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Business Acumen

Essay by   •  March 13, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,071 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,036 Views

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When I was conducting my research for this weeks discussion on "Business Acumen" there were a lot of noteworthy canadates whom I considered, such as Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet, to name a few. However, I chose the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu. At first glance, in my opinion, he seemed the least likely candidate to be considered one of the richest men in the world if not the richest. If I put things into perspective Carlos Slim Helu has amassed his fortune, in my opinion, in a part of the world were one doesn't expect to find the richest man in world. You would most likely think first of North America, Europe, or Asia. This made me very curious to find out more about him, and how a man from Mexico could become the richest man in the world.

It was estimated that as of 2007 Mr. Helu's fortune topped $67.8 billion. I looked over his Biography, and researched how he became so wealthy. I feel that he possess an excellent "Business Acumen" and he has used the business concept of "PEST" to his advantage to amass his great wealth. Forbes magazine stated, "Mexican businessman Carlos Slim Helu can attribute his good fortune to a combination of intelligence, shrewd business acumen and excellent timing." According to the article, "Sharpening Your Business Acumen," linking an insightful assessment of the external business landscape with the keen awareness of how money can be made-and then executing the strategy to deliver the desired results describes Carlos Slim Helu very well.

Carlos Slim Helu was born in 1940 from Lebanese decent in Mexico City. It is interesting to note that when conducting my research for this topic, I came across an article that implied that countries like Lebanon, Turkey, Israel, and India have a reputation for producing people who know how to make money or have excellent "Business Acumen". Many are involved in trading activates where they instinctively manage complex commercial transactions and negotiations and consistently make a profit. Some say it is in their DNA, as few have advance business degrees or formal business training. As a young child Carlos showed early signs of his high intellegents, and developed a knack for buying and selling goods for a profit. As Charan points out in his article, "The ability to construct and act upon the mental model of the big picture requires plenty of practice. The essence of the skill is to find patternens from among a wide variety of trends and to posit the missing ingredients that could catalyze convergence. Many great leaders began to practice this exercise when they were younger, in less complex contents, and over the years they have developed the requisite skills and judgment," as Carlos has demonstrated.

He graduated with a degree in engineering from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, and went on to open his own stock brokerage in Mexico City in the 1960's. His financial success started when he began buying undervalued industrial companies he deemed bargains and then making them profitable in the late 1960's. Moreover, during Mexico's debt crisis in 1982 he sensed a great opportunity. While other investors were scrambling to divest their shares in Mexican companies, he swept along behind them buying up assets at vastly discounted rates. Upon the Mexican economy rebounding in the late 1980's he had positioned himself as on of the wealthiest man in Mexico with ownership in such enterprises as retail, banking and insurance, technology, and the auto parts manufacturing business. As Charan states, "Success depends

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