Valerie A. BellAssistant Professor, Strategy and International Business
First hand perspective on international business
Assistant Professor Valerie Bell can give her global management students a first hand perspective of what it’s like to do business internationally. Bell is a former senior executive who has worked for corporate giants such as Kellogg’s, Coca-Cola, and Heinz in Canada and China.
The Canadian native most recently served as president and CEO of Bell Alliances international, a global consultancy that specialized in building alliances, joint ventures, and other business partnerships between North American and life science firms from around the world prior to joining Merrimack College’s Girard School of Business in 2016.
“Graduate courses in international business are in great demand for managers in multinational firms right now. Those firms expect 70% of their profits will come from emerging markets by 2020 and almost 80% by 2030. Students who understand how to do business around the world are, as a result, in great demand. It is important that students prepare themselves for this much more globalized way of doing business both now and in the future,” says Bell.
EXTENSIVE INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE
Bell has extensive international experience in the areas of domestic and international business strategy development, new product development, commercialization, technology transfer and innovation working for Fortune 500 companies. One of her many projects included leading the development of Heinz’s second (infant feeding) and third (Heinz sauces) joint ventures in the People’s Republic of China over a two-year period. Within that time, both brands received number one market positions and have continued to hold those positions since.
UNDERSTANDING WHERE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS IS HEADED
Bell’s research interests include looking at the ways service firms behave differently from manufacturing firms in their international modes of entry. While manufacturing firms typically pick one mode of entry (such as joint venture), service firms often use multiple different types of entries simultaneously.. Bell says service companies represent the fastest growing area in international business, as companies in places like China seek out environmental services while other emerging markets look for services such as financial or insurance services.
“Today every business is a global business whether they want to be or not. These experiences and my many international connections allow me to not only accurately understand what businesses need to be successful internationally but to also bring that learning into the classroom to help train a new generation of international managers,” she says.