, fosters innovation, creativity, and a culture of cooperation that can lead to breakthroughs and success.
The power of trust lies in its ability to create a strong foundation of mutual respect, understanding, and support, which forms the basis of all successful relationships.
“Creativity, individualism, ability to take risks and challenges are some of the characteristics that add value to us as an individual. But, you can only exercise that when you establish a level of trust.
Trust is the base on which people actually come together, work effectively in a transparent way. It allows you to do things that probably were rather difficult because you know you’ve got the support and confidence of your colleagues and the organisation”, Chris emphasised.
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Hernaldo Turrillo is a writer and author specialised in innovation, AI, DLT, SMEs, trading, investing and new trends in technology and business. He has been working for ztudium group since 2017. He is the editor of openbusinesscouncil.org, tradersdna.com, hedgethink.com, and writes regularly for intelligenthq.com, socialmediacouncil.eu. Hernaldo was born in Spain and finally settled in London, United Kingdom, after a few years of personal growth. Hernaldo finished his Journalism bachelor degree in the University of Seville, Spain, and began working as reporter in the newspaper, Europa Sur, writing about Politics and Society. He also worked as community manager and marketing advisor in Los Barrios, Spain. Innovation, technology, politics and economy are his main interests, with special focus on new trends and ethical projects. He enjoys finding himself getting lost in words, explaining what he understands from the world and helping others. Besides a journalist, he is also a thinker and proactive in digital transformation strategies. Knowledge and ideas have no limits.