Paperback: 256 pages

Publisher: Eye Books Direct; 2nd edition (1st edition: 1 Jun. 2004)

ISBN-13: 978-1-78563-021-7

Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm

Baghdad Business School

Heyrick Bond Gunning

£9.99

“Amusing and very brave.”

Forbes

Heyrick was on the first civilian plane into Baghdad after the airport had been secured. Armed with a camp bed, some baked beans, and a wallet full of greenbacks his mission was to establish a foothold for one of the world’s largest logistics businesses in one of the world’s most inhospitable markets.

Baghdad Business School charts the challenges, the characters, the comedy and the catastrophe of trying to do business in a war zone. It also provides a unique perspective on the Iraq conflict; not of another journalist, soldier or politician but of a businessman with unusual balls.

Extracts

The principle targets were the much hated Palaces and these were looted by all and sundry, including some journalists. I met one who had found a photo album of Saddam’s and had sold it to Paris Match for a small fortune.

Armed with a camp bed, some baked beans, and a wallet full of greenbacks, his mission was to establish a foothold for one of the world’s largest logistics companies in one of the world’s most inhospitable markets.

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Extracts

The principle targets were the much hated Palaces and these were looted by all and sundry, including some journalists. I met one who had found a photo album of Saddam’s and had sold it to Paris Match for a small fortune.

Armed with a camp bed, some baked beans, and a wallet full of greenbacks, his mission was to establish a foothold for one of the world’s largest logistics companies in one of the world’s most inhospitable markets.

We crossed the Tigris and headed south towards the hotel.

The people were out on the streets and all looked rather shell shocked. They looked as if they were unsure about whether to be happy, relieved or concerned. Most managed to combine all three. Before we knew it we were stuck in a throng of people who looked like they were marching towards the Palestine Hotel. They seemed very interested in us and our Land Rover Discovery. Not the most inconspicuous vehicle to be driving around in, but it was marginally better than a bright yellow van. We drove with the flow of the people, concerned that the good nature of the crowd could change at any moment and indeed the tension seemed to rise as they approached the hotel. The Palestine hotel overlooked the remains of the statue of Saddam that we all saw being pulled down by the Iraqis at the end of the war.

Before long we had employed a couple of adventurous New Zealanders. The first one out had the pleasure of DHL airways care of my Bulgarian friends. He looked suitably shocked when he climbed off the Antonov and explained that the stress of the flight had been enhanced when the Bulgarians stripped off to their grubby Y fronts and the hairiest gave him a wink before settling down to smoke his 20 cigarettes. John made sure his back was to the wall and stayed awake all the way out to Baghdad, this is in spite of it being a 3am flight. I confess that I had ‘forgotten’ to explain that they always do this because they liked to keep their uniforms clean and because it was so hot on the plane.

There are lots of factors that mould the way in which companies do business and one of the most important is the competition. Our competition in Iraq was limited due to the perception the competitors had of Iraq. There were some half-hearted attempts with local companies being given agency rights but these never really developed into too much of a threat. Instead the main threat came in a totally different form. It manifested itself in the general security situation and it was this that presented the greatest threat to our operations.

quotes

BBS charts the challenges, the characters, the comedy and the catastrophes of trying to do business in a war zone.

BBS gives a unique perspective on the Iraq war; not another journalist or politician, but a businessman with unusual balls!

The story of a businessman on the first civilian plane to Baghdad after the fall of Saddam

reviews

Having been to Iraq during the period the author covers I find this a refreshing read. The author gives us an amusing account of the trials and tribulations of setting up business in post war Iraq. This is complemented by a unique insight into the Iraqi people, a race who have so much to offer.I would advise those that want to understand the nature of post war Iraq, from a human perspective, to read Baghdad Business School.

(5* Amazon review)

A gripping and fascinating read about the extraordinary experiences of someone thrown into a difficult and unusual situation, illustrating enterprise and a heap of common sense, and written with none of the pretensions of a journalist or politician. I can thoroughly recommend it to all age groups.

(5* Amazon review)

extras

ABOUT

Heyrick Bond Gunning

Heyrick was born in London but spent the first eight years of his life in Hong Kong. He went to school in London and University in Grenoble and Manchester. Following University he sold antiques before joining the British Army. He served in The Grenadier Guards for six years and worked in London, Northern Ireland, Macedonia and Kenya.

He left the army to join a start up financial services, Mergers and Acquisitions. Three years later he received a call from DHL in the Middle East asking him if he was interested in setting up DHL Iraq.

Heyrick is currently advising companies that are looking to do business in difficult environments, particularly the Middle East. His consultancy spans several industries and focuses on the practicalities of operating in unfamiliar environments and provides training solutions specialises in the design, delivery and accreditation of assessment and training infrastructure.

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