Rubén Rivero Capriles

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Two hours for Japan and Venezuela


Through the LinkedIn online professional platform, in Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, North America, Europe, South Africa, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and especially in India I have had the opportunity of establishing interesting contacts for future commercial opportunities. On the contrary, within Japan and Venezuela I observe greater resistance to taking advantage of the enormous globalizing potential of this professional network. It has struck my attention that Japanese users on average count with less contacts than LinkedIn users in other Asian countries. Below are presented the comments proposed by various observers regarding the scant growth of LinkedIn in Venezuela. I will be thankful to Japanese readers for your comments about the similarities and differences between both cases, according to your experiences while using such a network in Japan. I will be thankful to Japanese readers for your comments on your perspectives on how could the LinkedIn network increase professional and cultural relationships between Japan and Venezuela.

"Unfortunately the group that understands the advantages of this professional tool is small. I recently moved to Venezuela and it has been difficult to enroll new local contacts, it only remains to keep on sending invites and waiting. The main problem in my opinion is that a great part of the population that can potentially take advantage of LinkedIn is still clouded with facebook, and it is hard for them to understand the difference. Besides, here the fashion definitely marks the difference." (Carlos Baldo, Consultant at Asesores Balor C.A.)

"I believe that the main reason for LinkedIn's lack of popularity in Venezuela is due to the small amount of local businesses using it for the advertisement of job offers. The average person gains greater utility by signing up at, or another such similar site. This is something that happens everywhere. For example, in Germany Xing is more popular than LinkedIn." (Luis Barragán, Software Developer)

"Here everything is fashion. From facebook they are migrating to twitter. And they are only using, , etc. (Gladis Sulbaran, Mechanical and Instrumentation Engineer)

"I completely agree with Gladis." The best way to invite Venezuelans to sign up to LinkedIn is by promoting it through events serving music, beverages and food. Here is the example of Facebook. In Venezuela, parties and reunions are organized to celebrate that so many people have enrolled." Luis Meneses (Logistics and Supply Chain Professional)

"I agree with Luis Barragán. The major incentive for entering LinkedIn is the job search, and here in Venezuela there are not many job offers. The main Venezuelan linkedIn groups present very few job offers. Many Venezuelans enter LinkedIn to look for employment opportunities in countries such as USA or Canada where there are job offers available through the platform." Alvaro Fernandez (Recent MBA Grad)

"I would recommend you to enter into Twitter and invite people to LinkedIn from there. Twitter is quite active and many twitters are proactive. Regarding job offers within Venezuela, LinkedIn is not a source. If the network is not proactive it does not function. It is like the first person who used a fax. What to do? The threshold or critical mass most be exceeded." José Alvarez Cornett (Business Manager at Fugro-Jason)

"The LinkedIn groups are exclusively professional, for business and work related issues. The Venezuelan groups are extensively used for political issues, for calls against the government of Venezuela, which falls beyond the context for which LinkedIn was created. This is not facebook. Many Venezuelans, including myself, hate such topics, there are other opinion groups for discussing politics. That is the reality why many Venezuelans do not associate to Venezuelan LinkedIn groups, unfortunately." (Miguel Celi, Senior Technical DBA on DB2/Oracle and SQL Server at SPHERION CORP.)

"I am a Venezuelan LinkedIn user and I have profited and I continue profitting from it. I have asked and responded professional questions. I have rejected job offers and I have help within my capabilities. Rubén, it is true what you say, because the same happens to me. My particular opinion is that our idiosyncrasy particularly pushes us toward belonging to leisure, party and reunion groups rather than to groups whose intention is 100% professional. Many people sign up, but once they notice they cannot find such things, they simply abandon. You must also take into account that most professionals with clear professional development objectives, unfortunately look beyond our borders for a viable scenario to fulfill them. How many professionals, completely freed from political tints do develop, optimize, consult, seek to improve or simply exchange professional experiences among them within Venezuela? If you consider LinkedIn as a product you will notice that, by disgrace, there is no market in Venezuela. I have many contacts on LinkedIn who are Venezuelan but pursue their carreers away from my marvelous country. I wish things were otherwise." (Francisco Población Rial, Sales Manager Spain & Portugal at HYFRA Industriekühlanlagen GmbH)

"Hi Rubén, thank you for initiating this discussion. I represent a Canadian consulting company and I would like all of you to recommend me, according to your experiences, which is the best way to reach the entrepreneurial executive target in Venezuela." (Giuseppina Russo. EMBA, BBA, North American Corporate Financial Group)

"Facing the Venezuelan and global crises one of the best ways to confront the challenges is to project ourselves and the businesses we represent both in Venezuela and into other markets in order to maximize business opportunities. Our historical limitation to the Venezuelan market has always been a mistake. I see current opportunities in Central America, the Caribbean islands and also in Brazil due to the future events that will develop there. Not in vain Brazil is today the world's greatest consumer of cement per capita. This equals Panama regarding opportunities, the latter is today's choice destination for our countrymen. Why not here? Due to a lack of faith? Risks must be taken. We must endeavor and study the opportunities. Regarding the creation of worktables in Caracas to get ourselves to know each other, and then to support each other and to create alliances and/or business ventures is a fantastic idea and please count on me. By being united businesses can be affronted in Venezuela and our natural markets, which I repeat are Central America, the Caribbean and Brazil. Venezuela possesses great human capital, excellent businesses and corporate know-how. We overcome gigantic adversities (the Cadivi exchange control regime, an inflationary and speculative economy, economic contraction, etc.) We are relatively new in this kind of innovative tools available at international markets, and to conquer new clients is not easy. Constancy and discipline. Success, my friends, whoever wishes frivolity may have it, but we want business and go after it." (Andres E. Reveron B., CFO at Concretos Premezclados del Caribe, CPC)

"I agree with Andrés, during moments of crisis it is said that great opportunities arise. I think it is important to create worktables in Caracas to get started, establishing clear objectives regarding what we wish to achieve through them. I am a new user of this web tool, and consider it can result of great utility. Regarding the option of an increased following for LinkedIn in Venezuela I share the idea of using the help of twitter." (Angel Toledo Jimenez, Systems Engineer)

"I recently noticed that LinkedIn and Twitter got associated, perhaps this will provide the push needed by LinkedIn in Venezuela. When placing the hashtag #in on any of your tweets you will update your LinkedIn status. It is similar to the selective twitter status, a quite famous application from facebook (its hashtag is #fb). (Alvaro Fernandez, Recent MBA Grad)

"I believe that the current situation is matter of time. The few companies maintaining a serious Human Resources Department will get involved to LinkedIn as well as the professional groups. It seems to me an excellent tool, we just have to work it out in a local way, which is the hard part." (Oswaldo Bello, IT Manager, Sr IT Infrastructure Consultant, Network and Server Admininstrator)

On behalf of rroopstr global blog, I thank friends from Japan and Venezuela for providing me the opportunity to compile and expand this anthology.

Rubén Rivero Capriles

Caracas, 6 de diciembre de 2009