An Unimaginable Journey by Aviad Meitar - Book review

An Unimaginable Journey

How Pepsi Beat the Odds in Romania

By: Aviad Meitar

Published: February 1, 2010
Format: Paperback, 176 pages
ISBN-10: 1439250502
ISBN-13: 978-1439250501
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing

"I would like to describe to you a journey. Not an ordinary trip one takes to the grocery store or the post office. This is an epic journey, a fantastic journey, an unimaginable journey", writes successful international business executive Aviad Meitar in his inspirational and highly readable book An Unimaginable Journey: How Pepsi Beat the Odds in Romania. The author describes how he set up Pepsi's business in Romania in 1991, just after the fall of the Communist regime; how he oversaw the venture's growth; and its eventual sale fifteen years later to PepsiCo's second largest global bottler.

Aviad Meitar shares his achievements and setbacks as he built Pepsi's presence, in the unlikely location of Romania, to a true success story. Faced with stiff and unrelenting competition from soft drink leader Coca-Cola, the author used an unusual and very unorthodox business strategy. He followed what he called the Viking Laws. The basics of this ancient code of conduct include:

* Be brave and aggressive
* Be prepared
* Be a good merchant
* Keep the camp in order

Aviad Meitar (photo left) utilized these unlikely, but very practical concepts to near perfection, as his Pepsi venture gained a respectable share of the Romanian beverage market. Arriving in Romania, Aviad Meitar had little knowledge of the country, and very limited experience in the beverage industry, but leveraged the strength of a well known and respected brand to its fullest potential. To achieve success in a challenging environment, the author depended very heavily on the Viking Laws and their influence and positive effect on his company team. The competition faced by Aviad Meitar and the Pepsi brand was fierce. On the one hand, his venture had to cope with the well funded and well managed Coke brand. On the other side of the market, a low cost generic "B" brand of cola claimed the lower priced market segment. Through it all, the commitment to excellence, as defined by the Viking Laws, provided the author and the Pepsi brand with a firm anchor for success.

For me, the power of the book is how Aviad Meitar shares his experiences in establishing and building the Pepsi brand in Romania in an accessible and in the moment style. The author's demonstrated that a brand can enter an emerging market successfully, even when the political, economic, and management conditions present numerous challenges. The book provides a powerful inspiration to any company, whether large like Pepsi or an up and coming business, to take the step into new and unfamiliar markets. The author shares his experiences in overcoming the learning curve of business in Romania, its culture, and economy in an engaging way that provides useful business lessons. At the same time, Aviad Meitar emphasizes how the management framework of the Viking Laws created a vision that kept him and his management team on the right course.

I highly recommend the intriguing and engaging book An Unimaginable Journey: How Pepsi Beat the Odds in Romania by Aviad Meitar, to anyone seeking a case study of entering an emerging market, launching a product line, and building a successful business in the face of stiff and effective competition. The author provides an inspirational story of achievement and overcoming obstacles on the road to success.

Read the fascinating and and enjoyable book An Unimaginable Journey: How Pepsi Beat the Odds in Romania by Aviad Meitar, and discover how an executive with no prior knowledge of the developing market of Romania, with the support of the well known and admired brand Pepsi, created a beverage industry success story. The book will inspire both established corporations and entrepreneurs to test the market in the developing world. The book is a timely one for today's rapidly globalizing economy.

Tags: An Unimaginable Journey: How Pepsi Beat the Odds in Romania, Aviad Meitar, business in emerging markets, business book reviews.