By Sam Scott, former employee

March 18, 2015 | 3 min read

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"The first lesson is that there’s no such thing as English – there’s only international English.” Wayne Arnold, CEO, Lowe Profero

The last of Man About Asia’s seven episodes, Lost In Translation, is host Wayne Arnold’s “homage to every single person who has ever worked in the Asia-Pacific (APAC), and to every single person who has ever worked with people in APAC”.

In the episode, which is intended as personal guide to business conduct in the region, Arnold covers common but often under-appreciated ground, such as the importance of using clear and basic English, and conference calls over international time zones. “By far the biggest source of frustration from anyone that I’ve ever known to work out here is the lack of understanding about time zones and conference calls,” says Arnold, who recommends talking in person as the most effective form of communication.

“One of the joys of working with people in this region and working in the region as a whole, is actually coming out and visiting. You’ll gain far more by doing so”, says Arnold.

The final observation encourages a deeper understanding of local cultures. “Like those famous HSBC ads, the world’s local bank, understanding when to eat, when to bow, when to hand the business card in the right way, is crucial,” adds Arnold.

Each of the videos along with their corresponding marketer vox pops, are available on the Man About Asia hub, in association with Lowe Profero.

To catch the entire series, subscribe to The Drum YouTube channel.

The Episodes

  • Episode one, 'What Is Asia Anyway’, breaks the vast and complex region into chunks, focusing on the scale of the opportunities across Asia.
  • Episode two, 'Avoiding Air Miles Disease’, takes a closer look at the opportunities each sub-region presents and the issue of where to invest.
  • Episode three, ‘Same Same But Different’, tackles arguably the greatest opportunity, that of China.
  • Episode four, 'Social Asia’, explores the wonderful, staggering and sometimes bizarre world of social media in Asia.
  • Episode five, ‘The Talent Game’, explains why finding and keeping talent is a ongoing challenge for marketers in the region.
  • Episode six, 'Creativity & The Power of Celebrity', takes a look at the diversity of creative cultures across Asia.
  • The final episode, ‘Lost In Translation’, offers up some tips and hints for those adjusting to Asian styles of business.
Man About Asia China Asia

Other episodes in the series

Episode 1

We need to talk about Asia | Man About Asia: Episode One

“The biggest business mistake most people make is to presume there’s one Asia, the reality is very different", Wayne Arnold, Lowe Profero CEO and chair of the Marketing Society southeast Asia

Episode 2

What you need to know about opening an office in Asia | Man About Asia

"When people first come here they often look like a deer caught in headlights, not sure where to focus or where to go." – Wayne Arnold, Lowe Profero CEO and chair of the Marketing Society southeast Asia

Episode 3

Understanding the vast opportunities and challenges of China | Man About Asia

“The western media’s view of China is just one side of the story of what’s really happening in modern China right now," Wayne Arnold, chief executive, Lowe Profero

Episode 4

A crash course in social media platforms Line, QQ, WeChat and Weibo | Man About Asia

"In Asia social media is everywhere, it’s embedded in people's lives every single day; sometimes in very interesting ways, sometimes in quite bizarre ways.” Wayne Arnold, Lowe Profero CEO and chair of the Marketing Society southeast Asia

Episode 5

Finding and keeping talent in Asia: The challenge explained | Man About Asia

"Talent by far will be your biggest challenge, and while it may be a recruiter’s dream, it’s going to be a manager’s nightmare,” Wayne Arnold.

Episode 6

Creativity and the power of celebrity in Asia | Man About Asia

“While the west prides itself on strong strategic ideas, in the east quite often [creativity] is perceived as a copying culture, a direct response culture, or sometimes just wild and wacky, and sometimes a combination of all three," Wayne Arnold, CEO, Lowe Profero and chair of the Marketing Society South East Asia

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