Please click here to download the article.
Most recently, Yahoo announced it would be joining the ranks of other multinationals, such as IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola.
Despite the ongoing violence and lack of political solutions, the companies have established research and development centres in
There are a number of reasons for
The multinationals are attracted to
Israelis are early adaptors of new technologies. There are now more mobile phones than landlines in the country, and wi-fi and broadband have penetrated the landscape more than in
Perhaps most indicative of
The airport was completely revamped a few years ago and now it barely resembles the smoky, dow-nat-heel version that preceded it, and it could be in any major city in the world. Filled with tourists, travellers and businesspeople, it is particularly important for those employed in high-tech industries, who need to keep in touch with their marketplaces.
There are almost 70 Israeli companies now listed on the Nasdaq exchange, with a combined market capitalisation of more than $US60 billion.
Confidence in the Israeli economy has been bolstered by efforts to reform some of its more cumbersome economic policies in an effort to join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Under the leadership of Stanley Fischer, the Bank of Israel has remained vigilant in maintaining control of monetary policy, and this has traditionally been closely linked to the vagaries of the American dollar.
Equally significant, the Israeli government has long worked with Israeli and American venture capital funds to encourage commercialisation of nascent ideas.
In 2007, Israeli high-tech companies raised $US1.76 billion from local and foreign-venture investors, an 8.5 per cent increase from 2006.
A snapshot of some of the wackier technology ideas emanating from
Spokespeople from Kfar Saba based company Modu, which was only established last year, believe it can earn $US1 billion by selling its recently launched mobile phone “jackets”.
The casings enable consumers to transform mobile phones into gadgets, such as a messaging device, a music player or a gaming device. By 2010, the company plans to introduce “modu mates” for digital photograph frames, cameras, clocks and navigations systems.
Former M-Systems founder and CEO Dov Moran developed Modu. He is one of a class of seasoned entrepreneurs who are looking for fresh challenges.
These industry veterans use their experiences and connections from their previous start-ups or publicly traded companies to help launch new ideas, rather than staying in the same role indefinitely.
Their enthusiasm and quest for new challenges contrasts sharply with more conservative economic landscapes, including
The merging of the two vastly different business approaches can cause friction and frustration on all sides. Melbourne-based
“Everything here goes slowly; nobody is in a rush, as there is always another day,” said Herman.
Learning to navigate cultural differences goes with the territory for Israeli companies, who often venture where bigger multinationals or major American corporations do not.
The AICC also assists in introducing Australian businesses and governments to some of
Last year, the AICC led a tour of 50 senior executives and officials to view
Gilat Satellite Networks general manager Oded Sheshinski describes Gilat’s successes in
Sometimes the Israeli companies use their Australian operations as a springboard for the larger Asian market, and often as a base for
In Retalix’s case, the company’s initial rollout in
Retalix managed to overcome the obstacle and lengthy tender process and now its in-store solutions are implemented in more than 766 Woolworths stores, as well as Big-W,
Retalix’s business development officer, Merle Bogatie, believes that a local presence makes it easier for businesses to expand their operations.
Today, Retalix has a
In the world of technology, being an Israeli company is generally a positive thing. Sheshinski says, “Israeli technology was appreciated throughout the world”, and “for over two decades now,
Herman agrees. “When people hear I come from
Various studies have been published, which show that Israeli academics are opting to remain in the
The loss of these highly educated professionals is a huge drain on academic institutions and it has major ramifications on the continued success of the larger economy.