Bored at the Airport


A podcast for high-growth Canadian companies with global aspirations.

Sit around with host Michael Madsen, BDO Canada's International Liaison Partner, for deep dives into the international expansion plans of companies like Best Buy, Pepsi, Mattel, and Home Depot. He'll explore their successes, challenges, and what we can all learn from both.

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Episode 1: The Story of WeWork

WeWork, at one time, was the world’s most valuable startup and is the subject of the new series, We Crashed starring Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway. This is a story of startups that had massive potential, innovative ideas, billions of investment dollars and still failed.  


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Episode 2: Mergers and Acquisitions Fails 
After the 2008 financial crisis, one part of Best Buy’s recovery plan was to expand into the United Kingdom and China, and neither went well. After two years of expansion, in the UK, the company closed 11 big box stores and exited the country


Episode 3: Lost in Translation 
Successful global marketing strategies depend on a company’s understanding of how culture affects consumer reactions in each international market. This episode covers the stories of how Electrolux, Coors, and Pepsi got lost in translation.



Episode 4: Target's Supply Chain Fail
What happens when you take the “supply” out of the “chain”? One of the biggest department store chains in the U.S. completely fumbled its expansion into Canada when they forgot the importance of having a solid strategic plan before expanding into a new market.


Episode 5: Hailo, No Match for Uber
Hailo was a British technology platform that matched taxi drivers with passengers through its mobile application. Hailo’s US launch was highly anticipated. However, with a lack of funding allocated towards marketing compared to competitor apps – they shut their operations less than two years after it arrived in the US. 



Episode 6: How NOT to expand into China
China is one of the most complex markets for US and European companies to expand into. This is because of the huge cultural differences, and if you don’t understand them, the results will be disastrous. This episode will cover the stories of the devastating entry of Mattel, the Norwegian Cruise Line, and Home Depot into China.



Episode 7: Hire the Right People

In 2021, a new era of hiring was born. One company that fell victim to a flawed expansion hiring strategy was Groupon. A failure to draw more heavily on local talent limited its ability to adapt to local nuances to succeed in the Chinese market.



Episode 8: Women Who Rock the Business World

Women-led businesses and women entrepreneurs continue to fuel the economy and make their mark in the business world. They are founding companies at a historic rate; however, relatively few of them take the next step of taking their business global.




Episode 9: Aligning your digital investment to boost your global market expansion

Almost every aspect of our lives incorporates a digital element, therefore, embracing digitisation has become key to maintaining efficiency, agility, and competitive advantage. How do these companies deploy a successful digital transformation strategy in their business? 


The information in this podcast is provided for general informational purposes only. It may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction and it should not be taken as, and it is not intended to render accounting, tax, consultative, investment, legal or other professional advice or services.  These podcasts reflect the opinions of only the authors who are associated persons of BDO Canada and any third-party information provided therein, at the time of recording, and does not reflect the views of BDO Canada LLP or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates.  

This podcast is not intended as a substitute for professional advice - listeners should not rely on, act upon, or fail to take any action based on the content or information found here without first seeking appropriate advice from an accountant, financial planner, lawyer or other qualified professional.  Please do not disregard any professional advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have heard here. 


BDO Contact 
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Michael Madsen
Office Managing Partner, International Liason Partner (ILP)